October 7, 2015 Ponder
Since I do not have a lot of technological ability, I was hesitant to get involved with Facebook. I know that the information shared is sometimes inappropriate or even destructive. Facebook can become addictive – one could spend hours each day browsing through its messages.
Over time, I realized that Facebook is like television or the internet. These are excellent sources of information that need to be used with discretion and discipline. One can spend hours watching TV or surfing the internet – to the detriment of relationships and often a waste of time. Selective viewing needs to be our priority.
I had to accept the reality that in today’s world, a lot of important communication takes place on Facebook. In my growing up years, it happened through face-to-face conversation, letters (now called “snail mail”) and eventually the telephone. I smile as I remember the telephone, because ours was on a nine-person party line, and the listening in on other people’s conversations was probably just as damaging as some of today’s Facebook activity.
Facebook allows a lot of people to be aware of an ongoing situation through immediate updates without the risk of inaccuracy in conversations that are passed along verbally. Remember the game called “Telephone,” where someone whispers a statement that is repeated to the next person? By the end, there is little, if any, resemblance to what was said originally.
Our church family is in the middle of a member’s organ transplant journey. I am thankful for the careful postings that come multiple times during the day and night and keep us informed so we are able to pray specifically and intelligently. I admit that I could be called lazy when I “like” a Facebook posting rather than take the time to actually write a note. But for me, it is a good way to let someone know that I am aware of their situation, and it prompts me to pray for them more consistently.
As I was writing this “Ponder,” my computer alerted me that another update had arrived. It shared encouraging news about the transplant journey. I wonder how long it would have been before I had this information without Facebook.
It kind of surprises me to be advocating Facebook. At one time, I said I would not be involved with it. I am convinced that face-to-face conversation is still the more desirable means of communication. But I am grateful to be living in a world that allows us to be globally connected instantly. Facebook can be a wonderful tool if it is used appropriately.
Pastor Bill Ehmann