At the risk of sounding redundant to what my pastor spoke about yesterday (which, by the way, I've only heard second-hand at this point as I was home with my 5 year old son suffering from a migraine), I have a couple of thoughts concerning Facebook.
The first is this: It CAN be a good thing. As a social person who doesn't have a lot of time to talk on the phone or write full page letters (or find a stamp), facebook is a great way for me to keep up with friends and missionaries. Most importantly, it's a great "prayer chain" tool. I mean, how many people knew that a missionary wife out of our church who is currently on deputation was sick with the flu a few days ago? Unless you were on facebook, not very many people would have even heard until she was at the tail end of her illness. Those of us on her "friend" list were able to pray for her right when she needed that prayer.
Facebook, like most things on the internet, can be a good thing, but it can also be a very bad and spiritually unhealthy place to be. Which brings me to my second point.
Facebook reveals you for who you truly are.
I cannot tell you how many Christian friends I have/had that have totally shocked me in their real life ways. For some reason, most of us have no reservations about being truthful about our lives when all we have to face is a computer screen. Someone's "status" can be a call to prayer, something to make you smile or cry, or it can be down-right vulgar. Looking through some people's photos will reveal their heart as well. What you knew someone to be in church or school, you suddenly realize has another "face" completely. To quote a friend of mine on facebook, whom I went through junior high with - "It's interesting to see who stuck with the Lord and who was just going through the motions."
Now, for those of my readers who think I'm just "mortified" at pictures of girls wearing pants, that is NOT what I'm referring to. Let's get beyond that.
At the risk of offending someone, let me say this: I have lost a few facebook "friends" along the way with some of my conservative views; either by me removing them as friends or them removing me. As someone who doesn't like to hurt others, this has bothered me, but not for long. What are standards worth if you're not going to live by them? If I don't watch television or movies with vulgar language or very revealing dress, why should I allow that on my computer screen where, not only does it defile my eyes, but potentially the eyes of my husband and children?
If someone I knew in the past as a Christian following the Lord, how can I watch their life blaze across my computer screen as they flaunt their tatoos, beer parties, etc.? It grieves my heart. I pray for them. But, I remove them as my "friend."
It's odd, but a lot of my facebook friends who I never knew to live a life close to God do not post such pictures or nonsense. I don't see a lot of party-like pictures. I don't see girls dressed in a way that one would never guess they were a Christian. I see pictures of family and talk of everyday life. It makes me mourn where Christianity is today. Or, it makes me mourn where some Christians have gone.
But, then again, like I said, your real face is revealed on facebook. I have some friends that I never was sure where their walk was with the Lord but they have proved, through pictures and writing, that their hearts are knit close to His. They encourage me in my walk as they walk with Him. They'll praise the Lord in their status, lift other friends up in prayer, or just quote a Bible verse to encourage all of their "friends" - saved, unsaved, or back-slidden.
So, I'll continue on Facebook and I'll continue to be cautious about whom I "confirm as a friend" and I'll continue to "remove" friends as needed. All the while, I'll remember that MY true face is being revealed, as well.