Monday, December 15, 2014

Updates in Status

Leave it to Facebook to flaunt a myriad of subjects in my news feed without any sequence, rhyme or reason. Scrolling merrily along I see decadent desserts that make my mouth water, poses designed to make you play find-the-baby-under-the-spaghetti-face, videos of school Christmas programs or sleeping pets, outrage at presidential proclamations, memes with pithy aphorisms, scary closeups of facial features, videos that begin play by just looking at them, games to match your personality with colors, movie characters or celebrities and links to thought -provoking articles.

Social media has changed our lives! I like the instant access to knowledge and closer connection to family and friends. What better way to experience the far away, less-than-24-hours-old grandbaby than with a Facetime encounter, punctuated with newborn sounds and gestures. AT&T coined the phrase, "reach out and touch someone" in the 80s; we had no idea then of where technology would reach and what our fingertips would touch. Our cell phones are another appendage for most of us. Lose, misplace or damage one, and panic is sure to ensue. 

If I'm honest, I admit some of social media doesn't always seem good.  

Instant feedback addiction:
Did you ever thrill to the positive comments and long string of names liking your FB post and then struggle to read someone's demeanor or response when conversing face to face? If only they would post a smiley on their forehead or  raise a thumb to let you know they approve of what you're saying. Are we getting accustomed to communication inflated with ego boosting gratification?? :) 

Comparison errodes contentment: 
Does your heart pang a bit when you read something a friend is getting to have that you can't have? What happens to our emotions when a personal status post gets little attention or fewer comments than someone else's trivia? Did you ever find it hard to be content with your depth of an experience compared to the perfectly transpired account someone else has described on FB?  Social media at times, has provided my tendency to feel inferior with more frequent opportunities to be provoked.

Time management can be more challenging:
Ever stay up too late catching up on posts with links that lead to more links, that lead to another blog, that leads to a youtube video, that leads to... The information is exhilarating, while the glowing -screen- reading steals my ability to fall asleep when I finally decide to go to bed. In my restless insomnia, I remember I forgot to call that elderly relative, or prepare the memo I need to send out first thing in the morning. The guilt furthers my sleeplessness.

I often find it easier to text someone than make a voice to voice or face to face contact:
There are times I'm uncomfortable making phone calls.  Texting takes less time and provides space in responding.  But I never want to lose the art of sharing voice to voice and passing on sensitive and personal information with the tenderness and compassion that gets lost in communicating by any other means.

So how much more I find the admonition in Proverbs 4:23 to be relevant for me today:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Father, help me to include social media in the "whatever you do, in word and in deed, do all to the glory of God ". May the increased knowledge I have of friends and their experiences of life increase my care for them; to rejoice with them in successes and grieve with them in sorrows. Thank you for connection and the community of Facebook friends I share. You have spoken to me through them.  They give me laughter and opportunity to pray.

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