Saturday, August 23, 2014

Good Bye Face Book

This blog post is not intended to guilt people into closing their face book accounts.  What this post is about is my own exodus from a fictitious world where "friendship" is something that is cultivated with glib quotes, touched up photos, and "likes" given to affirm a very needy culture.  At this point I feel I must again point out that this post is not intended to insight feelings of indignation or guilt.  So if you're feeling offended, take a step back and draw in a deep breath, and allow yourself to comprehend that this is not about you.  This is my assessment of Face Book;

Several years ago a friend of mine told me about the world of Face Book and the wonders of being able to be "connected" with friends and family.  Having family and friends spread out across the USA, the possibilities for staying connected seemed hopeful.  But little did I know, the world of Face Book was more than it cracked up to be.  

My first Face Book account was a personal account with my name and the place where I lived fully visible for the purpose of letting everyone know that I was, indeed, the Amy that belonged to my family and friends.  But very quickly people I didn't know were asking to be connected (aka "friends").  

The number of "friends" I had kept climbing.  Some may be flattered or receive affirmation by having so many "friends" and take it as a show of other's actual interest.  But not me.  You see, with the befriending of people who didn't really know me, and also some whom I thought did know me, the ugly side of Face Book began to peek it's head.  Face Book became less about actually building up my relationships with family and friends and more about the constant challenge of wading through the shallowest of thoughts and reveries of people I didn't even know.  It seemed the world was hungry and thirsty for drama and that meaningful interaction or encouragement was very rare. 

Through the years there have been several bible verses that have really stuck with me.  One passage in particular has been 1 Thessalonians 4:11;

"But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more (in love), and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you."

My family and I live on a small farm three and a half miles from the nearest town.  It has been a very good place to "make it our ambition to lead a quiet life, work with our hands and mind our own business".  And we have been very happy in our small little paradise.  We intentionally haven't spent much time "in town" for the simple reason that "minding our own business" has taken a priority over the limited benefits of the activities taking place there.  

Now, before you jump to a wrong conclusion, I want you to know that our children have been privileged to be a part of church activities, the local homeschool group, act in plays, participate in music festivals and competitions and travel and sing throughout our many years of camp and music ministries.  I bring this up simply for the fact that I know (from experience) that there are some who haven't yet learned to "mind their own business", who would weigh in with their condemnation, casting aspersions about our family for hiding away on our farm and not "socializing" our children.  For those who are being so tempted right now, just stop.  Look up Matthew 7:12 and do likewise. 

Back to my assessment; 

When I opened myself up to the world of Face Book I never realized my quiet life would be threatened.  But soon I realized that the purpose of Face Book is to get millions and millions of people to make it their ambition to mind other people's business while making their own business fodder for gossip.  

After a time of wading the waters of shallow thought with the masses, I thought that it might be good to begin sharing my thoughts on scripture passages from which I was learning, in hopes of sharing a status of more significance than the norm.  At first it seemed that people really responded well.  And many encouraged me to keep writing, telling me that my posts encouraged them throughout the day.  But after a short time of that, I began getting messages from others accusing me of "posting at" them.  

It was a strange and interesting social experience.  With one single post I could get several messages from various people accusing me of directing my thoughts and words "at" them.  Of course they were wrong.  But telling them this was futile, because people are more narcissistic than they realize and these people were convinced that my words and God's word, about which I was writing, were in fact solely directed at them personally.  No amount of reasoning seemed to alleviate the mounting animosity some people were having in response to my personal reflections on the scriptures I was reading. 

I thought to my self, "Enough of this nonsense".  I opened up a public page which didn't have the same capability of interacting personally with those who own private pages, and I began using it instead of my own private page.  I thought I had found the answer to the problem.  After all, if I couldn't see other's posts, those who made them couldn't accuse me of putting up my posts in response to the content they shared.  And since I make it a point to stay disconnected from the local town gossip and drama by keeping to myself on my quiet little farm, I thought for sure I would be able to share my thoughts with the face book world in peace.  It had great potential to be a good ministry.  I used my public page like a Pinterest board, pinning my thoughts and devotionals to it, simply out of love for the truth and an earnest desire to share with others in the quest for understanding scripture.  Nothing I posted had anything to do with the local town gossip or what ever the current drama happened to be.  I was out of the gossip loop because I like it that way.  I thought had found a way to live my quiet life, work with my hands and mind my own business while still being able to be a light of truth in the dark world of Face Book.  

However, that notion was short lived.  I found that rather than viewing my public page as a pin board for the things that had captured my own attention and interest (such as one would view a Pinterest wall), those who were hell bent upon villain-izing me remained quick to surmise a connection between my words and what ever drama was taking place in their own little circles.  And here's the amazing part; it wasn't the stereo typical "non-christians" who were raising this ruckus, as one would assume.  Rather, many who claim to be  "christians" were the ones dissected my words with a vengeance.  

I know I've written about this before, but I want to put this out there again.

Matthew 7:6 says,
"Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces."

For most of my life, when I read that verse, my mind would focus upon the "trampling" part.  That didn't seem so bad, I guess, because I don't really feel a need for other's approval.  But other people's Face Book behavior really made me realize the significance of the last part of that verse;

" and they will turn and tear you to pieces."

Yes, you are reading that correctly.  And what I can tell you from personal experience is that this is true.  After these naysayers were done trampling my words, they did indeed turn and try to shred my character, maligning me with false testimony and misrepresentations of who I am and what I think, that were based solely upon their speculations and their gossip. I guess they must have glossed over the ninth commandment.  

Reaching out to the Face Book community has opened my eyes to the nature of man in a way that I never was able to see previously.  What I realized is that people will naturally gravitate to the broad path, even when bearing the name of Christ.  And when bolstered by anonymity or secrecy, they will snoop, accuse, become indignant and act like little yipping dogs that relentlessly nip at the heels of who ever they get in their sights.  

I can honestly say that I've endeavored to be a godly person both on line and off.  I've diligently shared the truth of God's words with love and prayer in hopes of being an encouragement to those who use Face Book as a social forum.  But I have grown weary of the social norms of Face Book that make such wicked and divisive behavior acceptable.  For this reason, I've shut down my public Face Book page.  

I still want to write and share about what I'm learning, but in disconnecting from the venue of Face Book, I hope to distance myself even further from those who are incapable of reading my words without surmising insult or personal accusation.  Such contentious behavior has never been attractive to me, but I've put up with it for far to long, hoping the entire time that people would eventually see my heart and God's a little clearer through the devotionals I put up.  

God's word says;

Proverbs 18:24
"A man of too many friends comes to ruin..."

While pushing the need for many "friends", Face Book applauds the narcissism of our society and feeds into the folly of shallow thought and revery.  It's inferior substitution for actual relationships lends itself to the disillusionment and discouragement of many, while at the same time giving frequent opportunity for causing division and disunity.  While some may be able to glean from the use of it, I don't believe I've met one person who has been able do so without encountering divisive drama in their own lives or the lives of their "friends" at some time because of their involvement with Face Book.  After trying many ways and making many attempts to avoid the pettiness of others to no avail, I have personally chosen to withdraw from Face Book all together, and invest my time and attention elsewhere.   And God has blessed me with much peace because of it.

Many of you have given me the privilege of encouraging you and joining with you in prayer over various situations.  I am so thankful for that part of my Face Book ministry.    I am still willing and able to pray and answer questions if anyone has a need.  You can reach me at or  I am still interested in hearing from those of you who have a prayer request or a need for someone to listen or encourage.  May God bless you.


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