I recently came across a witty, but hauntingly truthful sentence from Will Ferrell. He said, “May your life one day be as awesome as you pretend it is on Facebook.”
Why haunting, because it rings with a lot of truth to it. Too many folks have abdicated real life for the fantasy of cyber fellowship. Media is not ethical in nature; how it is utilized determines the ethics behind social media. Therefore, it is foolish to condemn all social media because it is social media. Merely because someone uses Facebook for unsavory ends does not mean that the medium is, itself, unsavory.
I fear people have not thoughtfully engaged in how to capitalize and use the medium (just like we have used radio, television, and the telephone) as a means to spread the glory of God’s fame. However, there are many of us who have swerved off-kilter to the other side of unthoughtfulness. I am reminded about Jesus’ admonition to his disciples that they be careful not to practice their righteousness in order to receive men’s praise (Matthew 6). If we were able to peel back the layers of various Facebook posts or tweets, we might find that our lives are more boring and less connected that we would like to imagine.
More than anything this is merely a caution, not a rebuke (unless, that is, you find that you are guilty). Do you find an insatiable desire to post your latest picture of yourself smiling broadly with your BFF at the trendy restaurant? Maybe your desire isn’t insatiable. Perhaps it’s merely a matter of course. You have so wedded your life to the cyber-world you can’t imagine actually engaging flesh and blood without pixelating them. It is is a sad state of affairs when we constantly glance at the floor (checking for the latest update) rather than look our companion in the eyes.
Let’s be careful to have integrity on the world-wide web. Is that dinner you had at Applebee’s really the “most awesome of salads I have ever eaten”? Is that trip with your friends “better than any trip I have had in my existence”? What are the other 999 friends of yours to think who took a trip of a similar value just last week with you?
Yes, be careful. God knows your true status and he is patiently waiting for you to rest in that status.