Lutheran Pastor Keith Anderson reminds us “don’t just give something up, take something on.” More specifically, he is suggesting that the notion of giving up Facebook would be cutting ourselves off significant avenues of meaningful connections.
Instead of taking a break, he suggests “make social media your Lenten devotion: leave supportive comments, offer prayers and blessings when needed or asked for. Pray for the people in your Newsfeed and Twitter stream. Share meaningful quotes, pictures, or videos.”
Megan Owens shared on Facebook a smilar perspective about Lent from blogger Landon Whitsitt. “Giving up chocolate and beer for Lent is not what Jesus had in mind.”
Meanwhile, PBS Newshour’s Christina Bellantoni interviewed Lauren Ashburn and Howard Kurtz of Daily Download, who suggest that 61% are “taking a vacation from Facebook” – perhaps because of the contentiousness of our recent political season or perhaps just because of fatigue. Apparently “20% of older folks have tried Facebook and don’t like it,” but for younger people it is like the electric utility!
Twitter has almost usurped the place of Facebook for serious communication, leaving Facebook more for family matters. Instagram is becoming more popular for photo sharing. Social media is constantly evolving.
So let’s continue to make our connections deeper and more meaningful, by intention. Don’t be persuaded that the internet is just making us stupid or adrift into The Shallow. I think it is fostering a more expansive planetary mind and its part of our spiritual evolution.
What do you think?