Tuesday, 11 February 2014

My Love-Hate Relationship

I love facebook. It is a great way of keeping in touch with people who I haven't seen for a long time. Living alone, it keeps me company. I like expressing my opinions, talking about what I am up to. engaging with the world. Facebook enables me to make contact with more people much more quickly and with great efficiency. 

I hate facebook. I know too much about people's lives. I once deleted someone because he kept putting pictures of his new girlfriend in states of undress on his page (why would you do that?). Some people have too many opinions (I once deleted someone because she commented on everything I wrote and nothing she ever said made sense and she didn't actually KNOW me). Some people are just irritating. 

I love facebook. It's in facebook I have managed to make connections with people I would otherwise have lost touch with. I know much more of what my family and close friends are up to and we can share photos so much more easily. I have joined groups and liked pages where I get things that make me think, things that make me laugh and are places where I can just have a good old moan. 

I hate facebook. I keep on nearly leaving. I have had friends who have left because of the difficulties they are going through and how facebook adversely affects them. We become obsessed with other people's lives - what we can't have. When someone throws some good news in your face and it's the kind of good news you would love to have. When it's covered with photos of loved up couples and babies, of people who have perfect lives..... I've seen people been torn apart by that. 

I love facebook. It is a place where I can see the world in a different way. It's a place where I see people totally passionate about what they believe in. It's a place where I connect with people I wouldn't be able to connect to in any other way. 

I hate facebook. It uses up too much of my time. I once spent a day off facebook, it felt like the chains had gone. It's scarily addictive and feels like a necessity. 

It's the 10th Anniversary of facebook. You can't escape it. Those videos are everywhere. I made one myself. After I made mine the 'edit' function was introduced - in case you weren't happy with your facebook life. Says it all really. We're all guilty of it - we edit our lives on facebook to become something that shows us in our best light. I have always had a policy of not de-tagging myself on photos - but it's tempting. I don't want people to see me looking awful. Yet this is me, I am who I am. I should be who I am on facebook. 

I've recently started to use facebook slightly differently in a way that reflects how I am trying to live. It is in a way that is inspired by a woman I met in India who said that despite all of the trouble at home she saw God's blessings in the tiniest of things and it reminded her that God is with her. A friend introduced my to 100 Happy Days (my photos). I don't expect to be totally happy for 100 days, but I'm expecting to take the time to look for the tiny (and bigger) blessings in life where I remember God's goodness. It's been great to see so many people take up this challenge and I love seeing people think a little differently about what has blessed them during that day. 

I love facebook, but I hate it's superficialness. However, by sharing something of the every day and seeing parts of other people's every day it's blessed me more recently in more ways than it has in a long time. 

Even where we create a fake us - where we lie about what we have been doing to make ourselves look better (there was once a woman who used to write she was doing a 5k run and would go to the shop and come back in 5 minutes) - when we consider God reading our facebook page - he knows us intimately and knows exactly what we need even where we don't know what we need ourselves. He's the one who blesses us - not the number of likes on a status or the congratulations we crave.... it's God - and he knows where we've de-tagged, edited statuses, shouted, blocked and deleted. He knows. 

"O Eternal One, You have explored my heart and know exactly who I am;
You even know the small details like when I take a seat and when I stand up again.
    Even when I am far away, You know what I’m thinking.
You observe my wanderings and my sleeping, my waking and my dreaming,
    and You know everything I do in more detail than even I know.
You know what I’m going to say long before I say it.
    It is true, Eternal One, that You know everything and everyone.
You have surrounded me on every side, behind me and before me,
    and You have placed Your hand gently on my shoulder.
It is the most amazing feeling to know how deeply You know me, inside and out;
    the realization of it is so great that I cannot comprehend it."   

                                                                               Psalm 139:1-6 (The Voice)