I’m among nearly two billion Facebook users, a burgeoning mass which makes up 29% of the world’s population. I’m a persistent viewer and periodic poster. Yet, as I suspect is the case with many of you, I often grow weary of scrolling through digital reams of pictures and text. Although I enjoy keeping up with the good and exciting things going on in the lives of others, I’m tired of the political bickering, religious ranting, and selfies of feet on the beach. Nevertheless, I don’t plan to abandon Facebook. I can’t! I won’t! Why?
- It’s free advertising. Conventional advertising, such as radio and newspaper, can gobble up hundreds of dollars in a heartbeat. I looked into billboards a few years ago, only to learn that we could deplete a year’s promotion budget publicizing a single event. Facebook, on the other hand, doesn’t cost a thing. I can put up unlimited posts, scheduling their rollout for times when traffic is heaviest. We’d be remiss by not taking advantage of every opportunity to showcase the great things God is doing in His kingdom and through our churches.
- I’m expanding my ministry. Like Jabez, I’m seeking ways to “enlarge my coast” (1 Chronicles 4:10). In addition to blog posts and articles, I’ve published eleven books. Months before the release of a new project, I begin posting the front cover of the book, along with a brief description of its contents. Once it’s available, I include a link to where it can be purchased. Also, when I post an article on LinkedIn, I always utilize the option of including it on Facebook.
- I‘m reconnecting with old friends. Facebook is the medium of choice when it comes to reconnecting with our pals from the past. Since I came to Christ and committed to vocational ministry after my high school and college experience, it’s especially fulfilling to reveal how my life has changed and tell of the great ways God is working.
- It’s a major news source. Facebook is the number one source of news among Millennials and Gen-Xers, Facebook is a major choice for Baby Boomers as well. Phones have replaced newspapers at the breakfast table. And it’s not just what’s going on globally and nationally that interests me, but community and congregation happenings as well. Even before we get a phone call at the church concerning an emergency or sickness it has already been posted on Facebook.
- It’s an additional communication tool. Facebook provides yet another option to connect with people in our disconnected world. A quick note can be posted on someone’s timeline for all to see, while private words can be sent through messenger. I also enjoy an occasional conversation via instant messenger, especially with those in faraway places.
- It brings niche communities together. Just now, while typing this, I received a word from my “Preacher Friends.” I like keeping up with other Christian writers as well. There are literally thousands of Facebook groups drawing people together around common hobbies, interests, opinions, etc.
- I can keep up with family. Both my immediate and extended family are on Facebook. While my older daughter and son-in-law spent a year teaching English in South Korea, we kept up with them through Facebook. She not only posted some fascinating pictures, but included an occasional blog post as well. I know a ninety-three year old lady who loves keeping up with her grandnieces and grandnephews on Facebook. She combines old school practices with current technology by printing Facebook photos and putting them into albums.
The next time I come down with a bad case of Facebook fatigue, I may have to go off-grid and chill out for a while. However, it won’t be for long, because I refuse to quit.