RSS

Why I dislike Facebook (a personal testimony)

11 Oct

I KNOW that this post will not be popular, and maybe only 2% of the readers will agree with me, but I have truly been praying about Facebook and asking God for guidance in relation to it. Many people love Facebook, and some are even addicted to it; let’s face it, Facebook has become a way of life for some. Where in years past if we could not sleep, we might pick up our phone and call our best friend to discuss why; now we will log onto Facebook and put all of our angst on our “Wall” for the world to see. For a lot of us “Christian” people instead of getting on our knees and crying out to God, we will place our prayer on our “Wall” and sit back to see how many “Likes” we get, instead of waiting on hearing from Him. We seek validation and approval from strangers, and let’s face it, they ARE strangers, instead of approval from the Most High. In my humble opinion it seems to me that for a lot of our Christian brothers and sisters Facebook has become their own personal mega-ministry. Are you mad at me yet? If not, please keep reading….

My friends, Facebook is the hugest invasion of privacy that has ever been invented IMO. Do you know that once you post a photo there that Facebook owns the rights to the photo? You no longer have any say in how it may be used by them because it has become their property. I was watching the network news a couple of weeks ago, and a person had been murdered, and they posted the person’s photo and it was captioned: Photo courtesy of Facebook, they could not use it if they didn’t own it.  Another thing that troubles me about Facebook is “friends”. My husband knows that I consider that word very seriously, and that I do not call people ‘friend’ blithely. So when I “friend” someone it will be someone that I know and who knows me, and that I am comfortable sharing my life information with. A little background: I found Facebook in early 2006 when it was still only accepting members who were affiliated with a university; I was never a MySpace person and Facebook was appealing to me because of its clean interface and ease of use. I actually joined it, but did not add friends or use it in any purposeful way until late 2007 when my sister joined. I have always been leery about posting photos online, so the “friends” that I added were mainly family, and my close friends from school or church. From 2006 until now I still have only 134 “friends” added and probably more than 1,000 pending friend requests lol. I have rejected friend requests because, quite simply, I do not know the person sending the request!

Many people are still under the assumption that they can keep their information private through these social networks, and that just is not so. I have always been a private person, so seeing Facebook change their privacy policies so frequently really unnerved me, and caused me to take a pause with using the site. Please take a look at this NYT article (2010) for reference: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/05/12/business/facebook-privacy.html?ref=personaltech Some of the biggest problems that I have with Facebook and its uses are:

  • Children being on there unmonitored. The age of acceptance is supposed to be 13, but I know plenty of kids 8+ who have and are encouraged to use Facebook to talk to “family”. Why? As a parent we should pick up the phone to let little Billy talk to Grandma.
  • Friends are not really friends. Just like I don’t believe that one can effectively pastor 1,000+ people, I do not believe that someone has 1,000 plus “friends” so why open up your life to the guy who said hello to you in Econ 101 or the lady who shared a coupon with you at the grocery store?
  • Ok don’t hurt me for this one but seriously, your mama did not name you Judy BlessedandHighlyFavored Jones (not a real name, just a fun example). Come on now, unless your page is an advert for your church or ministry, is this really necessary?
  • America’s Next Top Model, Top Chef or Extreme Home Makeover. Seriously, a random picture is fine, but when feeds are clogged up with your newest picture of yourself, your gourmet meal that you just cooked, or the new curtains that you hung it is just. too. much. Personally I have a beautiful relative who posts a new photo of herself at least twice per day. I love her, but I had to block her from my feed. 😦
  • The new app, “Places” or something like that? Honestly people I love y’all, but I do not want to know where you are at and with whom 24/7. Not only is this app extremely annoying, but it is a total invasion of privacy that folks are willing subscribing to. One of your 1,500 “friends” may just be a stalker, rapist or robber just waiting for an opportunity, and by you broadcasting your every move, you just may be their next victim, but I pray not. The following is a TRUE example of this app in action, a friend of mine went on a weekend vacation to Florida (her comments removed):
at Removed International Airport.
at Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
at IHOP.
at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.
at Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport (FLL).
at Removed International Airport.

For the life of me I cannot understand why people do this!

I will stop with the negatives for now, and there are some positives to Facebook, mainly that there is a platform (for now) for ministries to post what they are doing and their updates, and there are a few Christian groups there (again for now) that are worth posting in, but more and more I see how Facebook is infringing on the privacy of its users, and giving out information. It has turned good people into narcissistic, attention starved idiots (I apologize if this offends, it’s just the way I see it!). God told us to watch and pray because He knows that our flesh is weak, and getting a lot of attention online plays into the flesh. One of my childhood friends recently posted this on her wall:

WELCOME TO FACEBOOK. The place where people add you as a friend & walk past you in the street. Where relationships are perfect, affairs are started, & liars believe they are telling the truth. Your enemies visit your profile the most, yet your friends & family block you, & even though you write what you are really thinking, someone always takes it the wrong way, and people think your status is about them. And everyone is a part time pastor, philosopher, etc..

As of now, I still have a Facebook page, but only because it is tied into our ministry page. I am encouraging my children (the older two do not use FB regularly) to pray and seek God about the matter, and I ask you who may be reading this to consider the same. My father used to tell us when we were little, “Ain’t nothing in life free, so if somebody is giving you something they are probably taking something away from you too!” I remembered that early this morning. Think about it…Facebook may be costing you more than you are willing to pay, but the Word of God is free and everyone should “Like” it!

Respectfully,

APW

(P.S. Yes, you may share this post on Facebook! 😉 )

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

13 responses to “Why I dislike Facebook (a personal testimony)

  1. steelerkid

    October 11, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    This was great Sister Pastor’s Wife! I especially loved the picture at the end :). I am really considering deleting my Facebook account because the only reason I originally joined was to play the farm game and YoVille. I want MORE of this from you because you are so good at articulating your words to not offend anyone and make it appeal or make sense to everyone. Great job!

    STEELERKID

     
    • iampastorswife

      October 11, 2011 at 9:33 PM

      @ Steelerkid, thank you so much for your encouraging words. Please be prayerful before making the decision to delete your Facebook page; God has the ultimate say so, not man. I really appreciate your faithful reading of the blog. Continue to be led by the Spirit of God!

      @Bro Keith, no I have no desire to see what pages people look at. As far as I know, my page is locked down like Fort Knox; I try to keep the little bit that I have on there as private as possible. As I stated, I would delete the page altogether were it not linked to our ministry. People can pray what they want about me – God’s will always prevails in my life. 😉 Thank you for visiting and posting!

      APW

       
  2. Keith

    October 11, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    Ok now i dont know about you but I wish i could see what pages people went to on my page. All they want to see is your pictures and measure themselves up to you. Also you know they be praying you are ugly now. LOL

     
  3. Ann Brock

    October 12, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    Great article! and to think this generation don’t see a problem with putting all their business and where about on “Twitter and Facebook” is beyond me….I agree with you also why in the world would a caring parent allow a child to have a facebook page? that is so crazy to me.

     
    • iampastorswife

      October 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

      Sis Ann,

      Thank you for your comments…I believe that may be the 2% who agree with me LOL! I understand the fascination behind Facebook, but ultimately it is all an illusion. You have to really wonder why in such a short period of time EVERY website has integration with Facebook; every site wants you to log in with your FB account! I had long ago advised my children to not do that. I posted on an earlier blog that I had a friend tell me that she will not ever give up her FB account, and that really baffled me. People of God (and people in general) need to open their eyes and really see what is going on. Thank you again for your comments, and come back to visit anytime!

       
  4. Peggy Harvey

    October 13, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    Don’t you just feel that we are all so disconnected from each other. The world has changed drastically in the last twenty years. People simply do not have human contact as much as we once did. Families and friends are spread apart….new friends are hard to develop….and the busyness of all the things revolving around children seems endless. I am on Facebook, and I have reconnected with some people I had lost touch with. I am blessed to be a part of some Christians who post things that are such an asset. I love seeing my friends and family pictures…but, I certainly do not condone telling anyone your schedule of being out of town. I have even found a site that I knew the Lord was urging me to be a part of. I would not have found this particular site any other way. It was an urging to get involved, and I am glad I did. Lastly, I believe there are so many lonely people…people who need that human contact even in cyberspace. There will always be good and evil in the things offered to us. We believe individually we can make that decision to continue if we do it in the right spirit. Also, it can be a witness to people who need to hear…We lost a daughter seventeen years ago. There have been so many people I have come in contact with who have lost a child. I know from my own experience that I would not have made it without the Lord holding me up. I can empathize with people who are walking in the valley, and encourage them that God will indeed make a way for them to carry on. So…the jury is out, I guess….Thank you for bringing this topic to the forefront. Need to do some thinking on my own.

     
    • iampastorswife

      October 14, 2011 at 8:42 AM

      Hi there Peggy!

      By all means pray about things; I am not attempting to encourage anyone towards my way of thinking about Facebook, truly it is my testimony and how I feel about it has been a continual and gradual process. I do feel that in the last couple of decades things have become so impersonal; we would rather zip off an email than write a letter, send a text rather than make a phone call, and “connect” through FB rather than travel to visit relatives. Facebook for me anymore, is simply a way to update our ministry page, or talk to the boys that I used to coach in football up north; once I learned that FB owns the photos we post, I wrapped that aspect up, I can email them to relatives, send them vial regular mail or create a Photobucket to share online. I did state that there are some positive aspects, and while I have been blessed to have not lost a child, I certainly can empathize with a support group which has. This is positive! Good and evil will always coexist, but Paul told the church in Corinth, Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty (2 Cor. 6:17-18). I agree with you too about the valley, considering that the valley is any low place in one’s life, I can definitely empathize because I have been there myself. God can and WILL make a way if we earnestly seek HIM and not validation from things like FB, Twitter, etc. Thank you for your comment, very thought provoking. God Bless!

      APW

       
  5. 2%

    November 1, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    Well Said! I have never opened a facebook account because I felt it was an invasion of privacy. I refuse to let my teenage daughter open an account and am not shy about my feelings about facebook. I’ve seen facebook ruin friendships, marriages, and cause people to lose their jobs. I’m sure there are positives I just can’t think of any.

     
    • iampastorswife

      November 3, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      Thank you 2%! Good on you for not caving to the peer pressure of FB! I concede that it has had its benefits, but as of late it seems to be more trouble than it is worth. I also commend you for not allowing your teen to open an account, as I am sure that the majority of her friends probably have one. It’s hard being a parent sometimes, but when we train them up in the way they should go….well, you probably know the rest of that one lol. 😉 Thank you for your post!

      APW

       
  6. livingfree

    January 17, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    I agree with everything you said. My children are still too young to use the computer but I think about what the internet world will be like once they are in school. Frankly, it scares me because children have no wisdom and don’t realize that once something is posted online it is there for the world to see. You may be able to go back and erase it but what about all the people who saw it before you posted? I pray now for God’s wisdom about how much internet to allow my children to use once they are old enough.

    I recently took a couple of educational technology courses and found that Facebook is being used by teachers to help with their instruction. I am adamantly opposed to the idea of my child having to sign up for Facebook for participation in a class. Once they are in that world they will get sucked into the stupidity. I had an account for a little while but got rid of it because it is highly addictive and can be a waste of time. I also have a problem with friends and family thinking it’s okay to post pictures of me (nothing indecent but still…). If I want my picture on the internet I’ll post it myself thank you very much.

    God Bless

     
  7. Miriam

    January 27, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Well said, though, if you still have a page, that kinda nullifies the credibility of your post. If you really believe that God is not pleased – and I sincerely believe a lot of our FB activity grieves His heart – the why not get rid of your page, regardless of whether or not it’s tied to a ministsry page. I am also a pastor’s wife. I have been on and off FB for about 4 years now. But just in the last few days, I have go to the length of removing EVERYTHING from my page. I deleted ALL of my friends, one by one, and did the same for my photos. (Deep down I believe they still have it saved on their server somewhere, but to make me feel better, I deleted it all.)

    I too have struggled with my priorities and the distraction that FB presents. I don’t care how many benefits it offers me, so long as I was continuing to waste huge amounts of my time on the site, then it was becoming a tool of IDOLATRY. And herein is where I believe God is most offended with our use. The following statement of yours echoes my sentiments exactly: “…or a lot of us “Christian” people instead of getting on our knees and crying out to God, we will place our prayer on our “Wall” and sit back to see how many “Likes” we get, instead of waiting on hearing from Him. We seek validation and approval from strangers, and let’s face it, they ARE strangers, instead of approval from the Most High.” So well said!

    When it comes to ministry pages and preachers on Facebook a lot, I think it’s even worse. I’m inclined to believe that VERY few churches have seen significant growth or effectiveness because of their presence on Facebook. It just adds another temptation and avenue for believers to waste time and be focused on the wrong things. I see waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many preachers (FT pastors without day jobs) on FB talking about much of nothing and posting multiple times a day like kids. I find myself thinking: “isn’t there someone you can go visit today? Isn’t there somebody in the hospital you can go pray for? Don’t you have a wife and kids you could be bonding with?” The possibilities are endless, yet many of our spiritual leaders, their wives and families are caught up in this web of deceit like the world is. It’s OK if he’s giving encouragement, but many times this is not the case. Not to say that pastor’s shouldn’t have a life aside from church, but as a leader in God’s house, they must be SET APART!!! And “deceit” is all that Facebook is. One big facade. People often portraying themselves as somebody they’re not. I JUST GOT SICK OF IT ALL!

    Be brave and let it go altogether. I did.

     
    • iampastorswife

      January 27, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      Good Evening Sis (Pastor’s Wife). Miriam!

      I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and read this blog, I also appreciate the concern that you have regarding my use, or lack thereof of Facebook. You stated this: “if you still have a page, that kinda nullifies the credibility of your post”, and my question that I would ask you is why would it nullify the validy of my post? It is a personal testimony, and I have stated that I have laid it before the Lord to deal with. The premise of this blog is that I write when the Spirit of God tells me to, so this posting is not of self; I try to always be led by the Spirit in all things no matter how silly they may seem to man. The ministry that my husband and I are a part of relies a lot on the Internet through podcasts, his blog, etc. which we post on the Facebook page, although neither of us spends very much personal time on Facebook itself. The reason why I still had a “personal” page was the reason why many people do; I have a VERY large extended family which is spread throughout the country, and we used this platform to share family pictures and updates. The platform used to be a lot tighter than it is now and I keep up with privacy issues, which is why I came to the point that I’m at today.

      Like you, I have deleted ALL personal information from my page which disabled that annoying ticker thing as well. No matter what you delete at this point, all of your information is stored on Facebook’s mainframe interface so whether you delete it or keep it there, it’s too late. 🙂 I know this because my husband is a network administrator as well as pastor. If these articles rattle you Sis, then maybe you should pray instead of rebuke; I understand your position and I appreciate your comments, but when God tells me to do something – I listen. When He tells me to wait, I wait. That’s the blessing of walking in the Spirit, you recognize when the Holy Spirit speaks to you. God bless you sis, and I appreciate your comments.

      Love and Respect,

      PW

       
  8. Miriam

    January 27, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    P.S. I guess I’m really bothered when I see these articles with someone rattling off reasons why they despise Facebook, yet they get to the end of the article and admit that they still have a page. It makes me wonder if they too are so caught up that they can’t take back their time, take back their mind and live up to the convictions in the “don’t-like-Facebook” articles.

    And yes, there IS huge tradeoff. As you mentioned, they are recording ALL of the information people post and selling the info to advertisers. Mark Zuckerberg and his cohorts are getting rich and we think they’re doing us a favor by keeping us connected to our friends and fam. At the end of the day, it serves to create a bigger and bigger social dysfunction. The more time we spend in virtual fellowship and communication, the less time we make for face-to-face, true to life interactions with those we love. We are being robbed in more ways than one.

     

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: