From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

What’s Wrong With Facebook?

Ok I confess. I’m on Facebook. I wanted to see what the noise was about. It’s been interesting – one of the first things you find, after you’ve registered, is all the people on Facebook who graduated from your high school or college class. So, I’ve been in touch with a couple of people I haven’t heard of for 30+ years. It hasn’t made my day, but it’s been interesting.

Still there’s something nagging me about this Facebook world, this virtual networking world. Anyone who’s done much emailing knows that it’s very easy to imply or convey a message you never meant. You have to be somewhat careful because you can’t email the tone of your voice or the expression on your face. So I wonder, is the social networking done on the Internet really social? Is it really networking?

Carl Trueman wrote an article about that that hit home for me. You can click here to read it. It’s a tart piece (I like that) worth reading. Just to encourage you to read the whole thing, here’s a small quote:

“…bodies impose limits on us.  Thus, in its virtual elimination of the
body, the computer world offers users the potential (albeit illusory)
of transcending their bodily limitations.  On Facebook, I can be
anybody I want to be: an eighteen year old Californian with a six-pack,
good teeth, a sun tan and a pilot’s license; or even a 25 year old
blonde beauty queen from North Carolina with a degree in astrophysics. 
I can become the ultimate in self-created beings – a factor which, I am
sure, also partially explains the massive, if little noted, popularity
of role-playing video games in the modern world.   In virtual world, be
it Facebook or the undersea city portrayed in Bioshock, I can be anyone
I choose to be.  I am the Creator; or at least, I have the potential to
think I am.”

So go ahead, check me out on Facebook. Keep reading my blog. But don’t mistake either for the real thing.

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One response

  1. So, would you say that we can’t know God by reading the Bible?

    Because, once you take away all the flim-flam, most of what goes on over the internet is simply a revival of the written word as a means of communication.

    There’s a lot that irritates me in the on-line world, but that core is a very positive thing indeed.

    Incidentally, I don’t believe me can know God merely by reading the Bible.

    April 13, 2009 at 7:13 pm

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