Welcome to LOTS OF LITTLES ... a little blog about this and that.

Monday, October 18, 2010

a little facebook

I wrote this a couple of months ago ... and was kind of reluctant to publish it ... but I've decided to go ahead and post it. So ... here goes ...

In real life, we are busy people. Busy, busy people! Twice recently, I've heard that we can know ~ on a surface level ~ maybe seventy to hundred people. But we will not really be close to all of those people. It's not even possible. We are busy people with limited time and we are finite. We can only be really close with ... and really know ... a handful of people. Like a lego, which only has so many places to connect other bricks onto it, we can only have so many connections before we are basically filled up ... time-wise ... emotion-wise ... even memory-wise. How many people are we really even able to remember what all is going on in their lives??? {Thanks to my pastor for the lego illustration.}

Facebook, however, is not real life. It's not an intimate gathering of just your closest and dearest friends. Facebook is more like a collage or a web of the people you know ... or people you knew and are knowing again ... and the word "friend" is used loosely. Facebook is constantly seeking to help you find the people you know. Facebook is more of a casual connectedness ... and I don't think there is a limit on the number of friends one can acquire. The thing is ... when you ask someone to be your friend or vice-versa ... there is virtually no level of commitment required ... no "skin off your back". You don't even need to carve out time to get together for coffee!

Although facebook does not always reflect "real life" ... real feelings are at stake. I hesitate to admit this ... but I have been no-friended and un-friended by a couple of women at my church. It is particularly baffling because nothing, as far as I know, ever happened. No incident. No confrontation. No anything. Someone just doesn't prefer me, I guess. And that's okay ... but mostly it is rather shocking that they are brazen enough to do this. I hopefully have forgiven these people ... {and I really try hard to say hi and smile when I see them ... it isn't always easy though} ... but it has led me to do a lot of pondering about why some women act the way that they do.

If someone from church that I don't know very well or isn't my favorite person requests that I be their friend on facebook ... I click CONFIRM. One lady from my church friended me and I had never even met her! I only recognized her name ... but of course I confirmed her offer of friendship. Why???

Here are just a couple of reasons ...

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another ...

Romans 12:18
So far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.

To reject this lady's friend request, in my opinion, would have been unkind. If I clicked the IGNORE button would that be encouraging ... building up ... and doing my best to live in peace??? Of course NOT. Moreover, does it really seem like a good or wise idea to no-friend or un-friend a fellow believer ... someone you go to church with??? In the words of my husband, no-friending or un-friending is a "major dis". Furthermore, it just seems odd to me that the un-friender or no-friender would actually be worshiping the very same God, in the very same room ... with the REMOVED or IGNORED friend. Odd ... yep ... odd.

Just imagine that you REMOVED or IGNORED someone on Facebook and then, some Sunday, you are in line in the ladies' room. You, obviously, don't know who is using the restrooms until the door opens and the restroom user appears. So then ... the door opens ... and guess who it is??? Voila! It's ... the woman you un-friended or no-friended!!! What then??? Do you dig in your purse and look busy ... attempt to start up a quick conversation with the gal waiting behind you {hopefully there is a gal behind you} ... or will you smile and try to pretend that everything is cool???

On the flip side, if you are like me, and you find yourself getting "dissed" ... what shall we do??? I don't know for sure. Turn the other cheek??? Perhaps. When our pastor visited a few months back, I briefly mentioned this and he advised me to question the other person(s) about it. Maybe I should ... I don't know. Maybe I'll just blog about it ;)

So ... the question is ... where is the UNITY??? Fellow believers cannot even be facebook friends??? Isn't that nuts??? We will, of course, not experience complete unity until we reach heaven ... but in the meantime, in the true Church, it seems there will only be pockets of unity, small glimpses of unity ... perhaps because the church is so fragmented, divided, worldly ... so focused on the minutia.

Our pastor had given a sermon on unity back in May, shortly before our "pastor visit". During the visit, I commented that there is almost no hope for unity because of garbage like this {the facebook stuff, catty women who behave like junior highers, gossip} ... and also because we are lacking any major persecution. We are so selfish, so indulged, so distracted, so entertained, so wealthy, so sufficient, so everything ... that we don't really need anyone else for our survival.

Thoughts anyone???


Bren said...

My first thought and what I did was check facebook to see if we were friends. I do housecleaning and delete youth that have been out of youth for awhile as that is why some are my 'friends' and those I will truly never talk to again in real life I unfriend.
My second thought was you are speaking truth, but like me, have no solutions on how to bring about unity. The 'girl' stuff is there and I can not control others and how they feel or perceive things, the men have their own club I have noticed, but how am I supposed to bring unity when most the time my big mouth (mine not yours) brings division. So what now? We need to be truthful, love like Christ and yet promote a oneness even in the virtual world. A lot to think about, need another cup of coffee. :)

Nikki said...

Nuts, I say...Nuts!!!

gianna said...

Preach it, sister!
I don't think I've unfriended you. And if I have, it was totally incidental--and by that I mean by accident!

I am trying to acquire as many friends as I can so that I can take over the world! BBBAAAAWWWWAAAHHHHHHAAAAA

Okay, that was just dumb!
Anyway, can I just say that the same week our pastor used the lego illustration, a friend's pastor at her free church used the same lego illustration! It's either crazy weird or they met and talked about the same thing for a while that week.

Just weird!

By the way, you are totally right about Facebook being about casual, undeep relationships but it affects real people!

Dana said...

Thanks, sisters :) You all made me smile :)

Bren, your first sentence made me laugh ... and I like how you said "we need to promote oneness even in the virtual world". I might borrow that quote for my subtitle ...

Dana said...

P.S. The men have their own club?????

MUM said...

Also, very good thinking and very well written post!!!!

Anonymous said...

I totally understand what you are talking about. I have occasionally hesitated to friend request people from church because I'm afraid I don't know them well enough yet. I've often wondered how I'd respond if I friend requested them and then they chose to ignore my request. Luckily I haven't had anyone un-friend me or ignore me. I just have a few people who I chose to friend request and my friend request has been pending for quite a while. I'm hoping they just don't frequent FB because if they are intentionally not responding that feels awful, too. When I see these people at church it feels a little awkward on my end. I'm never really sure if I should ask about it or not. So far I haven't had the courage to say anything. FB is wonderful in so many ways, but it has its limitations, too.

Suzanne said...

Good thoughts everybody. The thing I'm wondering if how I know I've been defriended! I've been too distracted to notice but I'm sure it's happened to me too. Does facebook send you a notice...like a big gong or something? Remember "The Gong Show?" Makes me laugh. Ya gotta laugh sometimes. Good post though.

Dana said...

Hahaha. Yeah ... I'm really not hung up on it. I almost didn't bother to post this since I wrote it so long ago ... and I'm kind-of weary of facebook in general anyway.