Last month Facebook “went down.”
The fact that I only knew about this because it was a top news story completely illustrates my own love/hate relationship with Facebook—which is more hate than love.
Don’t get me wrong, I know Facebook—and other social media sites—is important. I get that. And I know that I live in an age where using these tools for my business is going to be critical to the success—or lack thereof—of my business.
But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. And in many ways I don’t.
But I’m getting better. And I’ve met some friends that I have found to be priceless. People like Chris and Amy and Gae and Lori have become the reason that I “believe” in Facebook. These have been women who truly witness to the faith and have been real sisters-in-the-Lord to me.
Yet, I admit that I feel old when I log into my Facebook account and so some days I forgo it altogether.
And apparently it was one of those days that the whole thing crashed.
It didn’t matter to me and, quite frankly, I’m glad it didn’t.
My entire Facebook experience has gone something like this:
1. I set up a page.
2. I read an article about Facebook sharing private information so I deleted my page.
3. A friend explained how I could better use Facebook and exponentially reduced my fears (thank you, Peggy Bowes, you are a blessing to me).
4. I set up a new page.
5. I was on my new page most of the day for many days trying to maximize my presence and thus my company’s presence.
6. My real work wasn’t getting done and I stopped using FB but in a step towards growth I didn’t delete the page.
7. Now I’m on FB when I’ve got some important news to post or if I have a few minutes and want to read what others are doing but mostly I’m not on Facebook these days.
In the middle of all this I’ve developed a few philosophies.
For instance, in the beginning of my life on Facebook I “checked out” every person who requested my FB friendship. This quickly became way too time-consuming and so at some point a nefarious character made his way onto my friend list. Another friend caught this and immediately sent me an urgent message letting me know that one of my “friends” was, in actuality, a fallen away Catholic who claimed that women should become ordained.
I learned how to get through my friend list and without delay deleted the person.
But after a while I realized that maybe my friend list should include a few fallen-away Catholics. Maybe even a few atheists. And How about a couple of agnostics? A nefarious character here and there just spiced up the mix! Maybe that is what evangelizing is really all about! I shouldn’t be afraid if my friend list wasn’t what many would consider a “pristine” group of people.
Hey, who among us is really pristine anyhow? Who are we trying to kid?!
That became my first official Facebook policy: All are welcome here.
Soon after I adopted this philosophy, I remember posting a link to one of my articles about the faith and thinking, “Gee, I hope some of my “friends” who aren’t faithful will read this…”
Who knows, right? I’ve learned in my life that the Holy Spirit has worked in some fairly interesting ways.
So I continue to tackle things like Facebook, understanding that at my age it is good to grow and learn. And while the love/hate relationship I have with FB still tips towards hate, I persevere; but don’t get me started on Twitter….
Cheryl Dickow writes from the beautiful state of Michigan. She has been married for 25 years and has three sons. She is the author of Mary: Ever Virgin, Full of Grace. Her website is www.BezalelBooks.com where the focus is publishing great books for Catholic homes, parishes and classrooms. She is a weekly contributor to the Catholic Vitamins podcast produced by Deacon Tom Fox and his lovely wife Dee.