Sometimes Facebook is too much. I probably speak for most Facebook users when I say “I love it!” …and also “I hate it!”
I love it, of course, because I’ve connected with friends across the country (from my childhood especially: LeeAnn and Marta!) that I relish being in contact with and may not have found them otherwise. I’ve even made some amazing business connections, rare, but it’s happened. I’m grateful for that good stuff. I’m grateful for the memes that crack me up. I’m grateful for the pics of my friends’ kids (although there’s that whole “why are you posting pics of your kid to the internet??” debate. Which brings me to…)
I “hate” it because of the endless debates, the conspiracy theories and the just plain bad news. I despise the premise on which Facebook was started: comparing women to each other …and to farm animals and comparing sexual conquests. *Neat* she says with an eye roll (I feel like a hypocrite every time I enjoy something on Facebook; there’s this nagging voice reminding me of how this all got started. And yes, I know there are other platforms. But my friends aren’t on them!). I don’t like that Facebook has taken the “free market” aspect of my fan pages and made them commercial. I could go on complaining about Facebook, but we all know the downsides. Instead, here’s what I’m learning.
I just took a four-day break from Facebook. Whenever a friend (I mean, you know, in *real person*) said, “Did you see…?” My answer was no. And I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. But because of my life’s work (and who I am in general), I can’t just disconnect totally (but it’s nice to know I can take breaks).
So here’s what helped me think through this today. “…thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:1, 2)
The word that stood out most was “when.” My effort should not be to avoid untoward circumstances (Jesus said “resist not evil,” after all), but to not be alarmed when those circumstances are dropped right in my path. I thought, no matter what the world presents me, Love is with me, I am Love’s and loved. 100% of the time when I’m leaning on that Love, I love. My Facebook experience has got to be about me loving. So instead of signing in and hoping for the best (or rather, hoping to avoid the worst), I can know that even when I “pass through the waters,” deep issues that demand attention; or through “rivers”–currents of thought that have the potential to overflow me and drag me under and sweep me away; or even those threads, comments, or posts that would incense me for their lack of decency, basic humanity or empathy; even in the midst of any of those circumstances, I am Love’s. And trusting in that, I see that everyone is Love’s and loved. Facebook (and the whole internet) becomes an interaction with the world for the purpose of discovering what is needed and then giving it, not jumping on the “get wagon” that is veering into a deep ditch. Facebook (and all social media) is one more opportunity to love my neighbor–anyone in my neighborhood of thought. I’ve learned that “to love” means to identify an object with their source and it is the fulfilling of the universal law of unconditional good and progress. I am rich in opportunities to love and Facebook has made me a gazillionaire!