What are you doing about Facebook these days? Yesterday, I reached out to a few friends to ask about their Facebook strategy, assuming there is such a thing. I mean, Facebook has evolved, has it not? Social media has evolved. The Internet has evolved. The world keeps revolving and evolving.
Facebook has become my primary means of online communication, which says a lot about my age and gender and view of the world. The younger generation has moved on to social media platforms I can’t figure out.
I’m not into numbers. I have no idea how many people subscribe to this blog or visit it or read what I write here. I do know people are here, though, and I’m grateful for that. So, thank you.
In the world of social media, however, it feels as if the conversation has shifted and more people (who share some of my same demographic details) are hanging out and engaging in conversation on Facebook and Twitter. I don’t spend much time on Twitter, so I can’t really speak to that space, but Facebook feels schizophrenic to me these days. People are either mad as hell about something and they’re not going to take it anymore, or their worlds are in perfect order, with sunsets and appropriate bible verses artfully overlaying every moment. Scrolling through my newsfeed, my brain feels disjointed and interrupted.
So, I’ve been considering leaving Facebook, because it frustrates me. I’m not all that afraid of verbal confrontation, but I want a conversation to go somewhere. I want to elevate the dialogue. I want to do things differently and press beyond the status quo.
These things matter to me, because I believe in the Body of Christ. I believe we can be better. I believe we can set an example for those who are watching us. I believe we can have meaningful conversations about subjects like racism and police brutality and sexual orientation and women in ministry and climate change and loud children in restaurants, and still sound as if we love each other. Perhaps I’ve lost my mind.
I’ve toyed with the idea of staying away from conversations about race on Facebook, and only posting about things like the snowflake hydrangea that bloomed unexpectedly in my front yard while I was away. But that would make me feel flattened to a single dimension and I think it would be a disservice to the truth of the matter which is that racism is a real thing and the Church is not exempt.
But, I’ve been wondering if Facebook is still a viable venue for elevating that particular conversation. So, I asked a few of my friends what they thought. They had some interesting suggestions, but nothing was really scratching where I was itching. We were messaging with each other and I just wasn’t feeling settled. I was thinking that maybe it was finally time for me to stop talking about these tough things and just go with light and easy and put a bible verse on it. But then, Facebook did me a solid.
When we were younger, people who share some of my demographics used to say, solid a lot. We said it as an affirmation, sort of in place of saying “yes” or “okay” or “I understand.” We’d also say, “She did me a solid,” which meant she came through for me, or she did me a favor that meant a lot to me. Yesterday, while I was trying to figure out whether or not to stay on Facebook, Facebook kept showing me one of those, “Here’s what you posted on Facebook two years ago, today. Share it with your friends,” things. I kept scrolling past it, because I’m probably a little bit jaded these days. But late yesterday, just after I told H I was headed up to bed, I clicked on that blast from the past story, and I was glad I did. It was called Hangups, and you can read it, here. It’s weird how sometimes the words you write come back to you and speak right to where you are in that moment (and when that happens, just go with it and try not to get caught up in a conversation with yourself about whether or not you’ve regressed).
At the very end of that Hangups post, I mention a conversation I recorded with Marcus and Dan, two of my friends from the High Calling. Yesterday, I didn’t think that conversation was available to view any longer, but I was wrong. I found a link to the recorded conversation and it affirmed what I believe. It affirmed that we can have significant conversations about tough topics, and we can do it while being graceful with one another. It also affirmed that, when it comes to racism in the North American Church, we still have a lot of progress to make. We are behind the curve, and that inspires me to keep setting the table and keep inviting people to the conversation, wherever that may be.
So, I’ll keep posting stuff here, but I’ll also keep hanging out on Facebook—for now, at least. I’ll continue to seek ways to elevate the conversation about race and the North American Church, and I’ll keep trying to hammer out a strategy for calling us to something more. I am confident we can do it. How about you?
Some questions for you: Do you have a Facebook strategy? What does it entail? Who are some people using social media to engage conversations around tough topics in a productive manner? When you feel yourself getting angry about something you see in the news or online, what’s most often at stake for you, there? What, or who, are you trying to protect?
I love the way you use your facebook page to engage in conversation with others and to challenge thoughts and feelings. You are a wonderful encourager and teller of truth, and when my facebook is read by others I pray it reflects a heart note like yours and a ‘love for God and others.’ We can share pictures of pretty flowers too, but in the reality of ‘our’ world as it flows, it is ok to be open and even angry … even Jesus got angry over righteous issues.
Right. The world is flowers and anger, together, isn’t it? Thank you for reminding me of that, and for the encouragement you’ve offered. I’m grateful for your friendship, Sharon.
I will always be grateful for yours. too.
Carol Longenecker Hiestand
Deidra, I use Facebook to connect with my kids and family members, have re-established relationships with cousins I had not seen for years, and when my dad died, they showed up. 4 of my grandchildren I don’t see often live in Portland and Facebook is a way i “follow” their lives- followed the course of Labor and Delivery of one of our grand-kids by the updates on FB! I have reconnected with and have had opportunity to have some meaningful relationships with H.S classmates and now next year is our 50th reunion. For me, it is in these relationships I have started to “Kitchen-table” racial issues, from what I am learning from people like you and Lisha..
I like seeing your updates and others that show bits and pieces of life – instead of just a picture and a name somewhere on a blog. I am a highly social person and love nurturing relationships where I can.
Facebook does not seem safe for highly charged conversations. rarely have I seen a civil one take place and it seems minds are rarely changed. what has helped me is to hear how you see things, how you experience things i do not see nor understand, then sharing what I am learning. As I type this, I realized I can Lisha’s post from this morning. Its what I am learning and I can share that.
It’s not that I try to keep everything sweet on Facebook. at the same time it does not feel like a safe place for me place to hang my grief, occasional bouts of depression i have been through. I do have what I call an “Inner circle” of people who are there for me for these things.
So those are my thoughts for now – in a few quiet moments while my family Portland of 6 are here – the rest of the week will probably be a blur! thanks to United, they missed their San Fran. flight and arrived at 4:45 a.m. we all slept in!
Thanks for this. I feel like I’m sitting in the basement of a conference center, having a meaningful conversation with a dear friend. 🙂 You are wise, Carol. I truly appreciate your presence in my life.
Enjoy your family!
I confess, I’m a bit weary of FB, Deidra. I wish for something a bit easier to manage (so many friends, some of whom I know only slightly) and a bit more – not sure intimate is the right word. I find I’m more drawn to instagram these days and I still like reading blog posts. The discussions on FB seem to be a little difficult. I’m not sure what the answer is. I want to grow and learn and be part of the solution – just not sure how to go about that any more.
I was comparing IG and FB in my head the other day, Linda. IG feels much more consistently peaceful to me. Maybe I’m only following peace-filled people? 🙂
Something has changed on FB, that’s for sure. But I think that’s part of the beauty of the platform. People are hearing about things we may not have known about if we didn’t have social media. There’s good in that. But, it also complicates things. So, maybe we are infants when it comes to knowing how to “behave” on social media. Maybe we are babies without clear boundaries? I don’t know. I want to be part of the solution, too. Maybe part of the problem is that social media is one of the few places people are having the discussion in the public square? I don’t know…
Facebook by and large is a time waster for me and I have never been part or initiated a conversation that moved the needle. Except I have read plenty of things that have ticked me off and I don’t need that button pushed.
I hear you. I keep going back to that article Kristi Atkinson wrote for us, over at the High Calling a couple of weeks ago: 5 Prompts for Praying the News. Her suggestions would apply to social media, too. The first suggestion? Take our reaction to God. I keep running that over and over again in my mind, trying to remember the wisdom of that one simple idea.
Had a conversation with someone about this the other day, and the question was raised whether, since we will say these conversations are better had around the table, we are actually doing that. Having the conversations face to face. And because of my life right now, there’s not much of a table, and I don’t honestly have the conversations. I think some folks are. But a lot are not, because of that thing about the internet that makes us sometimes forget our (and others’) humanity works the other way in person, and sometimes we are not as honest as we could be because we are afraid to offend. So hats off to those who are doing the work around the table, because it’s good and important work, but maybe we have to be careful, too, that it doesn’t become an excuse not to have the conversations.
I said the other day that part of the challenge of Facebook is that it pushes things into your field of vision that you might not have wanted to be there. If I invite you to my house, for instance, you can have a pretty good idea of what that will be like, and what we might talk about. And if you’d rather not come over, then you can decline the invitation. But if Facebook is like my living room, we kind of skip the invitation step and all of a sudden you’re in it by virtue of reading your news feed, and sometimes it’s tough because as David said, the button gets pushed, and it’s not because you asked for it.
It’s a matter of resisting the button when it’s pushed. I start responses to folks all the time, and then delete them and walk away. Sometimes I walk away for a longer while. I can’t be and don’t need to be in every conversation. But often it becomes the place where I can have the conversations I want to have. I can say things, because I’ve been thinking about them a long while, and folks who want to join in that conversation can, and the rest can scroll on by. But I aim to have actual dialogue — thoughtful things, questions, conversations. Not just throwing out hand grenades and ducking behind the couch.
I am convinced that we can be better at this, that we can learn to have these conversations as fellow humans, respecting one another’s souls and dignity even as we wrestle to understand that which we do not. And I want to be a part of that process. While I’ve clearly not mastered it, I want to have a little outpost of hope on Facebook that we can be better.
I cannot tell you how much I’ve learned from you over the years, LW. I will forever be grateful for your wisdom, and for the intentional way you live this one life. Thank you for taking time to respond here so thoughtfully, as is your custom. 🙂
I have such a desire to have the actual dialogue you describe here. I don’t know what to call the grenade-throwing thing, but I don’t think it’s really dialogue. Debate, maybe? I don’t think debate is what I’m after. Maybe it’s critical thinking or something like that. I agree with you wholeheartedly, though: we can be better. We absolutely can.
So, a question for you, with regard to the button pushing. Well, first a statement: I believe anger is a cover-up emotion. I think that it rests on top of some other stuff. Sometimes that stuff, for me, is disappointment, frustration, embarrassment, or maybe fear. Like, when someone says something in the race conversation that makes me think that person is at a different place than I thought, I often think I’m angry, but what I really am is disappointed. Or, sometimes in the race conversation, someone will say something that makes me fearful. That fear often comes out as anger.
In each case, something is at stake for me. In the first instance, it’s my perception of that person. I have to adjust to the reality of who they’re showing themselves to be, and I have to find a way to love, even with this new information about who they are. In the second scenario, I have to come to grips with the fact that the world isn’t what I think it is, and what I once thought was a safe place, really isn’t. I feel threatened by that. So, I have to adjust to find resources to protect myself, or to impact that scary thing and make it better, or to see if the thing that is scaring me is really as scary as my mind wants me to believe.
So, my question is this: when your button gets pushed, and you feel angry, do you have a sense of what that’s about?
I agree, that debate is not my goal. I realize it will happen, and hopefully constructively when it does, but it’s not the goal. I think that I want the kind of conversation in which we help each other think, and process, and listen, and see, and love. Like you’re doing here.
I’m also with you on anger being a secondary emotion. I think that disappointment can be a real thing, particularly when it signals that someone you maybe thought was in your corner is not, or at least not in the way you’d counted on.
Most of the time I don’t think the anger arises out of fear so much for me as a sense of loss. My button is often going to be the statements or articles which feel dehumanizing, and that can manifest in a lot of different ways, but when I think about that to try to identify what that’s about to answer your question, I think it’s that feeling of loss, or threat of loss, related to dignity and humanity, even if it’s not directed at me in particular. I’m not sure if that makes sense. 🙂
But it’s a good question, and I’m glad you asked it — this is how we have conversations that are fruitful and not just the tired (and tiring) debate.
Ah. Yes. A sense of loss. Thank you for that. I’ve been grasping, but I think you’ve helped me touch on something that has been dancing around the edges for me. I have been able to identify my feelings of grief, but I’ve been attaching that feeling only to the loss of life. Grieving for lost life is legitimate, even when I don’t know the person personally. But, I’ve felt as if there was something more to the grief than the lost life. And there is. It is the loss of something needful and significant and deep, yes, related to dignity and humanity. That is exactly it.
So, what do we do with that anger so that it becomes productive? Where can I go with that? How do I live a healthy life underneath it, especially when the loss keeps being multiplied, over and over again? These are the questions I’m asking myself. You don’t need to answer them (unless you have an answer), but I’m going to have to figure something out with regard to these questions, I think, if I’m going to be able to stay in the conversation.
Not like that wasn’t long enough as it is… but I wanted to add this one piece. When I was working in California last fall I left the house at 6 in the morning and got home around 7 at night and was tethered to a desk in between so I had little time online. I started a practice during the day of keeping a list I called “Status updates I don’t have time to post on Facebook” in my pocket notebook, writing down the things I would have posted if I had access. In most cases, by the time I got to Facebook, I’d gotten over whatever I jotted down and had no compulsion to post it. So the practice of sitting on a thing tempered my behavior, and while I might have more time now to post, I continue to do the waiting thing, sometimes for days, before I actually say something. It’s a good check on me.
It is a good check! Thanks for that! Do you think the act of writing it down had an impact, too?
Actually, yes. I’m pretty sure that simply giving it expression was often enough to be done with it, even if I was the only person who heard myself say it. 😉 And this applies to the random, amusing updates and not just the weightier things. 🙂
Love this! Right there with you 🙂
I loved the thread you started yesterday (I think it was yesterday) and felt like you handled it beautifully, gracefully steering away from an angry poster without resorting to anything the least bit ugly. Kudos to you, friend. Over and over again.
I actually ended up taking that one down because I didn’t feel as if it was going anywhere. I think I might just be tired, though. A few people have told me that thread was very helpful to them. So, I need to remember that people are watching, and they are taking notes. Your affirmation here is important to me, Diana. You know you’re one of my spiritual mentors, right? I treat everything you say with great respect and honor.
Not sure why that’s true, but thank you, Deidra.
Admittedly, I have a hard time joining in the dialogue of “hard things” on Facebook. It definitely isn’t a lack of opinion, but rather, I feel as though I lack the right words to express what I am feeling accurately. Emoticons can only go so far and I have found that it is easy to mis-read or mis-interpret someone’s words.
I suppose, though, that I am still glad it happens. I learn something from the dialogues (whether good or bad)–both about the situation and about humanity’s response. Having friends who can sympathize with the issues going on as well as those who are oblivious that there are problems (or want to vehemently deny that they exist in some cases) has helped me to feel confident in where I stand personally, but also shown me how to be respectful of others’ opinions (even if I disagree to the very core).
Sometimes I wish that you had to take a debate course before joining Facebook; to learn how to listen even more effectively than you speak. It is in the listening part that we grow.
Great comments, here. Thanks so much, Malinda. I’d agree that “listening” to some of the conversations has helped to see the issues from different perspectives. And, having friends in real life who see things differently helps, too.
I’d love to hear more of your thoughts about listening. What do you think that kind of listening entails? How do we check ourselves, and how do we earn (is that right word?) the listeners’ attention? Does that make sense?
Perhaps this is a somewhat overused term, but I think it is active listening (or in this case, reading). In counselor training, we spent a lot of time learning how to do this well. Some highlights: Focusing on every word (don’t skip over something as it can completely change the meaning); ask clarifying questions (if something doesn’t match up or make sense, ask the person politely to clarify); allow time for thinking (you don’t need to rush to respond; if you hurry, you often are crafting a response before the person is done talking); and be deliberate with word choices (this goes along with the time factor).
I’ve noticed that some of the hottest topics go off track when people are in a rush to put their fingers to the keyboard or don’t fully respond to the true intent of the post due to their rush to address point 1, but missing how point 1 connected to points 2-4 just because something said in point 1 offended them/rubbed them the wrong way. They also go off track when people go from addressing the topic to attacking the person with the thoughts. If one can be deliberate with words, keep comments on topic, and sometimes be the one to say, “perhaps we need to agree to disagree” first when at an impasse, they can earn the respect of those who read their words.
Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk
I hear, in your words Deidra, the desire for real connection. When you figure out a safe way to make that happen I’ll be there. Part of not posting difficult things (for me) is that I can’t always guarantee who’s listening in and who will participate – I can’t guarantee the safety of the conversation for me OR for those who join in and while I’m ok with some bumps and bruises it’s hard when I see friends in a conversation being attacked – and that’s what it comes down to too often – those are the threads I delete, the ones where people are attacking. One thing that has helped, for me, is to start a side conversation about things that really matter to me. When I’m hurting and need support I may start a thread via messages. I’ve also found it helpful to start closed groups for discussions – I find people more willing to open up in these environments where the host has a little more say over how people interact.
Such great points here, Kelly. Years ago, when Facebook was just getting started, I remember someone wrote a blog post about people posting things on her “wall” (that’s what we called it, back then). That was when people would post things on your timeline that may or may not reflect your specific beliefs or world view. The writer said she’d like people to think of her wall (timeline) the same way they think of her living room wall. She said she didn’t think people would walk into her house and just start hanging stuff up on her wall that might appeal to them but may not appeal to the owner of the wall. I often think of that blog post (wish I could find it, to share the link).
I guess I feel the same way about the conversations on Facebook. I think of my timeline the same way I think about my dining room table, or my living room. I open the door and invite people “in.” Granted, the metaphor breaks down a bit because I can’t invite 1,500 people into my actual home. However, I do hope the people at my table or in my living room will treat one another with respect and dignity. I don’t think we have to agree. But, I’d like us to be kind. And, I pray there will be grace. So, it surprises me when people start throwing food across the table at each other, or pulling the chair out from under another one of my guests. I guess that goes back to LW’s comment about the loss of dignity and humanity.
It would be easy for me to leave the FB conversations. But, while it’s much more difficult than walking away, I think it’s worth it to press through this tough part of the journey to come to some place in myself where my boundaries are clear and strategy is defined, so that the conversation can be elevated and we can make progress. I don’t know. Maybe I’m asking for too much. But, I just can’t believe this is the best we can do.
Temperance Renee Cross-jackson
Ive toiled with many of the thoughts youve had/have about fb or social media. However i have concluded in thought that i need to get off Facebook because ive become so intrigued with my news feed and the spontaneity of “What i think”….is a deep thought or response to a post.
So funny though because sometimes i may be very irritated by someones post or response…..then after i read my post/comment/response…or read theirs again….and “listen”(thats when you really read it with acceptance…not necessarily agreement ) i become educated on the thought.
Manytimes when” i listen” to a post or respond to it, it affirms my beliefs or it questions my beliefs.
Sometimes i just scroll down dumb-founded. Other times im motivated and inspired.
In Some type of way im impacted in such a way that it helps in labeling my thoughts concerning what ever the issue is.
I will say that until my facebook days…smh…now years… i never truly knew just how alike and different we masses of human beings thought or what our interest truly are.
Well that is….outside of the near-net people in my direct path.
Ive learned that people believe just as deeply…strongly…..devoted-ly as i do.
And there is no convincing otherwise.
Any who…many of our differences are the same.
When people on my or in my newsfeed become too xrated of some nature, i will post a status letting them indirectly know my offense and thoughts of its nonsense.
If its waaaay overboard i’ll inbox them directly.
If it causes issues provoking ill communication between me and them….i delete them. Period.
On facebook you definitely have to be open minded…but only to a certain degree…. not necessarily open hearted .you have to guard your heart. No need in tryin to fix what aint broke.
There’s a part of us that has the ability to see hear and listen but you dont have to let everything impact the foundations of your heart.
And oh yeah…i need to get off Facebook. Because it is a thief of valuable time in your life…i keep saying im gonna get off of it once i organize my photos…
So wise, Renee. So wise. I learn so much from you.
“Read with acceptance, not necessarily agreement.” Yes.
To become, “educated on the thought.” So true.
And, your words about open-minded vs open-hearted. I’ll be sitting with that for a while.
I was really ambivalent about FB for so many reasons, and then my agent said if I didn’t start developing my social media presence, he wasn’t going to be able to get me any more book contracts, regardless of my resume. Since I don’t believe God’s called me to put down my pen yet, I’ve had to get a strategy — whether I wanted one or not! At first my strategy was simply to be present, visible, and available — so publishers and women’s ministry directors could see I’m there, actively connecting with my readers, so I could contine to write the books and speak at the conferences God has called me to. But then I discovered that it’s a powerful tool for ministry in and of itself — that even if publishers aren’t offering me contracts or I’m not out speaking, I can still reach thousands of people all over the world with the things I share on a daily basis.
For me, that means speaking words of hope and encouragement to those who are hurting, struggling, suffering. Feeling discouraged or defeated. Encouraging them to keep their eyes on Jesus and grow deeper in their relationship with Him. That focus keeps me from posting a lot of other things I think about — and talk about in real life. Believe me, I’m all about having hard conversations in love (my family will tell you that LOL). But I find that for me, it’s best when there’s relationship… whether that relationship is built face to face, in the pages of a book, or over a whole weekend together at a conference. A FB post or tweet doesn’t provide enough context for me.
Thanks for your thought-provoking posts… I always enjoy them!
Thanks for sharing your clear strategy, Christin. I was such a late adopter to Facebook. In fact, my husband was on FB first, and I used to complain all the time about how much he was on FB (which was hardly at all) and how I felt like we always took a crowd of people with us wherever we went. Now, he’s the one telling me those things. Ha!
I agree that FB is a powerful ministry tool. And, because it is such a strong tool, I feel as if I can’t not raise some of the tough questions there. People are hurting, struggling, suffering, feeling discouraged or defeated, just as you’ve said. Collectively, people on the margins and victims of oppression have been aching for so very long. When I try not to say anything about it, I feel like Jeremiah:
But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. —Jeremiah 20:9)
But, if I know I’m going to be on FB, and FB is what it is right now, I’ve got to find a way to cut through the angry attacks and help find a better way to be out there, you know? I guess I’m trying to figure out what sackcloth and ashes look like in the digital age. 🙂
Yes! I love that — “sackcloth and ashes… in the digital age.” I think the key is that word that you introduced, “strategy” — knowing what God has called YOU to do in this arena, and how to do it effectively. Finding your voice, your audience, your purpose… which battles you’re called to fight, or which hills you’re willing to die on. (I think that’s why I put “for me” about ten times in my first comment — LOL).
There are a lot of issues I’ve thought about commenting on. I’ve written elaborate posts in my head, only to hear God, like the actor in the Allstate commercial: “SILENCE!” (Sigh) So instead, I’m listening to the people He chooses to speak through on those issues — listening and learning and refining my own thinking, and taking notes on the overall approach (as you put it, that “better way to BE out there”), for when He calls me up to the front lines on those issues He wants me to speak to.
Courage, grace, and love to you, sweet friend!
Ha! The Allstate commercial. Oh my gosh. I can hear it in my head.
It’s so important to know your own boundaries, and you are a wise, wise woman. I’m grateful for your ministry and for the way in which you so freely share your wisdom with the rest of us.
Great question, great timing.
I could probably put an “amen” next to everyone’s comments here. I have been getting more and more discouraged, disillusioned, and frustrated with FB–but not really FB, but with the lack of hospitality seen in it–but that is not a FB-only issue. It is pretty much anywhere online/ I see in some many posts and comments. A big pet peeve of mine is arrogance. Arrogance to me is making such bold statements that shut out other voices and opinions–essentially, a lack of making room for another, a lack of hospitality. So why not just shut it out? Good question. Can’t do it. (More later)
And so part one of my “strategy” has been mostly to stay social. I connect with my family this way. I have adult children an hour away, half a country away, and across the world in Thailand. I spend a couple hours a week using FB messenger (as well as regular FB posts) to feel part of my daughter’s life so far away. Two nights ago I saw a post of her crying in a bed in a hospital ward. Her husband took a photo of her and posted in Thai that translated wrong to me. My emotions cranked out of control and I was able to contact her via his phone via FB Messenger to fine out what was going on. Part of me wondered if seeing her life in “real time” was helpful or not–for her and for me.
My second strategy is that it is a place to share my photos with family and friends (and strangers–perhaps 1/3 of my “friends” are fellow photographers I never met. I connect to learn from them). I have sold some work this way, but I do not purposely use FB as a business tool. 95% of my posts are photos.
Thirdly, our local paper is mostly online, and I catch news clips from the paper on FB, along with other news sources. I will say that it helps to get news information from a variety of sources–otherwise we tend to subscribe to news channels that espouse only our own viewpoints.
Fourth, I do not as a general rule post political or religious messages. I do share some humorous stuff. I am by nature non-confrontational. I do not like to get caught up in debate. My opinions are deep inside me, and I cannot effectively put them in words as well as some many other friends you and I share. Expressing my opinion is not as strong a need of mine as is harmony. Like others have said, there is little that has been shared on FB that has moved my needle (at least politically and religiously). That said, I do read many posts with an open mind, and much like getting different news sources for balance, I like reading different viewpoints to understand why others think the way they do.
Finally, and this is kind of personal (and maybe self-incriminating), I don’t see myself as having many close friends. I do not have anyone to talk to in a “deep” way. I would love to tell all young parents to keep up maintenance on their “couple” friendships. I raised our kids, and spent my emotion on them. Now it seems like I am look for (or keeping up) relationships and conversation via FB. Little conversations. Getting to know a little bit of a lot of people. But almost no face to face friendships other than a couple or two we share dinner with 2-3 times/year.
So, not a great strategy I suppose. In some ways I feel richer for knowing more about people I see at work each day. In other ways it is lonely.
Bill, first let me say how much I appreciate you and your willingness to pull a chair up to the table and pass the butter. Also, your daughter. I’m hoping all is well, there.
I’m so glad you share your photos online. They are beautiful, and your talent is a gift to so many of us.
You make such a great point about curating our news. And, reading other people’s thoughts has helped me too, to understand ho other people see things. I have learned a lot about different perspectives, simply by reading Facebook and blog posts.
The issue of hospitality, or rather the lack of hospitality, is so very valuable to me. Like LW, you’ve helped me to remember, or name, some of what has been bothering me. And, arrogance. Yes. And, wow. Lord, have mercy. And, forgive me if that’s been the case for me.
Thank you so much for sharing about your friendships, Bill. I appreciate that you would offer that here, and that you keep coming back to this table to join hands and say grace. Peace to you.
I have a love-hate relationship with facebook. There are times that it feels like people are yelling, and I have to take a break from my feed. I miss the days when it seemed like most people were posting personal photos and statuses as opposed to sharing links, memes, etc. I took a four-month break, once, and discovered that I had no idea what was going on with my friends or in the world.
I think people are yelling. 🙂
Taking a break is completely legit.
A little late to the conversation but… I liken our FB presence to our presence anywhere really. Salt and Light. Yes, it gets frustrating but there’s most certainly a ministry there. I find folks I can encourage just by commenting and liking their posts. Some people really need that. For my blog specific page (I have them separate), again a place for encouragement. Also to highlight authors, books, videos. I see myself reminding people every chance I get, there’s a better life out there and Jesus is at the center of it.