I have repented about Facebook. “What, pray tell, have you done wrong towards Facebook that requires repentance?” I hear you ask.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, the primary meaning of the verb “repent” is to turn from sin. But the secondary meaning is “to change one’s mind.” It’s that definition that describes my condition.
When I first joined Facebook, it was to keep up with my children. They would post pictures of their latest adventures online. The only way I could see them was to become a Facebook “friend.” I did not want to be “friends” with anyone besides my children. Then a niece or nephew “friended” me, and how can you say “No” to family. Then it was someone from church, and the pastor can’t exactly be unfriendly.
As my Facebook “friends” continued to increase, I finally repented. I came to realize that Facebook is a useful tool for networking and communication. Since I need all the help I can get in both areas, I chose to embrace Facebook as a helpful tool.
That doesn’t mean Facebook is without its faults. It can be an incredible time waster, and I don’t really need any help doing that. Hours pass quickly as you view every photo, watch every video, and click every link posted by your friends. Don’t get me started on all the frivolous games available as well. What makes my friends think I want their sheep, fish, farm, weapons, or Mafia relations? And that doesn’t include the time spent cyber stalking to discover who my friends’ friends are.
Facebook can become a lure to revisit old relationships. It can entice one back into old habits. I read of one church that banned Facebook among its membership because some people used it to rekindle old flames and wound up in adulterous relationships. I’m not ready to go that far, but I heartily acknowledge that some relationships, friendships, temptations, distractions, failures, and sins of my past are best kept right there—in the past, and not reopened in the present.
Facebook can also become a substitute for life. Rather than experience my own adventures, it is easy to settle for living vicariously through someone else’s.
But Facebook is useful for connecting. With my family and friends spread across the country and the world, it helps me to keep in touch with where they are, what they are doing, and how I can pray for them right now. It allows me to communicate quickly with a multitude of people without having to pick up a phone and call or text each one individually.
Facebook can be redeemed and used as a tool for the Kingdom of God. It can be a great resource for communicating prayer requests and answers to prayer, or posting encouraging articles or sermons.
I have seen the light and I repent. I’m not ready to do the whole “dust and ashes” thing, but I have changed my mind.