Thursday, January 23, 2014

My thoughts on Social Media :)

I have an incredibly busy end of the week coming up and probably won't have another chance to post, so since my younger kids are all still sleeping, I thought I'd take this quick opportunity to post a few things that have been on my mind about.......Facebook! :)

The other night, at a family dinner, we were all sitting around talking about Facebook--privacy settings, common courtesy, etc. It got me to thinking about several things that have been on my mind lately about Facebook!

Now, several years ago, I did not have a facebook account. My mom was constantly warning me about 'the evils of facebook', and to 'stay away from it', haha :) I did, for a long time.....but then, I was pregnant with Noah......and on bed rest......for weeks on end........and OH, so terribly bored! I read endless books, I tried to learn how to knit (complete failure!!!), I directed my household from my bed....and finally, one day, out of sheer boredom, I broke down and opened up a facebook account.

That was six years ago. Since then, I have been mostly glad that I did.....mostly ;) Facebook has it's benefits....but also it's negative sides!

On the positive side of Facebook?

1. Being able to keep up with relatives and friends.....far and near! My dad and his wife live....well, a very far way away! It's nice to be able to post pictures and videos of the kids for them to see. It makes us feel more a 'part' of each others lives. Even for relatives and loved ones who live close by that we don't get to see as often as we'd like, it's a great way to keep in touch!

2. The comic relief of it! Let's face it----life can get stressful! A whole day of not seeing another adult human being, teaching school to three kids, caring for FIVE kids, working through adoption applications and paper work, budgets to balance, bills to pay, laundry to do.......facebook can just be a welcome source of 'fun' :) I love posting hilarious things my kids have said or done, reading other peoples funny posts....seeing other peoples ways of finding beauty in their day......it can be a real source of encouragement and fun.

3. The convenience of it. I really, really, really hate talking on the phone. I always have. I think I've probably mentioned that before ;)  It's probably mostly due to my ears----hearing aids work best in real life, NOT on the phone! It's hard for me to hear on the phone, and the aids whistle in my ear......so facebook is just a really great way of getting messages to people quickly and communicating in more 'comfortable' ways for me.

HOWEVER, even with those positive, there are a few things that concern me about facebook. Will you hear me out on them?

1. Inappropriate material. From pictures to 'facebook posters' to links to quotes to posts......it can all get pretty ugly out there folks! I made the mistake of leaving facebook open on my laptop the other day, and came back into the room to see Eli standing in front of the computer staring at a completely inappapropriate picture one of my friends had posted. *sigh* I generally use a simple rule of thumb when posting something. I ask myself this-----Would I be 'okay' with my Pastor seeing this? What about if my mom could still it? What about Joel's sweet Mennonite grandparents who I so loved and respected? Would I feel comfortable with these people seeing this? If the answer is NO......then I don't post it!!! Get some people whom you highly respect....and then use them as your 'rule of thumb' in deciding whether or not to post or not. I cringe when I see a fellow believer who just yesterday posted a 'Glory, Hallelujah' kind of post putting up something today about how much they hate their fellow man and really wish they would just bug off. REALLY?? Is that the best you can do to 'reflect Christ'? Use some common sense, folks, and remember that even on Facebook, your light is shining!! I'm not saying that we can't share concerns, prayer requests, or even just 'I had a really bad day' venting kind of things on Facebook. I'm just trying to encourage you to use discretion and care about what you post.



2. Young kids on facebook. I'm not talking about teenagers who have facebook accounts. I'm talking about younger children who are allowed to sit around and scroll through their parents facebook accounts on their phones or other devices. Even if all the material on Facebook WERE 'adult appropriate' and acceptable (which it is not!) ....it stands to reason that even some things fine for adult eyes are NOT fine for children's eyes. I DO occassionally show my kids things on facebook....pictures that I post of them, pictures of people I know they would appreciate seeing, etc.....but as a general rule, none of my kids are allowed to 'be on' facebook or look at things on there, and especially not without my supervision.....and probably won't be for several more years. Please use care how much you allow your younger children to be on this social media!

3. My third concern? Just the general time waster that it can be! And I am guilty of this one myself. You hop on facebook for 'just ten minutes' to check a few things, and before you know it, much more time has floated by! LIFE is happening, folks.........all around you! Nothing bugs me more than sitting at a table with someone having a conversation, and they pull out their phone to check Facebook. Really? Right now? Seriously? Be in the moment, folks....the REAL moment......and let Facebook wait until later :)

And that's my morning thoughts about Facebook! It can be a great tool----a tool of encouragement, ministry, outreach.......let's remember to use it as such! "Let your light so shine before men......." :)




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