Surprised by my first year on Facebook

A year ago today, I joined Facebook!

When I came to the United States in 2001 there was no Gmail or any kind of permanent email or social network. So much easier to lose contact with people God had used to bless me on the journey.

From letters to email to a social network, joining Facebook - for me - was about maintaining contact!

From letters to email to a social network, joining Facebook – for me – was about maintaining contact!

I held out for a long time. I’d heard it all: they don’t respect your privacy, you’ll get your feelings hurt, you’ll get mad at people who post stupid things, it’s addictive, etc etc

That last one was most compelling for me.

But then I increasingly became convinced that Facebook was an important way to love people better. If I’m going to pray for friends or family and they post on Facebook, I need to be on too. Whether it’s the joys – or, especially, sadnesses – of life, I need to be present to love people. And I’ve definitely seen that, opportunities abound to pray for brothers and sisters near and far.

What’s surprised me most is the way Facebook has enabled me to reconnect with people who loved me well. People God used to shape me, from mentors to old school friends, youth group leaders to extended family, Facebook has helped me give thanks for how God blesses us through so many along the way.

My formative years were spent in a country 10,000 miles from where I spent the last 14 years. And today, as I write this post, I live 2,000 miles from Washington and 8,500 miles from Sydney. Facebook helps to bridge that gap.

Facebook helped me reconnect across the globe as I lived 10,000 miles from where I grew up.

Facebook helped me reconnect across the globe as I lived 10,000 miles from where I grew up.

I understand the criticism. But one year in, I am loving the way in which the Lord is using Facebook to help me once again hold old friends in my heart (Philippians 1) and give thanks for leaders that spoke the word of truth to me (Hebrews 13).

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