Facebooking My Life Away 2
Only the lonely – part 1 here – the sad thing about all of this techno stuff is that it isn’t just our youth.
This trend toward use of our social media to create personas for us isn’t limited to youth. Peggy Orenstein had a piece published in the New York Times, entitled, “I Tweet Therefore I Am.” She draws the conclusion, Twitter, for her, blurs the lines “not only between public and private, but also between the authentic and contrived self. If all the world was once a stage, it has now become a reality TV show: we mere players are not just aware of the camera; we mug for it.”
Jesus tells a very different story, Acts 2:42, they committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers (from The Message). Today these aims must appear insane. Friends used to require a level of intentionality and love. Friends are people who know our beings as well as what we are doing. Jesus tells us that the 12 are no longer servants, that is solely His students, but they are friends of Jesus (John15:13). The breaking of bread should not be an event limited to a few occasions each year, but should be a frequent step, one part of forming a shared life together.
For many Christians, our very best friends are our spouses, yet if we do not learn to be friends prior to marriage, and we buy into the allure of Facebook and Twitter (which are really just tools reflecting our desires and the incessant drive for what Os Guinness spoke about above) and are shaped, conformed and held captive by this ability to contrive who we are, we will never see any differences between say the rates of divorce between the evangelical world and the world at large or evangelicals will continue in their inability to do much to influence culture and the government, let alone our neighborhoods, and ultimately, we will lose our sense of saltiness – Luke 14:34, “But if the salt goes flat, it’s useless, good for nothing.” (The Message)
In talking to a dear sweet young lady that I love, I once asked her what does she think about Dads loving their daughters, and she told me well you have to and as long as I’m good to you, you will keep loving me. That was hard, because she never really had a dad. I let her know, Dads will keep loving their daughters, and sons, regardless of the storms that pass through and scatter at times. The hard part is that I can’t push that through a Facebook world.
The loss of friendship as a way of life, particularly for believers, represents another example of the in-breaking of the culture into church and faith. If we allow ourselves to be shaped by, and actively engage in the creation of fictional personas, through social media, we submit to the ebb and flow of the greater social contract that governs us – a social contract that is increasingly fractionalized, increasingly chaotic, and increasingly individualistic if not narcissistic. We see all of this as a great freedom, but are we not ignoring or worse failing to realize the chains we are creating for ourselves.
What do you think?
Be blessed and be a blessing.