“Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man.” ESV Ecclesiastes 12:12-13
It’s been a year since I said goodbye to facebook and, low and behold, I have survived. It wasn’t easy. Literally. It takes a bit of technical wizardry to actually delete a facebook account, but thanks to big brother, aka Google, I prevailed.
When I first checked out a few people immediately asked why?. I promised that I would eventually pen a few thoughts. Seeking to save me much grief, a close relative warned me to be kind when I did pick up my pen; “a lot of people like facebook you know.”
I just heard that facebook is now the top internet destination. So, why not join in? My reasons are based on personal conviction and will seem trivial to some. For the record, I find nothing inherently wrong with social networking. It can be a great way to stay in touch with family and friends, but several things began to bother me personally. I’ll share just a few.
My foremost concern was the realization that I was spending unhealthy amounts of time online constantly searching for new posts and uploads (notes, pictures, videos, articles, etc.) that my online friends shared. Socializing can be a bit addictive I think.
Secondly, I began to notice that some, I emphasize some, content being shared was borderline inappropriate. Personal stories, pictures, and other things that might cause one to blush if shared at the church picnic seem to be pretty common online.
Many of my online friends were female, which is no big deal (many of my offline friends are female too), but I’ve been married now for the better part of twenty six years and it occurred to me one day that if I were going to be chatting online with a female friend, perhaps she should ask my wife for permission and not me. Likewise, if a man wants to be my wife’s online friend, maybe he ought to ask me and not her. Think about it.
Food for thought: Social networking can be a lot of fun (so can reading books, watching television or any number of other time-consuming hobbies) but, at the end of the day, its wrong for any of those fun activities to distract you from your primary purpose which is “to fear God and keep his commandments.” Don’t be distracted.