Do You Understand the Impact of Facebook?

Yes, I spend too much time on Facebook. But, as I’ve noted before, it’s how I keep our families (spread across the U.S.) updated on the activities of grandkids and nieces/nephews; and how we stay updated with those same family members. It allows my kids to have online conversations – chats, posts, etc. – with grandparents on a regular basis. Pre-FB the only connection would have been through possibly weekly phone conversations. Now family members get to get real-time updates of game scores we post from the stands and video from band concerts. We get to see each other’s Christmas trees and see everyone gathered around the table for the family dinner we don’t get to attend. I’m really glad my kids have this venue for connection to their extended family.
Additionally, we get to keep contact and friendships with dear friends back in Chicago from here in Texas. What a privilege to laugh and comment at funny family experiences of people we love; and be able to pray for needs the moment we become aware of them. Plus, we get to see how other lifelong kid-friends are growing just as they get to see how our kids are growing. Plus, now that our kids are to the point they can be on FB (FB age guidelines are 13 yrs old), they get to keep up with friends they tearfully left two years ago.
Plus, we got to know our new Waterbrook church family before we ever arrived in Texas because we began to meet them on FB before we moved south. We get to be real with one another; and I realize social media connections can be impersonal, but they also offer a glimpse into someone’s home life – depending on how much you post. This can be a problem when you post that your boss was a jerk today forgetting your boss is one of your FB friends, but in a church family setting it allows you to see beyond Sunday smiles and into new areas we might otherwise never know about one another.

Part of the appeal of Facebook is what you learn about people just from their profile picture. This is little Jeffy.

Then there’s the reconnection with childhood and college friends. I’ve been encouraged, reminded, and even saddened when catching up with old friends. Whereas generations past used to dread reunions, we get to reconnect with many over FB and realize we’ve all had the same kids issues, good and bad relationships, money struggles, and bodies falling apart. Plus, I remember why those people were so much fun to hang around with in high school/college.
And finally, it gives me a place to post those random thoughts that emerge from conversations in my head. Before FB the only ones who ever heard those things outloud were my wife and kids. They’d just look at me funny and dismiss me as odd. (And I’m choosing to go with odd over the dozen other things they consider me that would require clinical diagnosis.) Now I post those thoughts online and find there are a few other people who LOL at the same quirky things I do. So maybe I’m not crazy after all.
Is there a point to my rambling? Why, yes; thanks for asking. We can debate the pros and cons for FB – and should; but we can’t dimiss the fact it has changed the landscape of relationships. There are plenty of pitfalls and dangers in friendships that exist only online. It’s still a major shift in how people connect and with whom. Good or bad it’s here to stay. If all we do is complain about it and try to avoid it, we’ll miss the boat of opportunities that also accompany it.
FB is likely a fad. Maybe one like the telephone – the device or platform will change, but the new tool will be around in one form or another for a long time and become something that’s simply expected of everyone in a few years. I’m not a technological futurist, nor am I out to convince you to set up a Facebook profile. I’m simply pointing out that FB doesn’t seem to be the laserdisk. It’s likely here to stay and will continue to impact our communication in the years to come in one way or another.
Still don’t believe me? Check out these statistics…
The Stats on Digg

And don’t even get me started on guys who blog. 🙂
– Jeff

Posted: January 14, 2011 
Filed under: Jeff, Leadership
Tagged: , , , ,
Comments: Leave a Comment

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!


two − 1 =" />

3 visitors online now
0 guests, 3 bots, 0 members
Max visitors today: 9 at 12:11 am UTC
This month: 54 at 09-21-2020 07:53 pm UTC
This year: 55 at 01-15-2020 09:13 pm UTC
All time: 139 at 07-25-2014 05:29 pm UTC