An invitation to dialogue here

One of the challenges for Lent this year is “giving up” social media. I need to break myself of this addiction in my life.

However, I will still be blogging. And I tie my blog to my Twitter and Facebook accounts so more people have an opportunity to see what I post.

I also realize it’s way easier to post a comment or “like” (or dislike) something on Facebook, so I want to invite those are interested into a conversation HERE instead. It will take a lot of effort on my part to not check Facebook and Twitter during this fast, but that is my goal. So, if you may happen to comment on something you see, it will hopefully be either from this blog or a verse I tweeted from Biblegateway. I will do my best to NOT see it there…

If you would like to comment on something I post, please visit the blog here and feel free to comment.

Ash Wednesday is coming up and I will be taking my break then.

This is a season of incredible opportunity to hear from God and I need the distractions minimized. But I want to keep sharing the journey with any who happen by this blog. God is up to something GOOD in these days. Let’s take this journey together!

Facebook wants you to be sad… or angry… or happy…

So, Facebook spent some time manipulating things people saw on Facebook to gauge their reactions…

There are far to many random thoughts here to make this post coherent at all. Here we go:

Facebook manipulated post feeds to gauge how people would react… Sounds like another day of reading headlines on CNN or Fox News to me.

Facebook experimented with a site they let people use for free… and people who pay nothing to use the site are mad because they have been manipulated… We complain so readily about things we never pay for, demanding change without putting any capital into the project to make sure the changes happen… And somehow we’re offended… I’m still scratching my head on this one.

On the other hand, for the executives at Facebook to have any indignation toward the NSA, or to be angry at others for using Facebook to “bully” people… well, they’ve lost that “moral” high ground I think.

But for us as users… we need a grip. Not just in regards to Facebook, but in regards to letting small things swing our emotions so readily. We allow headlines to do it. We allow politicians to manipulate their words. We allow false statements to enrage us all the time.

Facebook isn’t the only one manipulating emotions. It happens all around us. Know why? We let it. We don’t read the headline carefully, or read beyond the headline, and we get mad. We read too many stories that bring our spirits down and do nothing to stop the flow of bad news… like, I don’t know… turning off the feed and picking up something that WILL lift up our spirits.

Facebook did the experiment because they could. People are easily manipulated. We too often don’t stop to check facts or dig deeper, or just even allow people to have opposite opinions without calling them “communists” or “fascists” or “fundies” or (insert your favorite insult here).

We don’t want to have respectful conversations. We just want to think what WE want to think… and demand others think exactly like us, or they’re just plain idiots! (It just feels good to be shrill, dog gone it! That felt good!)

We need to breathe. We need to sit back and dwell on what is good, true, noble, beautiful, admirable or praiseworthy. We need to THINK on those things…

And then we all refuse to act rashly, Facebook will realize they can’t do that stuff any more. As will CNN and Fox News. But until then… they’ll keep right on ticking you off.

Giving up Facebook

I will be taking a break from Facebook… in a way. I’ll still have the account, but the discipline I need to follow is only connecting my blog, and maybe an occasional Twitter comment, to Facebook.

No more Facebook “stalking,” or trying to update my own status. I have hopefully loaded up the pictures from the San Francisco trip I wanted to get there, but may add a few to our Heights Church Facebook page.

This came to me last Friday when I was praying at San Francisco City Impact. I found myself weeping without control over my own life. Seeing what City Impact is doing in the Tenderloin of San Francisco is so amazing. When I thought of all we had seen and done in the week, the thought hit me, “Dear God, please don’t let me go back to my humdrum life of updating my Facebook status.”

There is something more the Lord is asking of me in leading my church. I need to pray for what is “next” for us. We are on a great journey in our church, and I want to be the type of pastor that leads by example. More prayer, less “branding.” More study, less “puffing up.” More serving, less “surfing.” My disciplines are lacking, and this is one small way to try and get some order back in my life.

I journaled incessantly during the trip, noting things to evaluate in my own life. Small changes that can add up to big changes. This is one. So it is my hope you will be seeing less of me on Facebook.

My prayer is that I give up my tiny little life of thinking my Facebook conversations are so “great,” and I get back to what is truly great in the service of my King.

My Blockbuster Lament

I will call it a conspiracy theory. It’s the conspiracy to drive all of us to our couches and man-caves, into isolation, and never have to interact face to face again.

It is the Blockbuster Conspiracy. You can maybe get current movies on DVD at RedBox, but want to browse for and rent a somewhat older movie? Forget it.

Want to browse a bookstore and maybe sip a cup of coffee as you do? Forget it.

Want to watch a college football championship game on regular TV? Forget it.

We are being driven into our man caves and onto our couches, never to interact with a live human being again… unless they’re in tech support and we have them on the phone.

Want to watch a somewhat older movie? Either find it on Netflix online (which will probably be a futile search) or order it online or through the mail.

We are being driven into virtual worlds! I’m even blogging about this, screaming into a virtual void! SEE?!?!? They’re winning!

Whoever “they” are! If you’re a liberal… it’s the conservatives. If you’re a conservative, it’s the liberals. If you’re Bill Maher, it’s the Christians!

Just… RUN!!!!

Get out right now. Find a coffee shop. Order a cup of coffee and talk to someone face to face. Don’t allow the virtual gods to take you away!

Rise up out of those basements you thirty-something sons who haven’t showered in a month because you’ve been in 28 straight online gaming tournaments.

Step away from your computers, you facebook creeping women who stalk your husbands posts.

Shower first… then ARISE! Get thee to your neighborhood… something… anything! And TALK!

Hooked on Facebook and Nothing to Do About It?

Obviously, if you’re on Facebook you’ve probably seen the posts that are spam links taking you to sites you just don’t want to go to. This story gives some details if you’re not on Facebook.

Here is the problem, and I face it personally: even in our outrage we probably won’t quit Facebook. It’s the vehicle that best gets the word out, so even if we get abused by this spam over and over… could we quit?

I had high hopes for Google Plus, but that doesn’t seem to be headed anywhere meaningful. Once post this blog, it goes right to Facebook and more people will interact with me on Facebook than on this blog. It’s just our nature at this point.

What do you think? Would you be outraged enough with the antics on Facebook that you would actually quit it?