Ah, Facebook. It’s pretty much changed things hasn’t it? There are some great things about it. For example, how else would I have ever gotten in contact again with friends from elementary school? You can get coupons from companies through their Facebook pages, find out about events, and remember people’s birthdays.
Some of the negatives, in my opinion, involve a sort of pseudo-connectivity with others, less privacy, and the boldness of others who with their fingers pounding their keyboards or tapping their touch screens can say things they would never think of saying in person – or maybe not even through a text message.
You can ignore someone. You can unfriend someone. You can jealously watch another’s life unfold. You can express anger and frustration–all of this through a website that has become incredibly popular and consuming.
I remember when Facebook came out. I had finally gotten on Myspace, and I couldn’t imagine why we needed another social networking website. I held out for a while, but eventually I too joined Facebook and deserted Myspace like many others. Then there came Twitter, Pinterest…
I haven’t decided yet if Facebook has been good for relationships in general. It’s hard to really understand well what is written on a screen sometimes. They don’t even give us italics. That would be really helpful.
So I have a challenge. When posting something on Facebook (or any other social website) ask yourself this:
Is it true? Is it beneficial? Is it necessary?
The it is of course what you are planning at that moment to share. If it isn’t true, then why type it? If it isn’t beneficial, then why put it out there? If it isn’t necessary, then why?
This is really a helpful little triplet in any setting, but when written words can significantly damage another person – whether it is a misunderstanding or not – it is truly imperative that we weigh the things we want to say on the scale of reasonableness.
“Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand.” (Philippians 4:5 ESV)
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV)
“But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called, “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Hebrews 3:13 NASB)
Facebook can be a great place to encourage others, speak truth, and be a light to another. This doesn’t mean there will never be disagreements or debates. Those are actually not bad (although some think so).
So chat it up, “like” posts, be encouraging, debate, and do so in love. Let’s think of others and honor them above ourselves even when we are speaking to them from behind a keyboard.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10 NIV)