Thursday, January 13, 2011

Deleting facebook?

I try not to read too many blogs because doing so inevitably takes too much time. I know, earth-shattering wisdom there. But of the 5-6 I follow, one of those which I've most benefited from is that of that of Jonathon Dodson, an Acts 29 church planting pastor in Austin, TX. 

After viewing the movie the Social Network (aka "the facebook movie), he deleted his whole facebook account. He explains why in his post here, but here's one of his more compelling reasons.

#4 Reason I Quit FB
I want to deepen in real friendship and community not chase dopamine bursts of false significance. After seeing The Social Network, I wrote a post about the The Social Network & the Decline of Friendship. In it confessed my tendency towards preferring the convenience of friends we can turn off over the inconvenience of friends we can’t. We prefer the dopamine rush of a virtual friend’s text, tweet, or FB message over the sacrifice and love of investing in a real friend’s joys, hardships, and concerns.

In summary, this is probably a decision that is part of new line of decision-making that will spill over into next year, a slow year. A year (and hopefully many years) of rich community, significant friendships, relished family life, deep thinking and devotion, and a more rewarding life all the way round.

I completely respect Dodson's decision to erase facebook (although it should be noted he still is on Twitter!). This last post is quite challenging, because facebook activity can replace personal, actual, "face" time walking alongside broken people.
But what I most respect about his decision is that he makes it very clear in his post that this is WHY HE DID IT, not WHY YOU MUST DO IT. That's called personal conviction. Because the scriptures are quiet on whether or not you should have a facebook account, we have great freedom in this area to be led by the Spirit.   

Facebook to me is neutral. Like alcohol, and like the internet in general, it can be used for good or evil. For me it is an extremely helpful tool to keep in touch with friends, family, and church family.

Nevertheless, we always need to apply the principles of scripture to facebook activity in the same way we apply scriptural principles to all of life. I'll give some reasons why I think it can be good to have a facebook, and some principles that I think should guide facebook activity. But this post is long enough as it is...

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