Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Keepin’ it real…

I want you to weigh in…no not on a scale (thank the Lord)…but on your opinion of the usage of Facebook/Twitter/Blogging in today's society. How is it used for good…how is it used for bad? Which side do you side with more? I have been thinking about this for several weeks and as I took my bath tonight, after a long day's work, I thought about keepin' it real. I sure enough don't tell my facebook friends that I stayed in my pj's all day and just now got time to take a shower…that no one really like the dinner I cooked tonight…and that my house looks like a F4 just came through.

Over Christmas, my mother and I got in a discussion about Facebook and just Social Networking in general. Keep in mind that my Mom doesn't have facebook, doesn't have a clue what a tweet is…this precious lady doesn't even text…so we will just say that she really isn't in the "scene" of social networking. I love that about her…but I did disagree with her that day. She said Facebook was only used for bad, that everyone lives out some fabulous life on there…and really, "who cares that so and so is going on their lunch break and then getting a mani/pedi after work". I argued the point of reconnecting with family and friends…sharing prayer requests…promoting your company…connecting with our teenagers. I have seen the hurt that facebook can cause too…friends that are hurt through someone's words…statements that are made…the stupidity that some people show by living their lives out on FB for everyone to see…it's quite interesting. People try to call a brother or sister out and completely surpass Matthew 18…and that drives me bonkers!!

It's not just Facebook my friends. There are some blogs that I read that I wonder how that mom has the time to take pictures of the food she prepares at night…all the while her perfectly dressed kids play at the kitchen table and home school at the same time…and I can't even get a shower people!! I do wonder how they keep it together…how their kid's socks match every day…how their hair and makeup are always done (one of the reasons I am rarely in the pictures on my blog)…and why can't I be more like them? Some writers "keep it real", don't get me wrong…and I love those honest sincere posts…but it's such a fine line. Who wants to come across whiney…complaining about life…frustrated? I think there is a way to be real without crossing the line of divulging too much info. Where do we draw the line with over sharing? I can remember writing posts (especially during my study through Radical) that I felt vulnerable…weak…struggling…but that to me was what I believe God wanted me to share. I think there is the right kind of vulnerability…not when we are keepin' it real by saying that we think "so and so is a no good loser", but when we are vulnerable and bear our souls…our hearts…struggles…when we are relatable.

I'm gonna give you my positives now, since I feel like I have been more negative. I have reconnected with old friends that now feel like some of my closest friends. In college I knew a girl named Jen that we were brief acquaintances and seriously now she seems like a kindred spirit. I have read blogs that have encouraged my faith…stretched me beyond belief….given me hope on some pretty dreary days. There is a network of prayer that I can't even explain. I pray for people that I don't know…have never met face to face…but I am burdened for them and pray them because of a blog or tweet. I will come across someone's scripture post and it's just what I needed at that moment. I have made friends…I have poured out my heart…I have learned…and I'm grateful for it.

I pray that I don't come across as having it all together…but I might. I pray that others don't think I don't struggle…cause I do. I pray that I am vulnerable…real to the people that come across my status updates or blog posts. So here is where I want you to weigh in…so suck it in and take your shoes off…what is your opinion on social networking…is it positive…negative…both? What would you like to hear/see more of…less? What is your opinion of "keepin' it real"? I'm just wanting opinions…just trying to work through some thoughts going through my head.


Anonymous said...

HOT topic around our house at times...overall i definitely feel that the positives of the social networking world out weigh the negatives...it comes down to the fact that boundaries have to be established and followed...

the biggest struggle for me is to make sure that i am communicating just as much to my family at home, as i am to that world out there...it's easy for me to assume that i have talked with my wife about something when i haven't...it was simply a status update that she didn't get (because she chooses not to join in the social networking world...)

one huge positive was my family being able to use facebook to coordinate my college roommate from the us virgin islands coming up to ohio for a surprise visit...it was awesome!

Chad Miller said...

I'd say both, but the fact of the matter is, it IS here to stay so we need to make use of it. It's like the internet, TV, phones, or any other media outlet. The platform itself isn't bad; it's the people that use it that can make it good or bad.

I've used it to witness to TONS of people I know from back in the day, and I'm not constantly Jesus Juking them either (matter of fact, I never Jesus Juke, especially a lost person - talk about a completely ineffective "witnessing" tool).

I post something witty or generic to make sure they don't ignore the guy that solely posts updates about Jesus, but I also make sure to put Biblical truths out there as well. Obviously I mean the things I post, but I have a deliberate reason to put some of the things I do. One, I'm just being me and not trying to paint a portrait of some super Christian that has graduated beyond humanity (that dude doesn't exist). Two, I'm showing them its ok to have fun, be disgruntled, be REAL, and still be a Christian. So far, it seems to work...

I get updates from some of these people that I would have long expected to ignore or remove me bc I've seen their aversion to the Gospel, but they maintain the Facebook friendship and haven't ignored me (yet). That means my posts about Jesus are still showing up on their news feed, and they're still reading my wall.

I still think there needs to be a rule book though... and I'm becoming an expert on what NOT to do... Right? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hey there friend. I love your heart. I think like so many things in life it's a fine balance. I love Facebook...blogging...e-mail but, I love my family more. I know there are times when I have put social networking above my kids and husband. It shows too!! The boys argue...house work is not finished...etc. (I am in my pj's as I type this. Yesterday I got my shower at 5:30pm)

I have some friends who sit down at their computer and set a timer. I am really considering it.

I love social networking! I love catching up with old friends...staying in touch with family. I find great encouragement on blogs, from status updates. I delete people who are foolish on their status updates...really. I have grown leaps and bounds and God has used many updates, blogs and websites to help me grow in my walk with Him.

So, I love it but, it's a balance. It cannot be first or second...or third in life.

I love you my friend! You are too sweet!

Nakitta Norton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nakitta Norton said...

I have always thought that social networking is what you make of it. I know so many people who say Facebook is to much drama or will just get you in trouble. And I agree, there are many people who use it negatively. Where they are always talking about someone or dramatizing everything. It also is very addicting (which I think is bad. Some people (myself included)spend way to much time on Facebook letting us know every step of the way what they are doing. That obviously can not be edifying to the Lord when social networking consumes so much of our life. So yes there are negatives, but in reality we as humans can turn anything that was not necessarily meant to be bad into a negative part of our life.

Then there is the good side. Like I said before social networking is what you make it. If you choose to use it as a fun way to reconnect with family, share photos, socialize, encourage and reach out to people then I don't see anything wrong with it. I have been able to pray for so many people that I wouldn't know about with out Facebook. Like you said, I have prayed for people I don't even know! This part of social networking is amazing to me. I could not even count the number of people who were praying for us when we lost our last baby (friends, friends of friends, church folks that don't even know me, family, and co-workers, co-workers of family and co-workers of friends) and that is because of Facebook. I seriously had an overwhelming feeling of peace. This part of it amazes me! How awesome is it that we can encourage so many with scripture, kind words, our own experiences and what not through one (or several) little website(s).

I agree to a certain degree that we need to keep things real on Facebook though. While somethings are to personal to put on a public forum, we shouldn't have this fake facade of how we want people to view our lives. Sometimes I struggle with being real (on Facebook) because I don't want people to feel sorry for me if I'm having a bad day, or think bad about me because my house is a wreck right now.. I live my day to day life like an open book and will answer an question you ask me about myself honestly with out hesitation but have a problem doing that on Facebook. I so wish that I could be so "real" on Facebook.

sorry for writing a book...