Is Facebook A Friendly Format?

Sometimes, I wonder about Facebook.  Sometimes, I wonder if it’s worth the drama or disagreements that occur.

Should I keep all my posts innocuous, happy, pleasant, and avoid anything and everything that could be possibly thought of as disagreeable?

What about the issue of time.  Facebook can be a huge time waster if not managed properly.

Should I continue with Facebook, or not?  Is it worth it?

The question is what are my motives?  Why do I use FB?  Why do I think I should or shouldn’t avoid FB?  Is it okay to post topics that could possibly be offensive?  Is it possible to avoid offense completely?  How far do we take this?

First of all, Scripture tells us to, Psalm 34:14: “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” 

It also tells us to: 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23 (KJV) 21 “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

And yet again, 1 Corinthians 3:3: “For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?”

Ephesians 4:14-16: (KJV): “14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

These verses give us a guidelines to help us when we do communicate at any format.  They are:

1. Depart from evil.

2. Hold fast to good.

3. Abstain from appearances of evil.

4. Seek peace.

5. Be blameless.

6. Avoid every wind of doctrine — in other words getting involved in too many doctrinal debates.

7. Speak the truth. 

8. …in LOVE

9. Understand/respect how the Body of Christ works together (We are all unique and different.).

10. Edify and in love

Before I post something on Facebook, I need to consider whether it follows the above criteria.  Some would say that this limits us to almost everything, except “Pollyanna-ish” posts.  Well, there is the verse that says to “Speak the truth” and the other one that says to “edify.”  The key here is the word “in love.”  Do we do it with love, with peace in our hearts, and are we writing only that which is necessary?  Or are we entering into doctrinal debates that become pointless, argumentative, confrontational, disrespectful, and divisive?

Is it possible to completely avoid offense?  I think that is a difficult question.  The reason is because when we stand for anything or believe anything, someone is surely going to disagree with that.  So, we can completely avoid offense by avoiding any public format of communication.  If we keep ourselves, our thoughts, our beliefs to ourselves, no one will be offended.  Then again, some would take offense to that also because we aren’t standing for anything.  🙂

So, why do I use Facebook?  Is it worth the drama?  Only each individual can answer that question.  I have thought of getting off of it a couple of times but have not yet.  The reasons?

First of all, I have thought of getting off it because it can consume too much time or at least thought when we think about something someone posted or something we posted and the responses to those posts.  I also thought of getting off it because it can be divisive.  Sometimes, some privacy is good.  Yet, I have chosen to post updates and pictures.  I can accomplish more privacy simply by not posting.

So, why am I still on Facebook?  The reason is because I recognize that people are peopleWhen we interact with people, there is always opportunity to experience drama.  I can choose to become a recluse and thereby avoid any possibility of conflict or drama.  Or, I can choose to involve myself, invest myself in the lives of others and accept the fact there there will be some pain involved with thatWhen hearts are invested, there is always the opportunity for joy as well as for pain.

I also am still on Facebook because it is my only connection to a lot of my mommy friends.  We find phone conversations too tedious due to interruptions and time constraints.  I can jump on FB for 2 minutes, leave an unfinished post, and come back in an hour to complete the conversation without interfering with my family’s needs.  If my children are screaming or fighting in the background, no one else can hear.

Facebook keeps me in-touch with the lives of my friends so I know better how to pray, encourage, and when to help even.  Yes, and with this does mean there is less privacy and more opportunity to be hurt or offended.

The question I must personally ask myself is: “Is Facebook a friendly format?  Am I using it properly or abusing it?  Am I following the guidelines of Scripture in how I post things?  Am I recognizing that I may be hurt, but I need to forgive and be willing to invest even when it hurts?”  Otherwise, perhaps for other reasons not mentioned, Facebook has served its purpose and is no longer useful or profitable.  That, my friends, is only for each of us individually to decide.

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