Several weeks ago I finally pulled the plug on Facebook, something I've been thinking about for some time. Don't get me wrong it has been difficult not knowing what crops Farmville is growing or how many hammers were needed to build Frontierville but I got on FB originally to expand my connection with folks of like mind and ones I'd lost contact with. This was accomplished in ways that I could not have imagined. I reestablished contact with folks I had lost track of and was able to catch up on 20+ years of silence. Now that contact was reestablished it was great to converse with them by phone and email(the old means of communication ;)). I also gained many new friends who I have never had the joy of meeting face to face. This is a blessing I hope to fully experience as I contemplate slowing down and traveling more purposefully to visit these friends.
Sorry to say along the way I also picked up a multitude of "friends" who were only seeking to promote their own agenda, book, conference, website, etc. I even found myself falling into the self promotion trap by accumulating as many "friends" as possible to increase my FB standing. The silliness peaked when an author who I met once at Solomons Porch, announced that he had reached his limit of FB friends and might have to open a second page to accommodate the multitudes waiting to befriend him. Sheesh! I immediately went into my settings and deleted him. Now he had room for 1 more adoring friend.
The truly disturbing thing that happened though is I found people with whom I used to converse regularly(some live within 1/2 mile of me) now were communicating only on FB. I realize that we are a busy society with many things to occupy our time. But have things gotten so bad that a phone call has become the letter of our modern age? Or maybe it's just a convenient way to shuffle pesty individuals like myself to the back burner where we can be easily forgotten. I'm beginning to think the latter since I have found my absence on FB has not been noticed. Rather humbling,eh? I have also noticed in my own life as I get closer to the final curtain some of the things that used to interest me no longer seem so important. Instead the thing I value most is close face to face communication with friends of like mind. And please don't give me the institutional church rap which is only one step removed from the FB schtick. I'm beginning to understand the words of Paul as he contemplated the final moments of his earthly life. He had only a few close friends and longed to spend time with as many as possible. That prospect is beginning to look very good to me also. BTW I wonder if Paul would have had a FB page? Call me lets get together for coffee!