IS FACEBOOK MAKING US LONELY?

I read an interesting article from Psychology Today last Saturday.

It tells us that though our ‘web connections’ have grown broader but shallower. Stephen Marche and his research team tells us that we are more isolated that ever before, and also more accessible than ever imagined.

This means  that while we have hundreds of friends in Facebook and scores of followers on Twitter, the relationships are actually shallow.

We can know what Lady Gaga ate for breakfast and what city One Direction is in today but there’s very little relationship if any.

Stephen Marche, in his article in The Atlantic says,

Loneliness and being alone are not the same thing, but both are on the rise. We meet fewer people. We gather less. And when we gather, our bonds are less meaningful and less easy. The decrease in confidants—that is, in quality social connections—has been dramatic over the past 25 years. In one survey, the mean size of networks of personal confidants decreased from 2.94 people in 1985 to 2.08 in 2004. Similarly, in 1985, only 10 percent of Americans said they had no one with whom to discuss important matters, and 15 percent said they had only one such good friend. By 2004, 25 percent had nobody to talk to, and 20 percent had only one confidant.

Hebrews 10:25 says, Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Let me encourage you to get into a small group, volunteer or continue to build meaningful relationships.

CHURCH OF FACEBOOK

church-of-facebook-3d-cover2Ran across this book entitled, “The Church of Facebook.” by Jesse Rice.

Interesting read.

Fellowshipping online is now happening. In fact, there are small groups that meet online primarily because people travel and move about. Interesting concept.

As more and more people get into Facebook, here are a few things he mentions in his book.

1. Practice regular check ins.

It’s easy to mindlessly go through the daily rut, even as we scroll through the status updates of friends. Check in and do personal reflections within the day so that our day won’t just fly us by and not know what actually went on.

2. Make the intention not to go online immediately before bed and immediately after waking up.

Not this is a trap for me, if I can be so transparent.

3. Practice mindful Facebooking.

Jesse Rice says to “make the intention to pay attention to how you spend time (or waste time) in Facebook.”

It is so easy to go online and realize you’ve been in front of the computer for a couple of hours. Guilty as charged!

4. Practice authentic Facebooking.

Authenticity is what people appreciate. Exaggeration is always a temptation and ‘over sharing’ can be a trap. But staying authentic and real is absolutely refreshing.

5. Adopt one or two Facebook friends for one month.

Rather than just sporadically go through statuses and pics, building a relationship/friendship with someone online i.e. a friend you haven’t seen in a long time is definitely a fantastic idea.

Pray for them, share verses, give encouragement… not as a public message for everyone to see but maybe something personal and private.

As a result, Facebooking can become more intentional rather than just a drive by waste of time.