I will admit that I like Facebook. There are those who don’t. Some claim that Facebook and text messaging and things such as these promote a false sense of connection. Others don’t like Facebook because people are more apt to say things they would not say if they were face-to-face (an issue when words are hurtful or mean, certainly). Still others see it as a force that diminishes and hinders real relationships.
As for me, I see Facebook as amoral – meaning it is what you make it. Can it be used in negative ways? Yes. Can people avoid real depth of relationship by hiding behind their computer? Absolutely. Do some have a false sense of connection because their “friend” count is really high? Happens all the time. But, the problem lies not with Facebook. The real issue is the drift happening among people in general.
I am as guilty as anyone in this tendency to “turtle” – to withdraw into my safe shell and not engage in the depth of relationship that really matters. A deeper relationship is harder and scarier because you have to be willing to be more vulnerable and open.
We live in a culture where turtling is made easier. We put tall fences around our yards to keep the neighbors at a safe distance. We have automatic garage door openers that allow us to drive into the shell of our homes and avoid anyone around the front of the house. There are more people in our world than ever before, and yet we live far apart. The only way that will change is if we change it.
I think the words of the writer of Hebrews take on new meaning for us today:
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Let us fight the urge to “turtle”. Let’s fight the drift that moves us apart. Let’s find ways to be face-to-face more. Let’s move from relationships that are a mile wide and an inch deep and go deeper. It’s harder. It’s scarier. But, it’s worth it.
Holy high-five to you,