Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why I Almost Gave Up On Social Media (And How It Redeemed Itself)

Two months ago I was ready to hand in my facebook membership card.  I was tired of the lewd pictures, the whiny complaining, and the passive aggressive status updates that were becoming more and more common.  Occasionally I would get to see a picture of a friend's cute baby and I couldn't deny that I had reconnected with lost friends from high school and college...but was it worth it?

I started looking through my 874 friends (I'm so popular...) and I realized that I didn't even recognize some of the faces before me - and I got that paranoia feeling...wondering who is watching me (insert JAWS music)...and then I realized that I was actually more prideful than paranoid assuming that friend #572 actually takes the time to peruse my pictures or smile at my latest Selah update or witty comment. 

I was poised to hit delete.

I should just get rid of this, I thought...and then the romantic memories came flooding back.

I reminisced about the early days when I could be sucked in for hours...and I literally mean HOURS!

I was reminded about how handy it can be when I'm waiting at the DMV or on overseas trips.

And so I paused...and decided to simply take a bit of a break...

In fact, I did not take a break from all Social Media - just facebook.  I still tweeted daily and was looking into new avenues for wasting time...

But over the course of my break, 3 things happened that caused me to see that good actually can come from social media like facebook.

1. I Finally Clicked on Some Links 
I actually started clicking on links to blogs and news articles that friends occasionally posted (I have to confess this mainly happened via twitter)...but as I was connected to new voices and new writers in the blog world I found myself encouraged and pleasantly surprised.  I found voices who were actually saying what I've been thinking for so long.  I found courageous women like Rachel Held Evans who although might be controversial at times...is not afraid to stir things up and made me think!

I clicked on other links to find stories about unknown people doing the extraordinary for God...and I took a deep breath as I discovered other women in full-time ministry trying to walk on this tightrope that I feel is a constant battle.  I laughed at twitter feeds from Jon Acuff and in the midst of my crazy days I've been blessed to read moms like me who get moments of genius and whisphered revelations from Him as they scrubbed floors.

To put it simply, I feel like I've started to find a community online that I now tune into (almost daily) to see what everyone is talking about!  I don't comment often enough - I'm still working up my courage, but I can't begin to describe the joy in knowning that there are kindred spirits out there who ask the same silly questions or who face the same struggles.


2.  I Started a Conversation
There was a day during my Sabbatical when I was asking some questions about the way He worked.  If I'm honest, I was trying to figure out a formula to receiving His love to give to a friend...when I heard Him urge me to ask others about their experience in this arena.

So, I simply posted in my status, "Would love your thoughts...how does one receive God's love? We tell people all the time that He loves them, but how can one practically walk out receiving and believing that they are loved?"

I didn't expect much...but 28 comments later... I felt that I understood God's answer to my question - basically that there is no formula because love cannot be contained and it is experienced and received so differfently depending on the recipient.  It was a fun day - constantly seeing new answers - people sharing their stories of how they received His love.  And the conversation continued after that status update.  I received personal messages and some of my "friends" started their own dialogues as their answers resonated with other questions that they were currently trying to wrestle.

It was...purposeful...and for a couple people that day (myself included)...it was spiritual.

3.  My haphazard comment made my husband smile
Back in April, Josh and I attended the Catalyst Conference in Dallas.  A big surprise was that Tony Romo (quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys) showed up to talk about his faith & he threw a couple of signed footballs into the audience that day.  Josh is a HUGE Cowboys fan and I thought he might lose an arm as he dove head first to catch that football.  It didn't happen, but I documented the even on my facebook page.

Well, last night our good friends (who saw my facebook update) presented Josh with an official NFL football signed by #9 Tony Romo.  Josh's face was PRICELESS!  And I thought...I sure am glad I didn't delete my facebook account!





Thank you, Mike & Tomi!  My husband is such an upbeat and life-giving person, but he is rarely given special moments like this - it will be remembered forever.

2 comments:

Jenn Possible said...

As a sometimes extreme extrovert, I adore social media because it makes me feel connected to the world, even when I'm physically alone. But it is a love-hate relationship. And I've come to terms that I have to keep facebook just for the connections with my international friends. And I do find twitter fun, but if it stopped tomorrow, I wouldn't care. (well, except that my relationship with Soleil would be over) BUT...I have declared that the line is drawn and I'm not moving on to the next thing (google+ for example)...cause for goodness sakes...I'm getting too old for such things!
Also- glad you FINALLY discovered Rachel! ha! Who I mostly love and join with her in rants...but sometimes want to rant AT her. :-)

And I don't know what number friend I am...but I do occasionally stalk your pictures...

Killtan Roy said...

thank you for sharing this post I really happy I felt that I understood God's answer to my query - essentially that there is no system because love can not be contained and it's miles experienced and obtained so differently depending at the recipient. It changed into a fun day - constantly seeing new solutions - human beings sharing their stories of the way they obtained His love.


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