Thanks Facebook for the memories
Facebook shows me posts from my past. Hey, here is a memory from five years ago . . . “I wonder what I was doing five years ago that made me post that?” I have seen a few posts that made me question why it was posted to Facebook in the first place.
What should we post to Facebook, or any social media? More importantly, is it consistent with our Faith journey?
Facebook shows me another memory, it’s a picture of a meal I had a couple years ago on this day. Was that meal worth posting? Why did I feel it was important to share it with my friends, more importantly, what was so amazing about a chili dog? Ha Ha okay it was a chili dog, my favorite.
I read an article somewhere describing the frustration servers have with guests of restaurants.
It takes longer for guests to order and dine than it used to. They are so consumed with their phones, they forget to browse the menu and order. As soon as guests receive their meal they begin taking photos of it to post on Social Media.
Then the guests sit on their phones, without saying a word to one another. All of this before they have even take a bite of their meal.
Studies have shown posting on Social Media is not accurate to a person’s life. We post what we want to be, not who we really are. We have an image of the person we want to be, and we post as that person. Personal marketing at its finest.
“It is dangerous to be concerned of what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord you are safe.” -Proverbs 29:25
Many photos and posts on Facebook may not be an accurate reflection of self, but it’s a glimpse into the process of deciding who we are or want to be. It’s our personal billboard advertising us.
This leads to envy and jealousy by some, a competitive posting frenzy. Getting ‘Likes’ on Social Media is addicting. Being seen, liked, and shared drives us to continue posting. We post something and constantly check our phones to see the number of likes go up. Admit it, you have been disappointed on the lack of likes you have gotten.
We notice a certain picture or post gets more likes than another, and it drives us to post more like it. Suddenly we are trying to keep up with the Jones’ on Facebook. We become consumed with checking our status. Our dopamine is ramped up, we are becoming hooked.
Next, we have the nosy neighbor. We have coined the term ‘Facebook Stalker’ to explain the perusing of other’s Facebook posts, likes, interests, location, and work. Some have even gone as far as noticing what people like. If you have been in a relationship, you may have been asked, “Why are you liking his/her status?” or, “I thought you weren’t talking to him/her anymore, why did you like what they posted?”
There is an entire culture developed inside Facebook’s newsfeeds. Dissertations have been written on this subject. We can’t get our noses out of our phones. We are living another life somewhere in Cyberspace.
So, Facebook showed me a post from years ago of a funeral, or an angry article I knew better than to post, but I did anyway . . . or a few highlights of some very bad choices . . . “Thanks, Facebook.” I didn’t want to relive those moments.
I am thankful I can reframe my memories in healthy ways to process through difficult and hurtful times in my life.
However, Facebook shows me myself in its raw moments. There is no reframing, just the raw moment of the post. I have been shocked and disappointed at the things I have posted in the past. To be fair, I have also been delighted and excited to see past posts of fond memories that had faded in my mind.
Those posts didn’t capture or do the moment justice, however. I am thinking of a post I saw the other day, my father bought my sister, mom, and I tickets to see ‘Old Crow Medicine Show’ in Amarillo. My sister and I rode together, it was pouring rain. My parents had driven in from Tucumcari to meet us. The photo shows us all together soaking wet.
What it doesn’t show, is the violin I had brought to be signed by the band.
It doesn’t show, the joy on my father’s face when I was able to have the violin signed by the band and gift it to him.
It doesn’t show, our family singing along to our favorite songs.
It doesn’t show, the joy and excitement I felt that night,
that is locked away in my memory.
I try to be careful what I post in the same way I am careful to control my tongue. James (3:9-10) says, “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”
Perhaps our comments and posts online and Social Media should reflect our heart and the Spirit filled follower of Christ we aspire to be.
Then we can say, “Thanks Facebook for the memories.”
In His service and yours,