When Facebook becomes an idol

About three years ago I got my first smartphone.  And one of the first apps I downloaded was Facebook.  And like most of you, there came a point where I realized I was spending too much time on Facebook, yet I just kept at it.  About 6 months ago I began “fasting” from Facebook on Wednesdays.  It was so difficult at first.  Out of habit, I would touch the app to open Facebook and then remember and hurry up and close it out.  After a couple of months, it became easier to remember I was fasting from it.  A couple of months ago I quit worrying about wishing everyone on Facebook a “Happy Birthday”.  About a month ago I began to realize that Facebook not only failed to make me happier or more productive, but was a hindrance to my spiritual life.  (I am always amused at the irony of people on Facebook complaining about all the negativity on Facebook, as if their post is adding positivity.)  And I am not complaining about all the negativity on Facebook in today’s blog.

I find Facebook to be like just about everything else in life.  It can be good or it can be bad for me.  I love being able to let people know about my new blog posts on it.  From the church page we can advertise fundraisers for the community or get the menu out for our free Wednesday Community Dinners.  We can draw attention to Haiti or the Union Rescue Mission.  I can see pictures of people I never get to see and pray for them.  I can also be consumed and obsessed with self to the point of constantly checking how many people “like” the witty things I write.  A funny TRUE story about Facebook likes:  Earlier this month I met a young lady who is serving as a teacher at an orphanage at Hope Rising Children’s Home in Haiti.  The first month she was there she was posting all these things on FB about her work there and being called by God to be there and she did not receive even one like – not even from her own mom.  She became discouraged and began to wonder if she was not supposed to be in Haiti.  It turned out she had her settings so private that only she could see her posts.  Nobody else could see them.  Once she figured that out, her posts became very popular and she was affirmed.

I’m not accusing any of you of anything.  Go back and re-read this if you do not believe me.  I have only been talking about me.  And this reminds me of a Francis Chan sermon where he said,

I often hear people use the phrase “money does strange things to people”, but I have never heard anyone say “money has done strange things to me”.

thumb-down-emoticonI admit that I had a problem with Facebook.  I allowed it to become an idol.  I allowed all the “likes” to be the deciding factor as to whether a post was good or bad.  I allowed it to consume too much of my time.  And still, with all that being said, I am not giving it up.  Everything I said about the good things is still true.  The moral of the story is that Facebook is something that I must control and must not be something that controls me.  Anything earthly that controls me is an idol.

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This entry was posted in Obstacles, Opportunity, Walking the Walk and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to When Facebook becomes an idol

  1. Sandy says:

    I really needed your post today, yes I am taking a break from Facebook even though it is how I see what is going on with my family since they live a distant away and all my mission connections.
    I am not concerned about the likes but I have found myself on it way to much, thanks, Scott! Blessings, Sandy

  2. JAY JARICHA says:

    Anything that take more of your time, more of your heart and more of your digestion is your God. Facebook is all that GOOD, it saves its purpose of socialization, and it is true that socialization is derived from the “love concept”. The end result is that God “loves” love for he is Love.To put the most of your and wholly concentration to the Facebook is the misusing and abusing of the same (Facebook). For the word says love your God with the whole of your heart.

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