Christina Mead

Why Facebook is Your Frenemy

Because it’s Facebook.

What did you expect from a website anyway . . . hugs and free chicken fingers? From someone who’s on Facebook pretty much all the time (except when I’m in church) I feel like I have the right to say with great conviction that Facebook is actually our frenemy. Explanation to follow.

Friend Point:

You get to see pictures like this: a toothless Ryan Gosling. I’ve been laughing at this for days and nights and more days . . .

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We all know I also have a high level of appreciation for the R.G.; he knows I’m not making fun of him. I’m confident he also would enjoy the wonders of what the internet can do to photos; he has a perfect sense of humor to go along with his perfect scruff.

Enemy Point:

Procrastination station. Facebook may actually be a secret evil plot by every fast food chain to get you to not study and to fail classes and to not graduate and not get a real adult job with a salary and dental insurance! And then what will you do about your cavities?! I guess just drink more milkshakes from the place of your employment to numb the pain of your teeth and the pain of your regret.

Friend Point:

You were one of the FIRST ones to find out about the new iPhone 5C and how it’s practically the Croc of iPhones. I’ve already submitted my suggestion for a theme song for it’s commercial. It goes something like this: “I’m made of plastic . . . and it’s fantastic . . . ”

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You also find out about other important stuff that actually matters – like world news, and what totally surprising thing Pope Francis just did or said, and when there’s a new blog on LifeTeen.com.

Enemy Point:

I’m not going to say Facebook is out to make you feel bad about yourself . . . but it does a really great job at it. Just sign out on your self-esteem as you sign on to look at the highlight reel of everyone else’s lives.

My life is cooler than yours! I’m dating! I’m in love! I just lost 30 pounds! I go to cool places! I hang out with popular people! I eat expensive food! And it’s vegan! My new phone case has more bling than yours – look at it while I take this seductive selfie!

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Friend Point:

Facebook is an incredible tool for sharing your faith. It takes a lot of courage to post something truthful, inspirational, and authentic. Therefore, when you do, you get bonus points for being courageous, fearless, AND a witness. You might be the only reason that someone encounters God throughout their whole day. I’m not saying you should only write God-posts and Jesus-Juke everything (“If only people loved Mass as much as football” womp . . . womp . . .), but if you ever want to share what God’s doing in your heart, don’t let the fear of rejection hold you back. Look up John 15:18.

Enemy Point:

Don’t let Facebook’s frenemy-ness rub off on you. Facebook is not a place to passive aggressively attack other people (fact: there is no appropriate place or time for that). One day you’re all, “Going to the gym w Sarah! Feeling motivated” and the next it’s, “I hate my life and it’s all because of one person. Why do girls have to be so two-faced?”

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Don’t let Facebook trick you into thinking it’s the appropriate wastebasket to vomit out your insecurities and pent-up grudges and rants into. That comes off as a pathetic plea for attention and you won’t actually feel better. Having a real conversation with a real friend is always a better option when you’re tempted to feel sorry for yourself. Community always trumps a computer screen.

It’s Complicated

Clearly Facebook has an “It’s Complicated” relationship status with us. And by Facebook I mean every social media, and by every social media I mean my smart phone because I probably text too much as well. Blame emojis; they’re too fun (insert dolphin emoji).

I think that most of us could benefit from taking our eyes off the screen more often. More prayer time, more family time, more friend time, more silence, (maybe even more Adventure Time; it’s not confirmed) will help you to become the person God created you to be so that you can be confident in who you are the next time you get online. I know you can use your social media to glorify God. Don’t let Facebook try to convince you otherwise.

There is a time to love Facebook . . . and there is a time to run away from it. Like any true frenemy.

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Christina Mead

About the Author

I'm just trying to figure out how to be holy so I can get to heaven, where I want to be the patron saint of lifeguards. My perfect day includes a nap, my gold shoes, a game of scrabble, gluten free brownies, absolutely no surprises, and a great phone conversation. If you want, you can email me at [email protected], or follow me on Twitter at LT_Christina.