Making FaceBook Work For You

I’ve never played video games, or smoked a cigarette, but this year I’ve let something into my life that has truly threatened to addict me…

FaceBook

If you’re not on FaceBook, I commend you. You know who you are without having to have an online identity. You know who your friends are without having to number and rate them. You do not wast hours and house scanning useless data about people you hardly know, illustrated by grainy cell-phone pics. If you go on the computer at all, it’s to write personal emails or blog posts that contain full paragraphs, proper punctuation, and spell-checked clarity.
I commend you. I stare at you as if you were a hairy turtle, and wonder how you’ve done it, yet I commend you.
So, if I disdaind FB so much, why am I on there every day? Why don’t I just quit?
Because I’ve figured out how to make FB work for me (and I’m terrified of the withdrawal symptoms! LOL)

 Making FaceBook Work For You
Your Feed
When you log in, click right on the “Status” link in the left hand column. This is the meat of FB where you will get all the truly important news (“What??! So-and-so eloped!?) Gone will be Farmville, SocialInterview Questions, and notifications that so-and-so has become a friend of someone you don’t even know. Never read your live feed. This is too much information and will take too much time. If you do want to know every single thing a particular person (like your boyfriend) or a group of people
(like your immediate family) is up to on FB, create a group, which becomes another option on your left hand sidebar. If you don’t wanna miss photos or links people share, click on those sidebar links occasionally. 
Use these techniques to weed out the chaff on FB.
Your Status
Make your status worth reading. Inspire, Inform, Entertain – but whatever you do, don’t post things that put people in the awkward position of wanting to “Unlike” your status! I believe as Christians, our online presence, just like our real face, should be a testimony that points people to Christ. Do you non-believing FB friends know why you have hope, even on bad days? Did the Lord speak to you from His Word today, and do you think that’s worth sharing? James 5:13-14 came to mind when I was writing this.
“Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any afflicted, let him pray. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him…”
 Let me rephrase that for the FB user – “Are you happy? Give glory to God! Are you sick? Ask for prayer! Are you afflicted, depressed, confused? Get off the computer and get on your knees!” And don’t use FB status to show off, only bragging the fabulous things in your life. Be genuine, and don’t get too stuck on yourself. 
Here are some more ideas for worthwhile statuses:
Advertise “I’ve got free kombucha mushrooms to give away – message me!”
Announce“Baby #3 on the way!”
Ask           – for info, ideas, advice – “Getting my wisdom teeth pulled Friday – what did you do that helped?”  or, “What are you making for dinner?”
Amuse       -Not everything has to have a purpose – ‘cmon, then it wouldn’t be FB! Share a laugh!
Advise      – Recommend a movie, book, website, or an alternate route in bad weather. 
Suddenly you realize the potential FB has! It’s like a mini newspaper with hand-picked subscribers! 
Applications
Block ’em. They’re time wasters.
Event Invites 
Use ’em. The Computer is becoming the most efficient and effective way to communicate with most people, especially the younger generations. Be it a party, prayer meeting, reunion, or ski trip, an Event Invite can include all the info, photos, directions and R.S.V.P.-ing in one handy place. People won’t lose this post card. 

Notes
If you find yourself writing really long statuses that don’t fit in the window and you have to continue in your comment box…that’s what notes are for – write a note! And, if you blog, you can add your blog feed into your notes so your blog will automatically feed into your profile page each time you post. This way you don’t have to update both pages when pressed for time. Now, if your friends only ever read your status updates, they’ll miss this, so occasionally put a plug for your blog in your status, like – “Latest pics of the kids up on the blog!” or, “Blogged about my favorite healthy chocolate recipes today!” Make sure your blog site is posted prominently on your profile page. 

Chatting
Oh, this is a whole ‘nother subject, closely related to texting (and you don’t want me to get started on that!), so I’ll keep it short. If you don’t like the interruption of chat, sign out. If you want certain people to be able to reach you while your online, create a small group within chat. And for pity’s sake, people, if you really need to talk to someone, call them – it’s so much more time efficient! Half the time if I use chat it is to arrange a good time to call that person. 

Blocking
And here we get to the dirty little secret of FB – Blocking. If someone in your feed is continually negative or never posts anything but status updates on their cat, don’t wast your time. Block them. They will never know. We are called to honor God with every part of our lives – including our TIME. Is your FB time honoring Him? How are we stewarding the greatest commodity we have – our time?
Wouldn’t You Rather?
With these tips, FB can actually be a productive, enjoyable part of your day. Notice, I said, “part”, not “parts”, or “reason you got up this morning”. I’m preaching to the choir now. With self discipline, my FB time could be whittled down to 20 min. a day and I’d never miss a thing. Think what I could do with all those hours! I should put a list of other things I could be doing next to my monitor. My excuse is that, once I get my chores done, I have very little energy for anything else, and the computer is my down time. But there are lots of other things that take very little energy and have much more worth…Here’s my “Wouldn’t you rather?” List:
Build a train track with Jesse
Read a book
Scrapbook
Write a letter to a friend who loves snail mail and faithfully writes back
Read a book to my kids
Listen to Classical music while knitting. 

Hmmm….I think I’ll get off the computer now…

How do you manage your FB time, or computer time in general? Do you have tips, ideas, confessions? I’d love to hear! But then, if you just thought of something else you’d rather do,and are getting off the computer now, I understand. โ˜บ
 

From Drop Box

4 responses to “Making FaceBook Work For You”

  1. Traci Avatar

    Lol, you already know my FB story, I fought it til the bitter end. Then for the longest time I wanted to keep to my little circle of friends who I already talk to regularly.. then I realized that it's a ridiculous thing to try to be a light in a tiny facebook group of 20 friends who are already saved anyway, so I reached out and accepted more friends.

    You're dead on with switching away from the news feed to just the status feeds. I am so grateful for the status updates of my friends now, because I get to learn so much more about their everyday lives that I wouldn't normally know about. Just in the last month via FB chat I've been asked to pray for several friends. (one miscarriage, one for a husband deciding whether to join the army, one dealing with death to name just a few) I'm so grateful, particularly for private messages and chat because I've learned that some friends would never pick up the phone and reach out for help… but if I take just one or two minutes to answer their chat it opens up a window of opportunity for them. It's been incredible how I've been blessed with opportunities to reconnect with people who I would never have thought I'd have the opportunity to minister to, so as much as there are times when chat can be a pain it can be a valuable tool too. People seem to be more comfortable with chat so I chat. It's sort of like learning the native language of the people you're trying to be a missionary to.

    But then again, I'd rather send a text or email saying “I'll pick you up at 6:00” that can be read at their convenience than interrupt someone's work day, with a call.

    Facebook is just like anything else in life, it can monopolize your life.

    My biggest FB problem? It draws out my sinful side in judgement. “Look at Sally and how she's played Farmville for 6 hours today! I KNOW that her husband doesn't get hot cooked meals at night.. you think she'd have better priorities.” And then I have to check myself and realize that not only have I done a million things that may have been out of priority throughout the day but I realize that I've probably sinned just as much as she has and should be less inclined to point out splinters.

    Wow, well you've drawn out a book from me! Great tips Miss Trina, I think they are all of great value.

  2. rahraht Avatar
    rahraht

    I started my page to contact a cousin in a different time zone. Oh, boy….I noticed right away how quickly the hours (yes, plural!) passed when I would log on to see what she was up to. Now, I only log in once a week, or if I notice that it was someones birthday, I might log in just to tell them happy birthday.
    As far as “friends” go, I don't “friend” anyone that wouldn't say “hi” to me on the street – If we aren't friends in Real Life, I don't pretend on FB! This makes my “friend” list smaller than most, but my purpose there is to glorify God, just as much as if I was face to face. I also don't “friend” people I see reguarly or close family members. Like you said, just call ๐Ÿ™‚
    Also, (sorry, long winded here ๐Ÿ™‚ if you have no real reason to create an account, just don't, you won't regret what your not missing, or something like that:)

  3. Anonymous Avatar
    Anonymous

    No facebook here and not going to go there…..

  4. Mrs. Guthrie Avatar

    Commenting, then jumping off the computer to fix lunch for the hubby and littles… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    We were actually both on FB, and found that it was occupying more of our time than we liked, so we both got right out of it… I imagine I could have put all of those tips into practice and whittled down the time, but I realized that it was something that already had a hold on me, so I didn't want to give it any room at all. It was easier to just disable my account. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love your list. ๐Ÿ™‚

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