This week I created a Facebook account.
I stayed off Facebook and social media for years, and I'm glad I did. I'm 20, and I have maturity and discernment that I didn't have as a young teenager. It's easy to get tangled up with the wrong people on social media, to post things that are better kept private, to draw my value from how many Likes a post receives, and to waste a lot of time scrolling through posts irrelevant to me. While I still have to fight against such things, I would have fallen into these pitfalls easier at a younger age.
But I still have to be careful no matter how old I am. I'm still maturing, and I still hesitated to hit the blue sign-up button on Sunday to create a Facebook account. Ultimately, I signed up because I'll soon be launching an online art store called Lauren's Easel and a Facebook page seemed to be a good way to market it. Facebook is also a good way to share this blog to hopefully encourage more people with my writing.
But the thing that concerns me most about Facebook is how easy it makes "friendship." I don't want my friendships to become shallow, and Facebook makes that easy. There is beauty in intentional friendship, and intentional friendship is worth the effort. I've heard it said before that you only love as well as you're inconvenienced, and I believe it's true. And Facebook makes it very easy to not be inconvenienced much. You can just Like someone's post when maybe you should be picking up the phone, writing an email, or visiting them to engage them directly and to hear how they're really doing. Facebook can deceive us into thinking we're meeting each other's needs for community when often we're simply staring into a screen.
I could go on about the dangers of social media, but I am choosing to use it like my razor. Used correctly and it yields good results. Used incorrectly and it yields bad results. That doesn't mean I shouldn't use my razor; it just means I need to use it with care. That is how I view my new Facebook account.
Are you on Facebook? What advice can you share with me?