Why do I love Facebook, Twitter, and many other forms of social media? I like how it serves as an outlet for self-expression, but the major reason is that using social media helps me feel connected to others—and I love that! I’ve always been a curious person by nature. I get that side of me from my dad. He was the kind of person that you could spend an entire conversation with and the whole time he would be asking questions about you.
Curiosity is a great trait to have, so I genuinely love getting to know people—what makes them tick, what they love or hate, etc. Facebook provides a great opportunity to see what is going on in others’ lives, what are they doing and thinking.
But as much as I love social media, I also hate it—and no, hate is not too strong of a word. In may ways I absolutely loathe it. One reason is because it’s fake. Facebook “friends” are poor substitutes for real friendship, the kind of relationship where people really know you intimately. It is also not a real connection with other people. What I see and know about them through their Facebooks is a very slanted and myopic version of who they really are.
If I went strictly by what I see on Facebook, I might walk away with the impression that my friend who posts a bunch of dumb jokes is really a silly fool—but I know that’s not the case. Or I might assume that the person who is always posting about food, recipes, and their favorite restaurants is a food addict. I also have friends who lean politically right, and others bent to the left. But if I judged them strictly according to Facebook, I would think the one was a neo-Nazi and the other a Stalin-Lenin Marxist. So the reason I hate Facebook is because it lies. It is a deceitful picture of who people really are.
Another reason why I despise Facebook is because I find myself thinking negatively about others who post things that contradict my worldview and political opinions. I consider myself conservative and I find myself getting mad at people when they post things that are in conflict with my views. I’ve even been known to mumble “idiot,” or much worse, under my breath. I then start to think bad about them, even finding my heart shifting away from them, and I really don’t want to do that. This is a real big reason why I hate Facebook.
I am a follower of Jesus and I don’t believe he wants me to hate people. I don’t like many of the policies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, just like there are that don’t like the policies of President Trump. But what I see Facebook doing is stirring me, and lots of others to hate. Of course I hate seeing my brother and sister Christians being persecuted by ISIS, but I find Facebook is causing me to have hate for all Muslims, and that is not right.
To clarify, we are battling the powers of darkness, spiritual wickedness, and the wicked forces in high places that cause pride, injustice, poverty, war, and the like. People are not my enemy. Jesus taught that we are all bad and only God is good (Mark 10:18). We all—everybody—need him to rescue us because there is a war going on and we are hostages in that war. The truth is we are supposed to love hippies, liberals, Democrats, Republicans, our fellow Christians, Muslims, and atheists alike. God even wants us to think of all of them as more important than ourselves. Anything short of this is not the true teaching of Jesus.
I don’t think I can completely say goodbye to Facebook and all social media because I do love connecting to others. But God warns me that I must guard my heart with all diligence, and the two greatest influencers of my heart are the things I see and hear. So, at least as it concerns issues that engender strife and division, I must say “Goodbye Facebook!”