Thursday, August 19, 2010

Why I Have a Facebook Account

People have very strong ideas and opinions about the social networking site Facebook. I opened an account a few years ago because my daughter in law invited me to see some pictures of our grandkids that she had posted on her profile page. That was the only reason I was remotely interested. I hadn't even heard of it until then.

In our own church, people are either really against Facebook, or like to use it as a tool to communicate. I personally like it for the latter reason. I do not post updates every 15 minutes on my status, like "just had a tuna sandwich for lunch," and try to refrain from complaints like "my kids are driving me crazy today." Some people air their dirty laundry on facebook, or give way too much private information--divulging emotions and things they might regret later.

I try to use the status updates sparingly, or to only use it when I think something may be of interest or an encouragement to my "friends" on facebook. In reality, most of them are not my dearest and truest friends, but aquaintances from the past. I also use it as a manner to express my faith, and prayer requests. It is also an easy way to share photographs of our family and ministry.

As missionaries, I know what it is like to feel forgotten by family, friends, and church friends. People don't do it on purpose, but we are just so just so busy and don't take the time to write or call. At least with Facebook I can feel somewhat connected to what is going on back home. That is the main reason I like it--as a communication tool.

Facebook, like anything else on the internet, has to be used with wisdom and discretion. If a "friend" is using obscene language or posting pictures that I find distasteful, I remove them from my contacts. I do not spend my time joining causes, playing games, or adding applications, or chatting online. I try to stick to the basics and spend just a few minutes on it, just as I would if I was reading my email.

If for some reason you don't have Facebook, and are against it, I support you fully with your decision, just as some people choose not to have the internet. My husband, for example, rarely gets on the computer except to do some online banking or email correspondence, and I am thankful for his carefulness in avoiding temptation. I am glad to have a husband who isn't glued to a computer moniter all day.

There may come a day when I will change my mind, and find Facebook offensive and delete my account. Like everything else the world promotes, it tends to get worse and worse as time goes on. For now, I feel I can use it responsibly and glorify God with the purposes I use it for.

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