Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Hi Toni

Hi Toni, 
You have deactivated your Facebook account. You can reactivate your account at any time by logging into Facebook using your old login email address and password. You will then be able to use the site as before.

I love facebook - for the way it connects me with people that even email doesn't let me reach, for the opportunity to say things and share stuff and have a wide audience.

I loathe facebook - for the way it gobbles time, for the way that it lets me see what others think but prevents me from having any meaningful interaction, for the stupid junk people post there.

If it were not for the former aspects then Facebook would have been dead & gone for me a long time ago. As it is, I've wanted to hit the 'delete account' link for a long time with increasing desire. And BTW if you DO follow & use that link there's no going back.

A long time back I got a little this way on Harmony Central. I was spending hours on the electric guitar section of the forum, and it was back in the heyday when there were so many users that the forum was more like a chatroom because of the sheer number of users online. Eventually I started posting stuff that deliberately wound people up (not to say that kind of behaviour was unusual there - plenty of trolls) but it was outside my character, and I realised fairly quickly and put a stop to it. With facebook though, I find myself treading ever more carefully around some, never able to say anything that helped, nor able to say what I wanted either. 

I'm also saddened to see how some characters have developed over the years. And it feels like I can't make it any better, so I'd rather move on before I make it any worse (pastoral side cuts in "you could go talk to them" practical side comes back "and they'd listen?").

And not being on there doesn't do any harm to having less time on t'intarweb.


  1. I think that the other thing that I dislike about it, which is why I don't go there much, is how people use it to communicate in a more passive aggressive manner. I'm suppose to know how someone is feeling here in the church community, because they think I should have checked their update on Facebook. Or worse yet, they try to communicate their feelings of frustration with me passively, and then I don't read it and their complaints, and they get offended because I don't know they are angry or frustrated at me. :)
    It's a bit like a spin machine where they may tell me one thing, and then give undertones of their frustration with me on Facebook. I don't have time for that. And I should say that not all people do that, but some really do.

    I don't like the place, but I go there to do some of my work.

    Like being an old missionary to the heart of Africa sometimes...

  2. And you have put in words the other aspect that I wanted to say but couldn't find a way to express.

    There was/is a Heyford Park group that was invitation-only, and those who were part of it told me just how very very unhappy a place it was, where people apparently expressed their true feelings that they'd never dream of saying to your face. It's funny how the keyboard separates us (me included sometimes) from reality and allows a mix of (sometimes dis)honesty and emotion to flow un-checked by the normal rules of courtesy and engagement (or fear of a knuckle sandwich). At least I only had care and responsibility for a relatively few people, rather than a few hundred.

    I've been watching how some of the other church leaders I know and respect handle facebook. Some use it to promote their work in various forms, more or less using it as a distribution channel for information in a similar way to a pew sheet with minimal personal contact and involvement, and I suspect that is possibly the best use for it. Others keep a low profile apparently not getting involved except for a very few individuals. Some use it as a place to continuously link to 'hot topics' that might be of interest to other Christians, although sometimes these are badly vetted, and the stories they have linked are nothing more than lies and agit prop. I also have one friend who is a fantastic theologian, bible teacher and writer who posts like Mr. Angry Daily Mail Reader, often with good reason, but it can undermine his credibility - or possibly makes him more human - as someone equipped to lead the people of God.

    Your likening it to missionary work is probably about right. It's a hostile place to anyone with a Christian faith, where you can go and sometimes catch nasty infections, people will misunderstand your purpose and assume the worst. Yet at the same time there's fruit and good work to be done there, if you can bear the heat. :-)


Play nice - I will delete anything I don't want associated with this blog and I will delete anonymous comments.