Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hope in the Social Networking World

Facebook/Social Networking/Blogging has certainly been an interesting phenomenon hasn't it? Possibly as relevant as the invention of the printing press! It is the ability to publicly express your thoughts and opinions without control or qualification given from a "higher up"... Well, unless of course someone in a "leadership position" reads your thoughts and moves to get you "kicked out" of some club or fired from a job! This really happens to people you know. I know a few personally.

Most who know me, know that I very much enjoy social networking. I have taken heat about it on occasion. It is hands down one of my favorite hobbies.  It's funny that people have other hobbies that THEY don't get picked on for... working out, sports, reading... But, there it is. My sisters and brother used to call me "Chrissy Face" when I was little... then, when I was in High School, they shortened it to "Face"... So, I guess it's fitting that Facebook was named after me! hehe

Some people hate Social Networking because of the fact that it cannot be controlled and often stirs up debates and many people avoid relationship struggles all together. I get that. I've read it stated by a Pastor once 
"Facebook can quickly become a self-centered ego fest and agreed upon voyeurism."  So there ya go, if you're on Facebook you're probably self centered and a voyeur... the funny thing is,  I picked this statement up from a "blog". Sooooo, blogging is okay? 
The hypocrites we mortals be.

If you don't appreciate Social Networking, that is fine.  Different strokes for different folks.  But the way I have seen people treat it as a "naughty thing" really cracks me up. Interestingly enough, I have seen those ideas mostly come from religious people who would really rather gain control over people than let them express who they are and what they think.  If we call it "pride" then we can make them feel guilty about it.

 I however, will take REAL relationships on social networking sites AND in person. I have seen FAR MORE GOOD and very redeeming conversations and beautiful new friendships come out of my social networking experience than the few bumps of people who just cannot accept me for me. 

I often tend to post my feelings about spiritual things. I tend to be a spiritual person, it's just who I am. I am no better or worse than anyone else. But I have experienced in the past that certain people would "watch" what I post. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere "attack" me on my Facebook wall... So what I feel, is that some people were being offended by MY journey with Christ. Because it didn't match theirs. This type of people would NEVER ask me privately what I thought or what my beliefs truly were. They "assumed"... and even if they assumed correctly, they would think it was THEIR personal responsibility to make sure I was "correctly, publicly rebuked"... because "THEY" were the experts and not me.  I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure I do know the difference between love and relationship and power and control. In my "old age", I have learned to long for the first and avoid the second at all costs. 

YES, I do believe I can discern the difference between an "attack" and a real honest question/discussion where no malice or agenda is present about what I post. I don't mind people who disagree with me! If I only had friends who agreed with EVERY THING I said I would indeed be in a sorry state. The people who are very troubled by something I might post and are interested in a real conversation will usually private message me or TALK to me personally instead of a blatant and accusatory statement shot at me on a Facebook post.  Many times, in real relationship, we end up "agreeing to disagree" and we continue to love each other. 

he other type would not desire a real conversation with me face to face, but choose instead to talk to other people instead of talking to me... That's called gossip by the way, and in case you didn't know, gossip is listed right there amongst the "worst" sins in many places in the bible... for instance, 
Mark 7:21-23 "For it is from within, out of a person's HEART, that evil thoughts come.  Sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, SLANDER (gossip), arrogance and folly.  All these evils come from the INSIDE and defile a person."  
(I know we like to pick and choose which sins are "REALLY" bad and just avoid those so we aren't like those "really bad people".)

Jesus knew what He was talking about when He said to get busy taking the plank out of your OWN eye... and just fulfill the NEW COMMANDMENT, which is to LOVE one another!! The crazy Truth is, Jesus' blood took CARE of ALL of these sins on the cross!!! 2 Corinthians 5:21 "For God made Him who HAD NO SIN, to BE sin FOR US, so that IN HIM we may become the righteousness of God." But I digress.  

We see things other people say on Facebook or in blogs,  we see that people may resonate with the things they say. Then, we feel insecure because it's completely different than what we think or maybe we even get jealous and decide to put them down so we can lift ourselves up.

You know how I know this??? I've been guilty of it myself and continue to try to correct this in my own behavior and thought life because of the danger it brings. I think of the book of James that talks about True Wisdom... James 3:14 "But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such "wisdom" does not come down from Heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every evil practice."  Then the passage goes on to talk about True Wisdom.  Great passage!

I DO try as a personal policy to keep my severe negative opinion OFF of others' Facebook page and if it's important enough that I'd like to discuss, I may try to address it privately with them.  Because I try to "Do unto others as I would LIKE them to do unto me."  In saying this I DO realize that not everyone is like me... so that can indeed be a tricky thing sometimes.

So where is the hope in all of this modern communication?  The Hope is in the fact that even though the modes of communication have changed throughout history, relationship and "communion" still HAPPEN.  Some positive, some negative. But even the negative things in relationship can grow and challenge us... actually, let me rephrase that,  ESPECIALLY the negative things in relationships grow and challenge us!  
That is one of the many beauties of Human Relations.

I have Hope for us flawed humans... Gosh, that sounds like a great Facebook post!


  1. "communion still happens" - indeed! And how hopeful!


We have this Hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19