Ok, so I am one of those middle aged Facebookers. I love the connection it provides, and I have friends ranging from kids in the church’s youth group to aunts and uncles—a 60 odd year span. I have “friends” from family, high school, college, and various times of my life (usually marked by which church I was serving at the time). I have enjoyed getting to know people I was acquainted with, and seeing people from different times in my life interact with each other as they post comments on my posts. I have even found it to be an invaluable pastoral tool, letting me know of things happening in the lives of people in my church I would probably not know about otherwise—or at least not nearly so quickly. So, yes, I love Facebook.
But…there is an interesting dynamic on Facebook. The person I see on Facebook often doesn’t seem to be the person I know from other settings. Language becomes a bit more “colorful”. Comments are made which, in any other context would be seen as inappropriate at best. Pictures and videos show up (often posted by people other than the subject of the picture) documenting behavior that becomes embarrassing at best. Comments and observations about laziness at work, cheating, drugs and alcohol use all show up.
This isn’t news to anyone who is familiar with email, IMing, texting, or social network sites. My point in this post is simply this: Who are we? It isn’t just that we aren’t always wise when we talk about getting drunk last night—it’s the reality that we *say* we don’t believe in abusing alcohol. It isn’t that we let people see a different side of ourselves on Facebook, but that we *have* a different side—which means that there is a degree of hypocrisy in our lives we have to confront.
Faithfulness to the Lord requires that we be real. Whether it is pretty or not, impressive or not, we must be real. The person following Jesus has to really be us—not the picture of us we want others to believe in. So, again we face the question, “who are we”?