Keep Your Face in the Book

September 17, 2012

Sometimes, I tell my children stories about living in the days before technology. 

I tell them about when we were kids and we actually played outside until the street lights came on. 

We rode bikes until we could drive. 

We used things we found in nature to make toys to play with, and stages to perform on, and houses to play in. We used our imaginations a lot!

I didn’t have a television in my bedroom until long after I was married.

I remember when phones were attached to the wall, and having one in your bedroom was a big deal! How many of you figured out how to eaves drop on your sister’s conversations without her knowing it? Mute button, BaBy! Oh, yeah. 

And do you remember leaving the house with NO PHONE? I’ll never know how my mother didn’t drive herself crazy not being able to get in touch with us at all times, especially when we were driving.

How many of you remember not knowing what a car seat was until you had children of your own?

And what about this…
I loved playing Asteroids.

Oh, yes. The Good Ole Days.

Things are so very different these days.

It’s not all bad, but it’s not all good either.

Take Facebook, for example. How many of us are addicted to it? I will be the first one to admit that I can justify why I can’t (or won’t) get off Facebook for an extended amount of time. 

Some of the reasons I list are valid. Facebook can be, and often is, used for good and not for evil. It can be used to reach people that we normally wouldn’t with the Love of God. I’ve actually had people tell me that they’ve un-friended me on Facebook because of my “God stuff”. Can anyone say conviction? I would normally take un-friending very personally, but, I know that it just means that I am being effective. (I also have countless others thank me for my “God stuff”.)

Facebook keeps us connected with friends and family members that we would normally be out of touch with because of distance and busy lives. I really enjoy scrolling through my news feed each day and being able to see all the wonderful things going on in people’s lives that I care about that I would not otherwise know about. It’s an easy way to reach several people at once when we want to deliver news, brag on our children, announce a party or event, or voice a prayer need or praise report.

Facebook is used to network. Many of you have liked Joli or Crossroads Church or a news station, etc on Facebook and you will get their latest updates right on your news feed to keep you up to date with anything important that may be happening. (If you haven’t, now would be a good time to do that.) Several of you have arrived on this blog and countless others via Facebook.

But, I have seen the ugly side of Facebook, too. 

We must be careful who our Facebook friends are . Are you guilty of accepting every single friend request you get? Remember that these people will see everything you post. Photos of your precious, beautiful children. Vacation pictures. Status updates. Check-ins at the last place you ate, or shopped, or visited. How many times do you announce that your home is unattended because your family is going to be out of town, or here or there? Make sure the people who are viewing your posts are trustworthy. Just as we get security systems for our homes, we need to use the security settings on Facebook to keep our lives private from everyone but our friends. You can even hide your posts from selected people on your friends list.

What about the people who fill your news feed with pessimism and vulgarity? Then there are those people (usually children, or those behaving like children) who use Facebook to hurt others through humiliation or jealousy? Sometimes, people just simply share entirely too much of their own lives. (Don’t be that person.) There comes a time when we need to learn to either hide posts from certain people or un-friend them. Guard your hearts! (Proverbs 4:23-26)

How many of you have seen children who are not 13 years old LIE about their age in order to have a Facebook account? Don’t get me started about how we teach our children that it’s okay to lie in order to get what we want. Rules are rules for a reason people! We don’t need to always know the whys of everything, but sometimes we just have to trust authority. Hello! Which leads me to my next observation.

Do you have children who are old enough and do have a Facebook account? Do you have their password? Do you monitor their news feed and friends list? What’s that? You don’t want them to think you don’t trust them? All I have to say about that is, “You cannot un-ring a bell.” If you work at it hard enough, I promise you that you can have a relationship with your child(ren) that will allow for parental involvement and supervision without your child feeling like (s)he is not trusted. 

We are raising our kids in a very different time than when we grew up. Our parents can say the same thing. And I can only imagine how things will be different when our children have children of their own. But, we just have to make sure that we not get lazy with technology. We cannot be guilty of using the endless resources, literally at our fingertips, as a substitute for what is really important. 

We must be careful not forget that Facebook is okay, as long as we keep our
 Face in the Book more.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fit’s the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32

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