Let me be very clear that I for one am thankful for the re-connections that Facebook and Twitter have provided.
I was able to find high school friends that I have lost contact with, previous coworkers I adored, past church connections and find family members that I did not even know.
One of my best friends in the whole wide world, is 1445 miles away from me and we often rely on Facebook and modern-day technology to keep up with one another. We are so thankful that gone are the days of snail mail, where we waited weeks in between letters for over ten years.
I do not read just her updates on social media though. I stop in and say hi, we talk, chat and send encouraging notes. Even though these connections are nice, I absolutely look forward to the day I will get to hold that girl in my arms for a good old-fashioned bear hug again! There is nothing like real connection with your friends. But for now I rely on Facebook and I am thankful that it is here.
I do however, have one very large complaint about Social Media. I often find that when I post my updates, some of my good friends have felt, knowing how I am doing is good enough. Since starting these profiles and putting up my updates, the texts have slowed down and the opportunities to get together with certain friends, rarely come. From some friends that I was once close to, I have even been told, ‘well, I see how you are doing on Facebook.”
I find that over sharing has left some of those close friends, contacting me less than the days when my updates were not at the finger tips.
I don’t mind in this season, having the quiet, being the hermit that I am. But I am left thinking on the idea though, that I have to make an effort to reach out to others that may not be as blessed in the quiet as I am. If I noticed a difference, surely others have.
There are people I know, that having their few friends drop off , can leave them extremely desperate for relationship.
Even though I am a share a lot personality, that is just me, the little bit that others share may be ALL that they share. I have to be aware that even if I see how someone is doing, they may like a note or a personal stop in and say hi, or drop an encouragement. Just because I know how someone is, doesn’t mean I am off the hook to be a friend. Some people need more of a connect than a status update. Some people need a real hug, or an actual invite from a friend for coffee. In my day-to-day life, it is hard for me to reach out like that, but I must make more of an effort.
I have become more aware that Facebook can be harmful because friends have brought their hurts to me in love.
I have hurt some feelings without meaning to, or offended on Facebook by comments that have been misunderstood or judged quickly. I have been on the receiving end of harsh feelings because I have gotten together with someone who another does not like, or because my status has been misunderstood. I find that there can be a lot of drama in life anyway, if we allow it, Facebook can be a wildfire of opportunity spreading it out of control. I am thankful for solid truthful friends that we can share feelings and truths in love and not walk away damaged but strengthened.
There is a reason we are called to not be easily offended. You can not walk in joy if you are walking around offended all the time. There is a reason we are called to be a friend, we have hearts to minister to.
I think Facebook can be a great tool to connect. But I think we need to not set our heart on it. Invest in relationships outside of the social networks. I like to put up quips to journal or pictures of fun things we have done, for fun. I also love when things get gray around here to check in with a friend and see their little ones smiling faces or share a funny. I look at the stories of my friends and feel connected when life gets busy and my house is loud. I am aware that they do not always have the time to call and tell me how that appointment went but on a social network they can let many know all at once. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff and there are too many friends to find.
There is a reason that Jesus had close confidants and walked with his disciples. It is important to walk side by side with others. I often forget to make that effort in the flesh, one on one, today I remind myself.
Challenge this day my friend: Evaluate if you have truly connected with someone lately. Has there been a moment someone has been on your heart and knowing how they are doing has been good enough for you? Take that extra step and be a blessing! If someone is on your heart, there is a reason and you have work to do, it is not a call to just see how they are doing on their status update 🙂
Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.