Recently I read a phenomenal article by Rob Imberger (from his shiny new blog) about why he’s quitting Facebook. I loved it. Many people should take his ideas, dwell on them and throw in the social media towel before they get Zucker-punched.
(And yes, I spent a little too long thinking about how to slip Zuckerberg’s name into a pun. Moving right along.)
Though I endorse Rob’s blog post and thought it was a brilliant read, I however, have not quit Facebook.
And here are 4 reasons why.
1. The International Friend Factor
I am now a sprightly 30 years old, with most of my friends being a similar age. I have lived for part of my life overseas and am at a point where I have about a dozen close friends living/traveling in different countries at any one time. I probably have another 40 ‘Facebook friends’ overseas as well. Facebook enables me to keep in contact with all these people all over the globe.
If I did not have this? I would have to seriously rethink using Facebook.
2. Young People These Days
A primary part of my job is to pastor a fantastic group of young people. I absolutely love this.
Their primary form of communication is Facebook. I do not love this.
I spend a fair bit of time not just ‘checking up’ on them, but communicating to them. Encouragement, information, bible verses, news and just life in general happens via their Walls and PM’s. This is the way they receive information. I’ve tried mobiles. I’ve tried email. Facebook is the most efficient form of information transfer.
Because who uses a phone for calling people these days? Get with it.
If I did not have to do this? I would have to seriously rethink using Facebook.
As my noble professor and fellow blogger Tim Hein says, if we’re going to be 21st century disciples of Jesus, we need to be students of our culture. There’s no denying that Facebook is an immovable object in culture. According to McCrindle Research, it took only 12 months for it to reach an audience of 50 million people. Radio took 38 YEARS to do the same thing!
As such Facebook is a valuable tool for keeping up-to-date with cultural trends (particularly important in my life as a youth pastor), events in peoples lives, even simple birthdays. A wall post here and there in the right places can be a timely reminder that there are people out there who love them and are praying for them. Churches can network and advertise – with Facebook advertising algorithms, they can target specific people and lead them to their doorstep! A powerful tool if we use it in the right way.
If I was not doing this? I would have to seriously rethink using Facebook.
4. It’s My 7-11
Facebook is terribly convenient. There’s options for just about anything you might need to do on a computer – word processing, emails, attachments, chat, photos, groups – all in one convenient, free location. I have interest groups on Facebook, prayer chains on Facebook, links to important and topical news of the day on Facebook (and stupid YouTube clips). Oh, by the way, it travels with you on your smart phone and iPad. Amazing stuff.
Simply put, it’s so very convenient. I can achieve things on Facebook – even WORK on Facebook – and do it faster and with a faster expected response rate.
If I was not appropriately utilising this? I would have to seriously rethink using Facebook.
You may have noticed a couple things here.
My arguments are getting more spurious.
I’m struggling to find reasons that Jesus would want me to stay on Facebook.
I can’t find as many reasons to keep Facebook as Rob could to quit Facebook.
And THAT, my friends, is something to seriously think about.
For all of you under 21’s in particular…I challenge you to try giving it up for a week. What do you notice? What changes in your life?
Let me know in the comments section!
Check out Rob Imberger’s blog at Robbing Burger (say it fast)