Recently I talked about some of the pitfalls of social media particularly facebook. I listed five reasons why we as Christians should maybe avoid facebook all together. Several friends of mine decided at the beginning of this year to just log off completely. The issues raised are some legitimate problems, but are there also some advantages to facebook as well? Here are five reasons why I think that Facebook can be an advantage. These are not necessarily in any particular order of importance.
1. Keeping in touch with people!
Facebook makes it so easy to keep in touch with people. My wife and I have family and friends who live in many different states and we rarely ever see some of them. Facebook has been a way for them to keep up with how things are going with us and vice versa! Facebook has been a great way to keep up with friends from high school and college that I will possibly never see again. Many of my friends from college are involved with certain ministries here in the states as well as abroad and because of Facebook I can easily see what all God is doing in their ministries and know how to pray for them. I have friends from when I went to Africa that I can easily keep in touch with and it actually makes it seem like I am not as far away from them as I am.
2. People from the past can see the change!
This could probably go with #1 but I am going to separate it mainly because of how big of a deal it has been for me. Facebook has been such a great way for me to show people I knew in my past what all God has done in my life. People who knew me prior to 2001 saw a version of me that I want to be forgotten. My life has completely changed since then, and ever since I have wanted the opportunity to reconnect with people so they can see the difference Jesus has made. Facebook has given me that opportunity. I don’t want people to have the person I was as a permanent memory of me. Now many people from my past can see what God can do with an average, shy, and sinful guy who surrenders all to Him!
3. Facebook is an easy way to keep up with and announce current events!
I haven’t had much time lately to watch the news so Facebook is how I know what all is going on, and I can get news very quickly! With the exception of twitter, Facebook is probably the fastest way to find out about anything. I found out about the death of Bin Laden and the winner of the presidential election through Facebook! This has been very convenient at times we have been somewhere where we didn’t have access to a television. Also it is a great tool for announcing events going on and to get the word out quickly and not have to spend money on envelopes and stamps.
4. Facebook is a great way to meet the culture where it is!
As Christians we are called to impact this culture, and it is right there for us on Facebook. It is a tool that we can use where we can see and be aware of issues people are going through. Just about everyone I know has a Facebook account so whether we like it or not, it is a reality. Why would we as Christians not take advantage of an opportunity to encourage someone or minister to them when it is right there in front of us. You can sometimes tell from a person’s status updates that they are in a dark place and we should be moved with compassion for them and take to opportunity to contact and encourage them.
5. SHARING OUR FAITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am not saying that every status or comment has to be about Jesus, but it breaks my heart to see so many people who call themselves Christians on Facebook but they would rather talk about sports, politics, or anything that really doesn’t matter for eternity! Of course there is nothing wrong with talking about those things but where are our priorities? Let’s be honest, what we are passionate about is ultimately what we are going to talk about. If Jesus is our passion then we won’t be able to stop talking about Him. What you put on your Facebook wall will ultimately show where your heart is, or at least that is what people who see it will take from it. I post about sports all the time, but as I grow in my walk with Jesus I want to share with my Facebook friends what all He is doing in my life! Facebook is a phenomenal way to share your faith with others and to not take advantage of this is really just sad. You can be a part of fulfilling the great commission with just a keyboard and a mouse. This should of course never take the place of sharing our faith in person, but to not utilize this tool we have is really a waste.