Cha, Cha, Cha, Changes: An Offline Journey

I love hearing about people’s lives.
The good. The bad. The ugly.
Stories of redemption.
Kids. Vacations. Lives in motion.
It’s why I love social networking.

It’s goal is to connect our lives on another level. To keep us intertwined even if we are living in far off distances. To be able to take the world and bring it closer together. Make it smaller. The idea is amazing. It wasn’t Mark Zuckerburg who came up with it. Before I was on Facebook, it was Friendster, Myspace, Live Journal, Blogger, and the list goes on. Before too long, you have so many social networks that it’s almost a full time job keeping up with them all.

While I LOVE the experience I have with Facebook, it’s also crept its way into places that don’t do well for me. Plenty of people have unfriended me without warning- and it hurt (it sounds so silly doesn’t it, but it’s true). I’ve had people post about me in unloving ways- and it crushed me. Nobody wants to be talked bad about do they? I’ve watched people (sometimes best friends) disagree without love. Many times those arguments turning ugly, it was truly heart-breaking. And, I’ve come to find something interesting about myself…

I used to be a better guy offline.

Before Facebook:
– I paid more attention to people
– Life was lived looking up & out (and not my mobile/laptop screen)
– Relationships were more intentional
– I had less friends, but I actually talked to the ones I had
– My phone was actually used as a phone to hear people, not to message people

I’ve realized that I can be better at relationships when I’m not consumed with such an amazing social network. It really is amazing. But the access to it is a temptress that lures me in and after awhile I’ve spent an hour or two “connecting” with people, but never really doing life with people. I spent a few weeks where I just checked Facebook once a week, and… it was amazing who I connected with, rekindled relationships, and was better with family and as a pastor.

So, I’m converting my Facebook profile to a page. This allows me to be where the people of our church, friends, family, etc are, without being sucked into a never ending newsfeed of people’s stuff. I know I’ll miss parts of a personal profile, but I want better for myself. It still allows you to keep up with our family, without me being tempted to comment on every single thing. Also, by turning off all notifications, I won’t be alerted by every like, comment, check-in, song you listened to, etc. You will be able to message me on there like email and I can answer from my personal email.

As my wife and I invest in one another, pour into the lives of our girls, and share rich friendships through the community and our church here at Forefront; I want to be at my best. God calls me to be that. So, I evaluate and draw the lines I need to.

I want to be known my life offline.
Facebook hasn’t helped me in that regard.
This change helps me embrace that again.
Boundaries are a sign of growth. God has some BIG things on the horizon…
Here’s to being a better husband, father, pastor, and friend.
Face to face.