Tuesday, October 30, 2007

On the Outside and Barely Able to Look In

A few months ago, I heard about this new internet thing called “FaceBook”. What was it? I wondered. I heard mention that it was something like MySpace, except better. Well, in my opinion, if FaceBook was in any comparison with MySpace, I wasn’t going to get involved.

Soon after, however, I got 'invites' in emails from two friends of mine asking me to join FaceBook, and it made me curious as to what exactly FaceBook actually was. I asked two of my friends, but both of their responses were almost identical:

“Well, I can’t really explain it. You’ll just have to sign up and see for yourself”

I then started to get frustrated. Obviously, I wasn’t going to sign up for some internet site I knew nothing about. Then one day, I nearly begged a friend to tell me what FaceBook was, because no one else was giving me any hint whatsoever! He then told me that it is merely a place online to easily interact with people and post pictures and so on. He also mentioned that since many friends are using it, FaceBook can become very addicting and time-consuming, because you know, you just have to find out if your buddy put a ‘Post’ on your ‘Wall’! ;)

I was so relieved and I thought,

“Phew! I thought I was missing out on something. Besides, I don’t need any internet 'addictions' in my life, and I can get to know people well enough in person!”

Satisfied, I continued with my life. However, I would hear from my friends about all of their ‘going-ons’ on FaceBook, and I would get almost frustrated.

“Oh forget it, people!” I would think. “It’s just a silly internet site!”

A few weeks later, I heard about how many of my friends and more were using FaceBooks, and it started to don on me. All of these people were interacting, having fun, and getting to know one another with these FaceBooks. I started to think,

“Maybe getting a FaceBook wouldn’t be so bad. I could get to know a lot of people and get to know my friends a lot better. I could post and share cute pictures with my friends, and . . . Wait! What am I thinking?!? Ah! I can’t! I have too much on my plate! I don’t want to get addicted to FaceBook – because I know I will! No – I can’t!!”

Still the thoughts and longings to have fun with friends and getting to know people kept taunting me.

It would be as if you heard about this great and fun party at a friend’s house and everyone you knew was going to it. You show up somewhat late, but there is still a long line leading into the house. You watch the crowd for a while, filled with all of your friends and other people whom you’ve seen, but never talked to, and would like to get to know. This party would be the perfect place to socialize, get to know them, and have fun!

As you are still standing off to the side and watching the crowd, the last group enters the house, and you notice your best friend walking through the doorway. She notices you and stops and says with a smile,

“What are you waiting for? Come on! The party’s already started!”

You’re not really sure what to say, and in no time at all, you’re standing all alone on the lawn. You can hear the music and laughter coming from inside, and you go up to a window to see what’s going on.

“I know it would be easier and quicker for me to go in the house,” You think, “but I want to see what’s going on first”.

You notice that the curtains are drawn, and you can’t see a thing. With a sigh, you step back onto the front lawn and stare at the house. Music and laughter from people taunt you as you realize that you couldn’t possibly enter that house. You know that the party will last for hours and hours, and you don’t have that kind of time. It would be such a simple step of walking through that door, and letting the fun and socialization begin, but you just know you can’t risk it! So you stand there all alone . . . torn . . .

After what seems an eternity, your best friend comes outside to get some fresh air. She notices you and asks,

“Where on earth have you been? You’ve been missing out on all the action!”

You tell her your dilemma.

“Yeah, you’re totally right,” She says. “It is super fun in there, but it’s almost too much fun. I needed a break, so I came outside to get some air”.

She pauses and says, “But, yeah, I’m really sorry you don’t want to come in. I miss you in there”.

This makes you almost go insane. What do you do? Go with the ‘in crowd’ and have a blast with your friends and have sweet fellowship, or follow your convictions and feel completely left out of everything (and it wouldn’t be for the first time in your life)?


I know it’s just a ‘fad’ and that everyone I know will have participated in it and then in a year or two it’ll all be gone. However, in that year, people will have gotten to know one another better (I mean, as much as people can get to know one another online), and I will have missed it all.

I don’t know . . . maybe my motivations are wrong for wanting to have a FaceBook. Maybe it’s just me wanting to be in with ‘the latest fad’ for once in my life, or to be ‘in’ with the ‘cool kids’ and get to know and hang out with them.

I’m sure there are some Bible verses to help me with this silly thing, but I cannot think of any, otherwise I probably would not have written this irrelevant post.


Anonymous said...

You are wiser than you know.

One of the "great" things about the internet is the "anonymity" factor. And yes, that "great" is dripping with sarcasm.

Anyone can say anything, and many people will not bat an eye and will accept the claims as true.

How many people have you met only online? Never in person, never face-to-face? Do you really know them? Or just who they say they are?

Life is already too short to get to know the real people in your life. There isn't time to learn about people whose only existence is what shows up on your computer screen.

Of course, that is why myspace and facebook and similar sites are popular. People using these "services" can avoid real relationships, can project who and what they would like to be, rather than who and what they truly are.

Uncle S

Anonymous said...

Wow, you sure have thought long and hard on this topic ;). My sis, Abby, actually has a Facebook "account" (or whatever you call it). From what I understand, you basically just write little posts to your friends about what you're up to etc. I think it is neat to be able to keep in contact with friends (whom you already know) who are either in other parts of the country or who you don't get to hang out with much. I haven't opened an account yet. I think I'm wary about there being viruses like MySpace has. But then again, if Abby's been using in the computer and nothing's happened, I guess nothing will :). And too, I don't know how necessary it really is. There would only be a few people I know who I'd use Facebook to keep in contact with and if I want I can just call them on the phone to chat.

I dunno, I definately agree that things on the computer can be very addicting. That's one of the reasons on never wanted to have an "online journal". I knew I didn't have time to spend writing these super insightful entries and yet I knew I'd want to write on it alot if I had one so I just didn't do it.

Truly I don't think you're missing much by not having a Facebook account. Don't worry about it! Even if your close friends are in the habit of using it, it won't make you less close. The older we get and the more responsibility we have to take on, the more we have to look at the time we have and make sure we spend it wisely.

You're going to get a letter soon.....I promise....I just won't say exactly how soon "soon" means ::grin::