Stop Blaming Facebook

Erik Cooper —  June 1, 2011 — 4 Comments

For the longest time, I’ve carried a (mostly) unspoken frustration with social media haters.

“Facebook threatens real, human relationships.”

No it doesn’t.

“There’s no redeeming value to Twitter.”

Might want to check with those Egyptian protestors who overthrew their corrupt government.

“Social sites breed nothing but arrogance and self-promotion.”

Only if you’re an arrogant self-promoter.

Truth is, when something brings out the worst in us, we tend to blame the thing. The trigger. The inanimate object. It’s safer that way, because we don’t have to shine a light on the brokenness in our souls.

Want to know my greatest concern with technology and the emerging social architecture of today?

I’m never bored. Never.

Not once in any given day am I left with nothing to do. With nothing to stimulate the synapses of my brain. The world is always at my fingertips. Podcasts, RSS readers, Netflix streaming, email, ESPN, online newspapers, Facebook news feed, and later this month the new CityCom app (sorry, couldn’t resist a little cross promotion).

If life begins to tip towards the mundane, the potential for something better is always there. Literally, right there.

And I fear what that is exposing in me.

Dinner conversation filled with awkward pauses? Check the scores.

Daughter’s scene by scene synopsis of the latest iCarly episode a bit dull (for the record, that answer is always yes)? Maybe an old high school buddy has something entertaining to say.

Drive across town not stimulating enough? Post that 38 point dagger on Words with Friends (of course, you should never do this while behind the wheel, kids).

If I’m bored with what’s in front of me, I just change it. And I wonder if vanquishing boredom is really a good thing?

Lulls cultivate thinking. Creativity. Listening. Relational pursuit. Resisting the urge to consistently find something better gives me time appreciate what I’ve got. To be grateful. To be alive.

I need to reacquaint myself with boredom.

But I don’t blame technology and social media (I think they have far more positive potential than pain). They’ve just given my existing issues something new to abuse.

Find the courage to look at the broken places. The fear. Of boredom. Of silence. Of what we might actually have to risk if we leave that open space empty for just a little while.

I need to work on this.

4 responses to Stop Blaming Facebook


  2. Amen!

    I love the possibility of social media! I need the space of boredom because it helps propel me forward and seek God. Seek isn’t glance, and it isn’t usually pursued by me without a strong realization that He has what I need, and I’m going after it because He is the only one that has it. I’ve been working on switching my mindset from being a consumer to a producer – from being entertained, to entertaining the presence of God. From being a talker, to a listener. Of course, there is a season for everything, and I still adore the blessing of social media, but I have enjoyed my Sabbatical and coming out of it, I have made some big changes. Some of these include room for boredom for myself AND my kids. It doesn’t kill you! Often it helps you to see. Or maybe it is just like money, or social media. Maybe the fruit of it depends on who you are. Some use social media for good, others not. Some use money to bless, others not. Some use boredom to create, others not. Boredom itself doesn’t always equal an explosion of awesomeness and productivity. Sometimes it leads to chaos and sin. I think we need God’s grace in our lives in all of the parts and should ask for it. When I was bored and felt pain, I wrote poetry. When my family members were bored and felt pain, they did drugs. God, make us healthy, in Jesus name. Your perfect love casts out fear. Let us be free to find you in the quietness and in the wildness and live securely in the truth.

    Great post!

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