Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Facebook Frenzy

My name is Duke and I am a Facebook addict...

I am pretty computer savvy but this social networking thing passed me by completely. I am sure its a generational thing... I mean... my perception was that everybody doing Facebook or MySpace was somewhere between 12 and 20 years old and discussing their latest shopping spree or video game conquest. I could not imagine myself enjoying anything about it nor could I conceive of any useful purpose for joining.

A week or so ago I wanted to show off some pictures of my son, Heath, and his girlfriend. I was at work in Mississippi, 2000 miles from home, and when I said that I didn't have a picture with me one of my coworkers, who maybe has met Heath twice, says... "He has some pix on his facebook page." "WHAT!! You watch his Facebook page??????" "Yeah, we're facebook friends."

So thus began the journey... I went out in search of pictures of Heath. That's when I discovered that I couldn't look at his pictures until I joined... so I signed up. Next I discovered that I couldn't view his pictures unless he was 'my friend'... this is my son we're talking about... and here I am humbling myself and begging his permission to grant me friend status so that I can view his pictures. This is a stressful situation... all the questions... How is my relationship with my son? Really? Have I been a sufficiently 'hip and cool' father to be allowed into the inner sanctum of his online life? Apparently the keys are not that tightly guarded if my coworkers were in...! But I was anxious anyway...

He left me hanging... sleepless nights... days passed by... and then, there in my inbox... Heath confirmed you as a friend... YES!! (fist pump) I was now on the inside of the social networking revolution!

Next day my inbox is full of friend requests... I wasn't sure who some of them were but I gave them access... it was the christian thing to do. I soon learned that there is an insidious narcissistic root that takes hold pretty quickly and manifests itself in an unspoken competition to have more friends than your friends have. I found this out when Josh said, "You've already got 100 friends and you've only been doing this a week." My heart swelled with pride...

In reality this connectivity has been very useful. I am communicating with people that I have lost touch with but more importantly I am in more constant contact with many of the people in our church and local relationship groups. I don't know for sure whether it's a positive or negative thing ultimately, but the facts are that our communication has been much better online than we were experiencing even through texting, emailing or phone calls. And beside this... its been kind of fun... except for the wall updates about shopping sprees and video game conquests... from my coworkers!

1 comment:

  1. I think this is cute, Pastor. I avoided the whole FB thing as well, thinking similar thoughts to yours. When I came to the church is when I decided to give FB a try, and once I got over the security issues, decided it's a pretty cool place to connect with folks and to know who needs prayer.

    Glad I found this post of yours. Thanks for sharing.