after a few years of sitting on the sideline and passively watching the facebook phenomena, i’ve decided to take it more serious.
i’ve watched as people have stalked. i casually read (maybe once every couple of weeks) the brainless stuff that people would post on their walls. i’ve successfully avoided farmville. i’ve gotten tagged a bunch of times, but i’ve never responded.
i’ve never “liked” anything. i’ve come above ground periodically and commented a few times, but then hurried back in my hole. i’ve never given a gift. i’ve never downloaded an app or a game. i’ve posted a few pictures, but the majority that are on my page are ones that others have posted on their sites…and then tagged me.
i’ve always admired the stories of people who finally reached a point that they needed to shut down their facebook account…because they were tired of being controlled by it. that’s definitely not me, but i have realized that it does have a kind of a drug-like lure to it…that people can get addicted to.
in spite of all that, i think i’m going to change my attitude about facebook. at least for a while.
i’ve seen it’s value. i’ve enjoyed the connections…especially the “re”-connections with old friends, old coworkers, old kids from youth groups in the 70’s and 80’s.
i’ve seen community built in the formation of facebook groups. i was totally amazed at how information got out a couple of weeks ago about our big change for full-house sunday at north point. i’ve been pretty surprised at the 100’s of people who have asked me to be a friend. the value of being old, i suppose…
but the deal was sealed tonight. i read a short blog post by a guy named josh griffin, the high school pastor at saddleback church in southern california…the biggest of the big dog churches. here’s what he wrote about facebook:
Facebook is where students are literally living these days – and it is quickly becoming the legitimate official site for many youth ministries at the same time. Blogs, church websites, messaging services…all are methodically being abandoned in favor of event pages and profiles on Facebook.
The trend goes way beyond Farmville and friend requests – a member of our team was recently christened the “Minister of Facebook” by our students because they are legitimately loved, cared for and counseled online. Youth ministry often leads the way for churches to adopt new technologies and I would expect it to be no exception here.
i think he may be right. in fact, i’m pretty much banking on it.
i’m going to keep blogging. i like what it does for me. i like the way i am able to connect with people through it. i like the discipline of writing. i think it has made me a better preacher.
but i’m going to give facebook a better chance. i’m going to see if i can use it more effectively. i’m excited to see if north point can take advantage of facebook in more creative ways. i think we are barely skimming the surface of the benefits.
so here’s what i’m going to do to start the ball rolling. i’m going to start friending people every now and then. in all my years of facebooking, i’ve never asked someone to be my friend. i’ve only sat back and responded to friend requests. i’m not exactly sure why i developed that attitude, but i just know i’ve adopted it.
but i’m stepping out. i’m going to start initiating. if you think there are people i would like to be friends with, send me your suggestions.
i wonder if john piper would be my friend?