In any event.....blogging fulfills the goal of a family journal, Facebook fritters my time and keeps me focused on those "away - outside of my current life." I'm not phrasing this well.....as I work to live life more in the present....I've been evaluating both Facebook and Choosing Joy to see how they interact with that goal as well as other family goals. I CAN keep in contact with large numbers of friends via Facebook....I CAN spend hours a day interacting with women on Facebook and it's "ministry" and "friendship" and "social networking" and it's good...but I'm not sure it's the best. It certainly takes time from living PRESENT with my family and the women God has brought to my life in this season...though many local relationships would not have developed without the impetus of Facebook. Ah - it hurts my brain to try to think deep thoughts. ::snort::
I keep wondering if Facebook is the way I want to interact with friends. Days of long, newsy, personal intimate emails from friends around the world have been replaced with a barrage of info - now I know what they eat, what they watch, what they saw, what the weather is like...but I miss knowing what they THINK about all those things, what they FEEL about all those things, what Father God is teaching them through these events....I am not sure Facebook has been a good exchange for private, personal, intimate, one-to-one or one-to-four communication.
I realize 98% of the world has chosen to live their lives on Facebook. I can't expect friends to remember to send me a personal email about their impending move, their beautiful spring day, their new pregnancy. They've posted on Facebook and 893 know in the same amount of time it would take to privately email the one. I get that. I live with the same time constraints. Therefore, I suspect I will stay on Facebook...but I'm not assuming it's a great way to interact with friends. I actually am starting to resent that if I don't have an hour (or more) to cruise friends' status updates I simply won't know the important things going on. I don't have an hour or two a day....it feels, dare I say it, manipulative.
Maybe it doesn't really matter how I long to relate to friends - because most will relate via FB and not intimately any longer.
I KNOW Facebook is an awesome advertising and networking tool for ministries. I've seen that. I administer 3 ministry pages. I'm sold. I KNOW Facebook is a great way to generate prayer support and get info out in a time of crisis. I'm not saying "I must abstain from Facebook forever," I'm simply evaluating if this is the way I want to interact personally with friends...or with strangers who friend me. ::grin::
Facebook has brought a touch of irritation to my life. I DO have a wacky sense of humor, I AM an individual...I assume you read my Facebook because you are a friend, you know me, you love me....but it would appear some feel the need to adjust my questionable outlook on life...like a funny photo of the results of swallowing gum or a book link from a theological background different than yours. I don't like being responsible for everything at a site I share.....and I feel duped when I find I share something that contains offensive info further on....though I do wonder who has the time to read all the sites of all the links shared on Facebook. I don't mind a friend correcting me...but on Facebook it doesn't feel like mentoring....it feels like I need to be very guarded and superficial. (Not traits at which I excel - but ones which I've learned over 25 years of ministry).
I've been living with new boundaries for a few weeks on Facebook. I've chosen to open a blog post every a.m. and jot "FB status updates" in the post. I post it in the evening to Facebook. This gives me time to remove those things which an extrovert may say and wish she'd not said by evening. ::snort:: It also captures those snippets for Choosing Joy - which we print. I don't get as much feedback from others this way on Facebook. I've adjusted to that. This insures Facebook is not frittering away my Internet minutes leading to whole days not captured on Choosing Joy. I'm now considering not even posting personal things on Facebook - just passing on others' updates, links, photos and reading friends updates. ::gasp::
I considered not many were reading the blog and so began to check stats to verify this. I contemplate making the blog private...so I can still keep it up, still save our adventures...and as I said, I assumed no one reads the blog anyway. Now I find Choosing Joy gets 300 - 500 hits a day. So I ask WHY? I'm not fancy. I haven't had time to share "deep thoughts from a shallow Christian". You've not found lots of lists to help you with this or that, fun links etc here in the past months. Why do you come here? Would you miss Choosing Joy if it went private? Who are you? Are you family, friends we've known here or there, Internet friends?????? Am I wrong....is Facebook more intimate than Choosing Joy? Is it really creepier to have so many reading my "intimate, family blog" without every saying "Boo - this is who I am and I agree with you. Your thoughts resonate with me. May I suggest another perspective for you to pray over?" Is Internet just creepy? Should extroverts stay far away?
Things I've been evaluating. I'd love your thoughts. My conclusions:
- Choosing Joy is a priceless family journal and I will continue - either public or private.
- It meets a family goal to keep Choosing Joy current.
- Facebook APPEARS to meet my extroverted need for connection - but I'm not 100% sold I have this much need for connection.
- Facebook has taken time which used to be used maintaining deeper friendships with a few.
- I'm not sure why people say, "Facebook is more intimate than blogging"....I must be doing Facebook wrong. What I see is what I post on Facebook "seems" to be seen by more - but maybe it's seen by as many on the blog and they just don't comment as easily as folks on Facebook?
- Finding solitude in our age of technology will take some deliberate measures...even extroverts need solitude...it's a God thing.
- If you have a blog - is it public or by invitation only?
- If you abstain from Facebook I'd love to know how you maintain that "daily connection" with your friends? Do they remember to let you know what's going on?
- What am I missing?
Living all of life before the face of God...