Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Don't be so afraid of intimacy...

I have an important message for the Facebook community:

Believe me when I say this, I do not care to know what "Sexy female cartoon character" you might be. To know this you probably answered 4-6 multiple choice questions before being assigned one of maybe 10 possible choices. It tells me nothing about who you really are.

Ditto the "What Star-Trek character are you?" quiz. And my news feed is tired of being clogged by the "What Mighty Woman of the Bible Am I" questionnaire (most especially if you're a guy!), the "TV sitcom sidekick" identification, and "What 60's love song best fits your life?"

I could go on, but we're all aware of soooooo many examples - some bizarre, some vaguely amusing, many outright disturbing, all contributing not so subtly to the erosion of intimacy.

Intimacy? On Facebook? Well, yes. The great appeal of the Facebook idea, to me, is the sound-bite sized glimpse it gives me into the day-by-day goings on of the people I care about.

David posts "I'm hopeful" about a job today - and I can either shoot an encouragement message or pray. Ronda found a dress for her daughter's wedding; Nathan is frustrated with too many conference calls; Lynn is jazzed about the new day; Naomi loves her brother and says she misses him; Tim is all about being a dad... These posts help me feel connected and I'm glad to be "in the loop."

But the real stuff is being lost in the middle of a torrent of shallow meaningless distraction. It's just like our culture to invent a really useful way to live more openly in a sense of community... and then just as quickly learn to fill the space with so much trivia and bells and whistles that people begin to hide again rather than be known.

Here's the honest scoop on me: I'm hopeful; passionate about my faith; questioning, doubtful, flawed; forgiven;committed to my family; lazy sometimes; motivated to be more productive; greedy; generous; nuts about Rebekah; opinionated; open to learn; intensely curious; creative; blessed beyond measure; extravagant; loyal...

There's more; but you won't get any of it from a 6-question survey!

Peace - DEREK