Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Into The Word Wednesdays - v. 5

Welcome to week two of Into the Word Wednesdays!

What is Into the Word Wednesdays?

Each Wednesday, we will host his link up where we can all come together and share what we are learning each week in our scripture study.  We don't have to be on the same plan.  We don't have to be on a plan at all!  Just be reading something from the Bible throughout the week and then come link up here!

It's also a "hop", so it's a great opportunity to connect and follow other Christians who are excited about sharing their faith journey!

I shared last week about how our church is doing an "At the Movies" series.  The first movie that was discussed was Moneyball.  I shared about that here and here.   This past weekend, the movie that was discussed was The Social Network.  While I have never disliked a message in the almost four years we have been attending this church, I have to admit that the presentation verged on being a tad more "secular" than I would have liked.  The message itself was good, and even convicting on certain points, but I think maybe a different movie would have been more appropriate.

Ok, that's off my chest.  I am focusing on our church message again {as opposed to my daily scripture readings} because, once again, we had a medical crisis with Peyton and she wound up back in the hospital.  If you can pray for her and for me as well.  I am beyond exhausted at this point.  Between this and issues with our home nursing agency, I think I am requiring some extra grace!

What did I take from this message?

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Genesis 2:18 "...It is not good for the man to be alone..."

If you don't know what The Social Network is all about, it's about the creation of Facebook.  You can find out all the details here, but in a nutshell, you have one supremely relationship-challenged individual at the head of the biggest social media phenomenon in the world, Facebook.  If you don't know what Facebook is, I'm not sure where you have been.  But if you want to know the influence that Facebook has in the world, you might want to read this article.  In March of this year, there were 825 MILLION active monthly users!  825 MILLION!!

Genesis 2:18 "...It is not good for the man to be alone..."

If you are a Facebook user, how has it changed your life?  I have been a member since May 25, 2007.    I have 393 friends.  My blog page on Facebook has 373 likes.  I have reconnected with friends from elementary school, high school, college, my working days and I've connected with people I've met since we've moved to Charleston in 2008.  I have also have made connections on Facebook with many bloggers - both their personal and blog pages.

Genesis 2:18 "...It is not good for the man to be alone..."

This is just Facebook.  Think about all of the other social media platforms out there.  Twitter, Bloglovin', HelloCotton, and so on.  Yes, I am a member of many different platfoms myself.  It doesn't really matter what the numbers are.

God said it wasn't good for us to be alone.  And in this day and age, we're not.  We are so far from being "alone", yet it seems like people are becoming more and more disconnected from relationships in real life.  Relationships are changing.  People can't seem to go anywhere without their iPhones {forget regular old cell phones...if you have one of those, like me, you're in the dark ages}, iPads and other devices.  Anytime someone sneezes, they tweet about it or update their status.  Real "face time" is being interrupted by the need to check their wall, check for @mentions, and so on.  When was the last time you had a family dinner without the presence of a laptop or cell phone.  What was the world like before Instagram.  We're not just seeing the written description of what's going on in those hundreds of people's lives, we're seeing the pictorial evidence that accompanies it.  Nothing is sacred anymore.  Nothing is off limits.

In the message at church, our pastor spoke about how the power of Facebook has altered how people do "relationships".  We can connect with all kinds of people.  At the same time, we can also pick and choose who we are friends with and what information we allow them to see.  We can unfriend people with the click of a button.  We can disike the pages we've previously liked.  Don't want someone to find you?  You can block them.  Want to spout off about something that happened to you??  Just write a status about it - no matter how immature it comes off to all of your followers.  Want to make a nasty comment about someone to their face but think that would be rude?  Well, just write a generic status update about "someone" and what that "someone" did to you.

I've said it before, and I will say it again.  Your words have power - the power to speak life or to speak death.

We are meant to live in relationship.  But at what cost?  We are sacrificing real friendships.  We are sacrificing our reputation.  We are doing this for no other reason than because "it's there".  I'm guilty.  I've made comments about our nursing situation.  I'm upset.  I want to vent.  I tweet.  It doesn't wind up sounding very pretty, or complimentary.  But I didn't use any names, so it must be ok.  Right?  No.

Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

But you know what I mean, right?  I've seen snarky comments from many a good God-fearing Christian person.  It's what we do!  This is why the Bible gives us reminders on the words that should be coming out of our mouths!

When we have a platform {like Facebook}, we have an audience.  How captive they are, I can't say.  You how the power to hide the posts of people you follow.  Just remember that they have that same power!  Have you ever stopped to wonder why you haven't heard from so-and-so in a long time?  Maybe they've hidden you!  Maybe you have a sudden realization that you haven't heard from a particular old "friend" in a while, only to travel to their page and discover you've been unfriended!  Do you ever wonder why they did that?  Perhaps you're so confident in yourself that you figure it must have been a technical glitch on Facebook's part and surely they didn't mean to do that to you.  Do you try to re-friend them?  Or in that moment do you realize that you're better off?

You have an audience.  How do you use your influence with that audience? {assuming we have some!} Ys, I believe that there are people out there with their eyes on us wondering what we have to say.  There may be a long lost friend you reconnected with who maybe you're not following particularly closely, but they are truly interested in what's going on with you.  You have an audience.

I believe that bonds can be strengthened through Facebook and other social media.  I live over 20 hours {by car} from my dad and some friends.  I live several hours from a lot of people I know - friends and family.  It's bridged the distance in a lot of cases.  I've also been able to become closer with people who I actually only know online.  At the same time, however, I can see how people can use social media as a tool for lashing out and hurting others directly or indirectly through the words they type.

The thing with social media is once it's out there it's out there.  Sure, you can delete a blog post, a tweet, or a status update.  But you know, there's always the chance that someone still saw it.  Maybe the person you didn't intend to read those words.  Maybe you said something in a moment of anger, then retracted your statement but the person you originally directed the thought at saw it anyway.  Despite your attempt to take back what you said, the damage was done.  I'm sure if you've been around the blogosphere long enough, you will have experienced or at least heard of one blogger lashing out against another for something that was said in a comment or a blog post.  I've seen a few of these happen in my year plus of blogging.  It's sad.  Real people are involved.  Real people get hurt.  People get involved even if it's not their business.  It's a mess.  It's sad.

Proverbs 18:21 "Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits."

Even the founder of Facebook himself was portrayed in The Social Network as someone who failed miserably in his personal relationships.  By creating a platform with hundreds of millions of people, he alientated {and was even sued} by people closest to him!  What is the cost of our true friendships?  Are real friendships now becoming disposable?  Are we unfriending our real friends in our real daily lives?

Are we friending people for the numbers??  I know numbers tend to be a huge thing in the blog world.  I know I just reached 500 followers.  Woohoo!!  Don't get me wrong, I was excited.  But I don't really put a whole lot of stock in that little GFC widget.  It looks nice.  The number is great and I am so grateful for all of my followers.  Really and truly I am.  Honestly, I never thought I'd have anyone who would really care what I had to say.  What I think is important about the numbers is that you recognize that there are people within those numbers who really do care.  There are people who desire to know you and be a part of your life, even in an online setting.  How are we doing at cultivating our online relationships?

How are we doing at cultivating our face to face relationships??  Is our social media presence dominating our lives so much so that it is at the expense of those closest to us?  Our spouse?  Our children?  Other family members?  Our friends?  While so much good can be done with social media, it can also be detrimental to our daily lives if we allow it to overtake our world.  We can't sacrifice those closest to us for the "prize" that is Facebook.  I don't care how many billions of dollars Facebook is worth.  Is it worth trading true and meaningful relationships for?

I don't think people need to quit Facebook, stop tweeting, or blogging altogether.  I think that it is God's desire that we cultivate relationships.  I know some people take social media breaks to get back in touch with their face to face relationships and offline world.  I think that's great.  I think that whatever people decide to do to help nourish those relationships is wonderful as they are so important.  I'm not suggesting that you take a break.  I think people should do what is in their best interests.  I also believe that there are real relationships that can form online {says the girl who met her husband online before finding husbands online was a thing...before online dating...back in the dark ages of the internet}.  I think that God has a way of placing specific people in our lives at specific times for specific purposes. I don't know that there's anywhere in the Bible that says thou shalt not have relationships in no other way than in person.  It is a new era and technology can be a wonderful thing, but we must use it carefully.

Proverbs 13:3 "Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin."

I would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about what God is showing you in the Word, or in your life. Please also stop by and see what God has been teaching my beautiful co-hosts this week: 

Falen at Upward Not Inward 
Kelly at Exceptionalistic
Sarah at Fontenot Four {you're already here!}

Into The Word Wednesdays
Into the Word Wednesday Blog Hop Rules:
1. Write a post about what God is teaching you this week.
2.  Follow the host and hostess. 
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs and be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing, Sarah. You areso right,we ned to always check our words, whether on facebook, in person, or even in our mind (thats where it all starts).


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