Thursday, January 22, 2009

Contemplating life as a Neo-Luddite

A wave gathers over my recent web-reading--am I one of the few to resist Facebook? Friend after friend reports the exhilaration of reconnecting with people, meeting new people, collecting "friends." Another email posed the question "are you on Facebook?"

The idea of Facebook sounds exhausting to me. Thinking of Facebook produces flashbacks of navigating social circles of younger days. Why would I ever want to return to that anxiety producing maze of people wondering where I am supposed to fit? It takes energy and work to stay connected with people whom I love. I barely keep up with the people whom I would consider friends and not merely Internet acquaintances. As I approach the age of 40, is this what makes me old? I don't reject technology. I use it when it strengthens important relationships or helps me in using my God-given gifts for the good of the world. I know people who use Facebook as a ministry tool--and I suppose if it works for you and enhances your life--then it's time well invested.

I am considering why I think about Facebook today--it's the one thing in common that my wife and spectrum of friends have addressed in the past month. I cover a wide range of topics as a part-time pastor and full-time husband/father/household manager. The convergent topic is Facebook. I remember the same buzz around mobile phones and email during their nascent popularity. I don't expect Facebook to fade, only that it becomes a more ordinary part of the vernacular Facebook is to interpersonal communication--is Kleenex to the task of keeping noses booger-free.

I suppose I'm discerning whether to pursue an existence as a crusty old man/Neo-Luddite. I don't think this identity suits me--I'm a joyful person at my core. I just do not want to use Facebook. I will continue to email my friends, post thoughts that no one will read on Blogger, and call my friends as a break from my life in the working world when I leave my days as a house husband/Mr. Mom. My wife and daughters are by far my best faces.

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