Filed under Christianity
Here are notes I made on how Facebook can be a Christian’s friend or foe from a very helpful seminar on ‘Relationships in the New Media Age’ by Neil Powell of City Church Birmingham.
Download or listen to the seminar at http://www.avenuecommunitychurch.org.uk/media/2010-05-09-PM%20Seminar%20-%20Relationships%20in%20the%20New%20Media%20Age.mp3
Facebook as a friend
Facebook can be a blessing when it is used as a tool to…
- Keep in touch with people.
- Reconnect with those we have lost contact with.
- Extend face-to-face relationships.
- Take the focus off ourselves by using it to listen to or encourage others.
- Model a disciplined and creative Christian life to others.
- Model a critical and reflective life by sharing our thoughts on the culture we are consuming (books, films, music etc.)
- Do evangelism.
- Promote events.
- Build community.
- Research trends and sharpen teaching e.g. by finding out what people are reading and watching.
- Support and encourage church mission partners whom we can’t meet face-to-face.
Facebook as a foe
Ways in which the use of Facebook can damaging:
- By encouraging procrastination.
- By encouraging ill-discipline e.g. staying up late at night messing about instead of being asleep.
- By encouraging addictive usage of the Internet.
- Flirting – easy way to sin? Lust? Leading others on?
- Using our Facebook profiles to project an image that is not a true representation of who we are.
- By encouraging inappropriate intimacy and voyeurism – why should we view photo albums of people we hardly know? Why should we ‘listen in’ on others’ wall-to-wall conversations?
- Public exclusion – everyone knows who is a ‘friend’, or who has not been invited to an event.
Virtue of humility
- Encourages narcissism (‘look what I’ve done’, or ‘see how many friends I have’) instead of humility.
Celebration of trivial and superficial
- Generally a bad medium for heart-to-heart conversations which require intimacy and extended discourse.
- Lack of accountability if we hide behind numerous superficial relationships instead of investing in a few good friends who will keep us accountable.
The way it weakens our thinking
- Encourages ‘sound bite’ sized thinking to the detriment of reflective thought and the art of communicating an extended argument e.g. the ability to write a good letter.
If you’ve found this helpful, be sure to listen to the whole seminar (link above).