There seems to be a love/hate relationship with facebook. I enjoy facebook because it has put me in touch with former classmates and people that I haven't seen for a while. Sometimes, people post an article about a news item that is really helpful. Even the goofy posts that include a picture of someone wearing a new snuggie gives me a much needed laugh. Oh wait, that was me wearing that snuggie!
But there are also some troubling signs related to social networking. Sometimes posts are made that are meant to be hurtful and nasty and they are often made by adults who should know better. I know of someone who was having family problems and they took out their frustrations by telling the whole world about it on facebook knowing full well that their own family members connected to the situation would be reading their post.
I've seen posts from pastors who have updates that speak negatively about a particular member of their church and I've also seen it go the other way as well. A church member offers a hurtful comment toward his or pastor because of a disagreement and a difference of opinion. No names are mentioned in the post (most of the time) but people close to the situation can usually figure out to whom it is referring.
My heart breaks for youth who post very depressing and angry posts because they feel hurt and alone. When a caring facebook friend tries to reach out to them with words of encouragement, sometimes the return post is met with more anger. You're left wondering how that youth will make it through their day and so you lift him/her up to God in prayer.
My personal rule of thumb is to keep facebook updates light and uplifting. When things get too serious, it's not easy to carry out an in depth discussion in the limited space that is provided. When posts become cynical or sarcastic, those are signs that maybe this isn't the best forum for such an exchange.
Even with some of the downsides of social networking, it is still a powerful tool to offer the hope and love of Jesus Christ through positive updates. It's also a great way to get the word out about upcoming events and news items.
And, for those of us who experienced the Big Ten downer on New Year's Day, it's a way to offer condolences and words of support.
By the way, in case you're interested, I'm typing this blog article at this very minute. And a little while ago, I ate some low-fat yogurt.