Friday, February 13, 2009

Why to Delete a Facebook Account

Facebook introduced me to world of internet social networking. I was in an orchestral board meeting and I mentioned "the rolodex." I got real laughter. "You use a rolodex?" I was bewildered. I had not heard that rolodex was out. "People use facebook now." Well, I didn't know that facebook had replaced the rolodex, but the one telling me was a high level manager in a large Bay Area company. I figured he must be right. "Rolodex" was truly funny to several people in that meeting.

I had joined facebook without really thinking about what I was doing. Sometimes I make picks for the games of the NCAA basketball tournament. I decided to make them on the CBS sportsline website. I liked the way that my choices looked in their proper place on the bracket on the computer screen. To use their bracket I had to join this "facebook" thing I had vaguely heard of. This was several years ago. After I signed up, I started getting requests in my email box, asking me to be a friend. I always said, "no," and deleted them. I hadn't even looked at my facebook site. About six months ago, I decided to become more active at facebook because it was something my son was going to be involved with and I wanted him to have accountability.

I learned a little about facebook. There were many aspects about it that I never liked. I was always uncomfortable there. Everyone in our family has now deleted his facebook account. I'm going to tell my problems with facebook. This will give someone reasons why to delete a facebook account. I'm not expecting that any one of these reasons will be enough to persuade someone to drop it like I did, but all of them combined should at least get you thinking. Once I deleted my account, I have not only not missed it, but it has been wonderful to lose it.

1. Facebook hinders scriptural values.

Facebook wasn't around when David Wells wrote No Place for Truth, but if it was, I think he would have written about it in that book.

Having turned inward in a search for meaning, we turn outward in a search for direction, scanning others for the social signals they emit regarding what is in and what is out, what is desirable and what is not. . . . This person is oriented not to inner values but to other people. It is in the peer group that acceptance is found and outcasts are named. . . . Where once people took pride in accomplishments and in their character, [they] think only of how they stand with others. . . . Once people worked to achieve tangible ends, to accomplish things. Now, such accomplishments are of far less significance than one's "image." Once people worked; now they manipulate. Once people sweated; now they seduce. Once people wished to be respected, to have their accomplishments recognized; now they wish to be envied, regardless of whether they are envied for anything they have actually accomplished.

This characteristic of modernity does not orient itself toward God, but toward people. It influences away from judging based on scriptural values and toward judging based upon a societal norm.

2. Facebook alters the biblical understanding of friendship.

To be a friend at facebook, just click. Normally I'm careful with whom I choose as friends. I might be able to be a friend to someone, but someone can't be a friend to me without fulfilling certain characteristics. James tells us (4:4) that friendship with the world is enmity with God. I can't have enmity with God, so I can restrain myself in my choice of friends. I'm to have no company with certain people and mark and avoid others. People in your "friends" list at facebook might be people that would never join my church. We don't believe or practice the same. I don't want to call them my friends. In so doing, I believe I'm just dumbing down what the Bible says about a friend. Here's something else that Dr. Carl Trueman said about it:

The way of connecting with people on Facebook is, apparently, to `friend' somebody. That the noun has become a verb is scarcely cause for concern; but the cheapening of the word surely is. Simply to be linked to someone on the internet is not true friendship; yet the use of the word creates the image that such is the case, or at least blurs the difference between casual internet acquaintance and somebody for whom one might have real affinity, affection, and concern. . . . Further, as the language of friendship is hijacked and cheapened by these internet social networks, this cheapening itself is part and parcel of a redefining of intimacy based upon the erosion of the boundaries between the public and private.

3. Facebook sets wicked things before your eyes.

I can't control the content of what I look at on my facebook page. I not only look at things I don't want to see, but I invite others to look at them when they look at my facebook page. Pictures, advertisements, and statements show up that I don't want to see or have others see either.

4. Facebook causes people to stumble.

I might be able to handle some of what my "friends" believe and practice, but not everyone can. I'd rather not introduce people to other people that I'd rather they didn't meet.

5. Facebook hinders real discernment.

If you were to judge each of your friends based upon a scriptural standard, you would probably lose a large number of them. But you don't. Why? You want to be sociable. It encourages you to make decisions based upon how you feel instead of what the Bible says.

6. Facebook wastes time.

I know you could argue with me on this one by pointing out other ways I waste time. You may think that I'm doing that by writing this blog. Fine. I think it's different but I'm not going to take the time to defend my blog writing right now. Here's how facebook uniquely wastes time. You open yourself up to social activity that you wouldn't choose as a good use of your minutes. You have a friend who isn't much of a friend. That friend writes on your wall. Now what do you have to do? You have to write something back to him. Don't you want to keep your choices about communication under control? You have created new things to take away time from something productive. If you have facebook, you've got to maintain it. Is it worth maintaining?

7. Facebook encourages busybodying.

I've had people ask to be my friend whom I know don't care about me. I know they don't really want to be my friend. What is it that people want? They want to find out what you're doing. I'm not ashamed of what I'm doing, but I believe that this kind of voyeurism fits the biblical criteria of the busybody. It influences others toward being one. "Why did so and so become his friend and not mine?" "I wonder why he has so many friends or who those people are."

8. Facebook hinders real relationships.

Do you think that a real relationship is sitting in front of a computer screen at 11:00 at night? When you could be talking to a real person either in person or by phone, you are constructing your facebook persona.

9. Facebook doesn't like bold, biblical Christianity.

Watch your "friends" list shrink when you confront people about something sinful on their wall, in a photo, or in a comment. Facebook isn't designed for confrontational Christianity, the kind we see Jesus do in the Bible. Typical facebook brings up something essentially secular, earthly, or temporal. You then interact on the same level, training yourself to do more of it. It is a bastion of compromise.

10. Facebook redefines biblical community.

In a real community people do things for each other. Facebook isn't about doing anything to help anyone. I'm not saying that nothing can be done, but it doesn't encourage that. It encourages a fake community. You can join a cause, but what does the cause really do? When you're asked to join a cause, for instance, against internet pornography. That is good. That's a wonderful thing to be against. I'm even for being in a group that is against it. It might even make me think more about being against it. But how are you helping get rid of pornography? What you could do is talk to someone that has an immodest picture up and ask him to take it down. And I really am part of a group that is already against it---my church.

11. Facebook offers way too much acceptance.

Much of what is on facebook should be rejected. However, facebook is all about affirming. You affirm people that really need confrontation. Since very often you can't really know the person you're talking to, you could easily be reaffirming someone with a lukewarm, worldly brand of Christianity that isn't honoring to Christ.

12. Facebook is too public.

Yes, too public. What do I mean? It offers people an opportunity to snoop around and get information. I recognize that you have means on facebook to control that, but it still is a place for trolling perverts. I don't want to be on the same playing field with them or encourage others to be there with me....and him.

13. Facebook preys on fleshly tendencies of man's nature.

Facebook makes you think too much about yourself. Your status shouldn't matter. Someone shouldn't have to return a comment just because you've made one. Facebook fits the narcissism of our day in which men have become lovers of their own selves. What difference does it make how many friends you have as long as you have the friend of sinners Himself, the Lord Jesus.

14. Facebook breaks down decent language.

You can talk right on facebook, but it doesn't encourage it. What it encourages is drivel. We should want to elevate one another, to bring up the level of discourse. That doesn't occur when these abbreviations and slang are used. Young people even feel pressured to bow to talking like this. It attacks spelling, grammar, syntax, and cogent thought. It's lazy speech and many times gutter language.

15. Facebook spawns fraudulence and hypocrisy.

You don't have to be who you are on facebook. You can create a whole different persona of yourself that is a lie. It spawns this kind of activity. Here's what Trueman wrote on this:

On Facebook, I can be anybody I want to be: an eighteen year old Californian with a six-pack, good teeth, a sun tan and a pilot's license; or even a 25 year old blonde beauty queen from North Carolina with a degree in astrophysics. I can become the ultimate in self-created beings - a factor which, I am sure, also partially explains the massive, if little noted, popularity of role-playing video games in the modern world. In virtual world, be it Facebook or the undersea city portrayed in Bioshock, I can be anyone I choose to be. I am the Creator; or at least, I have the potential to think I am.

Even if you sort of know who you're talking to, the person can take advantage of the anonymity of it.

16. Facebook tempts toward infidelity.

I've seen married women talking to younger men on facebook, legitimizing this kind of relationship and giving a false boost to the boy's ego. Her picture might be the most inviting, even a little risque, putting thoughts in his mind that he shouldn't have. Men like to hear someone boast on them, and perhaps they're not getting enough of that at home. These places and others stimulate that kind of activity. Men and women mix in unhealthy ways that would be discouraged in a different setting. Her husband may not be talking to her like she is talked to. She doesn't have to work at it. She can just go to her facebook to get what she needs.

17. Facebook makes you a consumer in a day when we need more producers.

Facebook is a company. They sell ads. They make money off of you. You may not buy anything, but you are another statistic for them to use to sell ads. In other words, facebook is using you. You may think that you are using facebook, but I would say that the owners think otherwise, especially as they laugh all the way to the bank.

18. Facebook is an easy temptation when you need to be getting something done---really done.

You need to write. Go to facebook instead. Homework not done. Gotta do facebook. Need to memorize some Scripture. Facebook is there. Haven't exercised. Oh well, let's facebook. Trueman again writes:

Well, the virtual world is new but it is here to stay; and it will no doubt continue to shape human behavior and self-understanding. We cannot ignore it but neither should we simply allow it to dictate to us who we are and how we think. Thus, we must teach people by precept and example that real life is lived primarily in real time in real places by real bodies. Pale and pimply bloggers who spend most of their spare time onanistically opining about themselves and their issues and in befriending pals made up of pixels are not living life to the full; nor are those whose lives revolve around videogames; rather they are human amoebas, subsisting in a bizarre non-world which involves no risk to themselves, no giving of themselves to others, no true vulnerability, no commitment, no self-sacrifice, no real meaning or value. To borrow a phrase from Thoreau, the tragedy of such is that, when they come to die, they may well discover that they have never actually lived.

For myself, I rejoice that I grew up before the web and the videogame supplanted the real world of real friendships, real discussions, real lives. I did not spend my youth growing obese and developing Vitamin D deficiency in front of an illuminated screen, living my life through the medium of pixels.

19. Facebook causes more facebook.

Very few people could handle facebook in a scriptural manner. It offers so many temptations. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

Nineteen might seem like a lot. I could have named more.

63 comments:

Reforming Baptist said...

some of these reasons are why i don't even have one or myspace either. good stuff. thanks.

Charles E. Whisnant said...

Kent

You sound like a real fundamental independent baptist.

Some one ask me at church Wednesday "Pastor, what kind of Baptist are you anyway?"

I said, I am the Baptist kind that believes you should start with the Scriptures, in your belief system.

When I open the Scripture and give the meaning, they can't understand that. Its not what they have heard for 30 years.

While I believe much of what you say, I joined Facebook last week. And I have used it from my point of view, and have a network of people who I can trust.

Connecting people with the church.

What I am going to do, with your permission, is post your points, as a reminder of the danger that Facebook, MySpace, and a number of social networking can do.

TV is as dangerous and so are a dozen other act ivies that Christians get involve with.

Our calling as shepherds is to warn and protect our flock.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Thanks Will and Charles.

Philipians 2:5-11 said...

Very good points Bro Brandenburg.

I allowed my wife to join facebook because she was going to use it as a means to communicate with a missionary that had an account as well. She knew that I wasn't really crazy about it although.

Its blossomed way beyond just her and this missionary speaking together.

Husbands be forewarned. This facebook is awful. Brother Brandenburg brings up many good points we should prayerfully consider.

R/S

Bro Steve

Gal. 2.20

Mom4boyz said...

Its too bad that people who cannot use Facebook wisely...as well as other things such as radio, cd players, tv, email, snail mail, or the telephone have to cause preaching to be targeted at things that are not sinful in and of themselves.

Sin always comes from within a person...not from without. If you are going to sin, you will do it on Facebook or you will do it on the phone or through email. If you are not going to sin, you are going to be able to use Facebook in a proper manner as well.

I respect anyone's decision to withdraw from Facebook but cannot view it as valid preaching material or as a black and white "sin".

I have thought long about posting about a very close relationship I have made with a person who is in my church, which relationship was cultured through chatting online in the evenings. A relationship that we would not have had a chance to foster through normal church hours or times. Now this woman is a mentor to me and an adopted mom.

Praise the Lord for internet. Use it well, to glorify HIM.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Mom4Boyz,

I'm happy for you if you've found some good use for facebook. I can't really judge your use of it. I would believe the best about you.

I believe that the 19 things I've written should be taken into consideration. That's what I've written.

One item about your simplification of sanctification. Sure sin comes from the inside, because that's what Jesus said. However, that doesn't mean that no matter what, you're going to sin the same amount no matter what your external environment is. If you don't sin at facebook, then it would be on the phone. That isn't true. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15 that evil communications (companions) corrupt good manners (behavior). It sounds like external influences have an impact. How could anyone be a stumbling block to anyone if you could reduce to sanctification completely to internals? Why would Jesus say that the Jezebel at the church at Thyatira had caused that church to participate in certain sins? Why be told to flee youthful lusts if everything is on the inside? Why pray "lead me not into temptation," if sin is only from the inside? James 1 says that in sinning we are "enticed." Where does enticement come from?

These are some truths from Scripture to take into consideration.

Marlowe Robles said...

Pastor,

These are very persuasive principles. We thought about them and agreed to delete ours. It makes more problems available than any good it actually might accomplish.

Thank you
Marlowe & Becky

Mom4boyz said...

I agree that I made that a bit too simplistic.

I guess my point was just that there are so many other opportunities to sin in life, and sometimes it seems like preachers will choose one or two of them, deciding that, not only are they going to put it away...but everyone else should to, in order to be "right with God".

I would like to think that any good Christian will make sure their Facebook has no stumbling blocks. If they can't, then I would agree that like any other weakness, they should put it aside. However I feel that condemning Facebook cannot be something that is "across the board"...too many Fundamentalists throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Each individual Christian needs to apply Biblical principles to their own strengths and weaknesses, in situations where the Bible may not say "thou shalt not".

I am IFB, and I do have high personal standards...but I also like to make sure my standards are God-given, and not man-guilt-tripped.

Again...not saying everyone should have a Facebook acct. Only saying that your reasons should be stated WITHOUT actually saying that a good Christian would delete their acct. That way, a person can prayerfully consider what you have set forth and see what God would have them to do....rather than already feeling "guilty" (which I do not) that someone thinks they are sinning for doing something they did not see as Biblically wrong, and which may indeed not be.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Marlowe and Becky,

Thanks for the note. Glad you considered the points.

For anyone reading,

I'm not on a crusade to make it look like you're sinning by being on facebook. I don't even mind if someone were to argue one of the nineteen points. I'm not going to judge your continuation on facebook to be a sin. Notice that none of the 19 points were: facebook is a sin. However, again, look at the principles.

Mom4boyz,

Here's what I had in mind, so that you'll know. I do believe facebook is a problem especially for young people. They may not have many friends and yearn for some in a somewhat discontented way (that discontent is sin). Facebook is an easy way to have "friends" for them. They get pulled into or at least get influenced by a whole new view of the world.

What I wrote could guilt someone into deleting facebook. Facebook is its own entity as well, providing its own pressure, probably putting much more on people in the way of guilt for participating in activities less edifying than what Scripture would teach. I don't mind putting some pressure on the other side. If someone, however, is confident in his or her facebook, what I wrote won't bother him or her.

Charles E. Whisnant said...

This topic is good, to bring each of us into the reality of our need to focus on the reality of the enticement of the world on our lives. We all have to live in the world and usually use the world's media. So we need to be careful not be be decieved. Stay alert. Watch an pray.

Thanks Kent and the others for your insightfulness.

Mom4boyz said...

I can agree with that. I guess I was mainly referring to your title, "Why to delete a facebook account", basically saying that's what people should do.

Facebook is not a priority with me, nor do I think it should take hours to keep up with Facebook...but I do think on the other hand having friends online is a wonderful thing, especially for adults in the ministry who may be away from family and friends. Its the whole throwing out the baby with the bathwater sort of thing.

Teenagers certainly must be closely monitored while doing any sort of computer stuff whatsoever.

I was also disappointed by the poster who basically warned all husbands to not let their wives get on Facebook. I am very very sorry if Facebook helped his wife become unfaithful (or so I gathered from his comment)....however again, communication is vital between couples no matter what is being done online. My husband knows what I do online, and with whom I speak...there are no secrets online with us, and its as it should be. As with anything else, Facebook must be used responsibly, always remembering we do all for the glory of God.

I guess I don't want you to think I am here to argue with you, which I am not, and its really not my place...but I did just want to add the other side of the story...which is that just because people enjoy a Facebook account does not make them a time waster (any more than keeping a blog does) or having wrong priorities or being unfaithful to their family. I found this blog entry via someone else who had deleted their facebook acct...and I was curious as to whether the next trend in IFB was that Facebook is sin.

As that is not what you were saying, I can agree with you that it, along with all other things in our lives, must be done responsibly and in a godly fashion.

Thanks for standing strong for the Word of God in these last days.

Philipians 2:5-11 said...

I think the reason for my post and subsequent warning was this:

A)Bro Brandenburg's post stated in words what I wish I could've

and

B)that it could take pre eminence over our Bible study/Devotional times. I believe that men are susceptible to this just as much as women are but I believe a womans general need for interaction puts them at a greater danger.

This is my opinion of course take it for what you will.

My warning to husbands remains the same.

R/S

Bro Steve

Gal 2.20

Kent Brandenburg said...

Steve,

You stated it well.

Bill Hardecker said...

A lot of parents are behind the 8 ball concerning their teenagers involvement with P2P accounts and cyberspace. I just preached at a two day teen retreat and thankfully the only teens that had a Facebook account (two of them) decided to allow their parents and pastor in on their account.

iohannes fac totum said...

Hello, Mr. Brandenburg. I just discovered your site today. I have a Facebook, and most of what you have said has applied to me somewhat in the past week...

It has begun to resemble myspace for its dissociated anonymity. Being a private person, and the idea that anyone I want to associate with ("friend," the verb)has suddenly my intimate compadre doesn't sit well with me.

You quoted extensively from Dr. Carl Trueman, but I an't seem to locate the original article... Mind pointin' it out to me?

Greg Linscott said...

Kent,

I understand what you are saying here, and see some value in it. That being said, I am not sure that it would be completely accurate to say that it is Facebook that causes ... It is people and their choices. I imagine, for example, that similar warnings could have been written about the telephone causing gossip at points in history. As much as there are things to be heeded, I have also seen that FB has, for example, given me the opportunity to provide a degree of godly influence with people I attended school with in my younger days who are not currently living for the Lord (and some may not even be believers). I have missionaries who are able to keep up with events in our congregation (and we them) a little better with the technology (and perhaps can see what they love and don't more than I might otherwise- and they can see the same about me). I have been able to pray better and offer spiritual counsel, even, for some of the young people I worked with earlier in life who I now don't live near anymore. The dangers are real, but it is conceivable that there are upsides, too.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Bill. Thanks.

iohannes,

I think if you google Carl Trueman and Facebook, you'll probably get the article. I can't endorse everything he says.

Greg,

I'm glad you get good use out of it. I'm assuming that someone of your caliber that stays on facebook has a good reason to do that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pastor Brandenburg,

I don't usually respond to the blogs, just enjoy reading them and thinking them through. About the Facebook, I heard on the news last night, that Facebook, if you have an account there, they will keep your information even after you have closed your account. They just recently changed their "rules" on it.
Just wanted to pass that information on to your readers. I personally don't want my information floating out there for others to find and use. Thanks for all you do.
Mrs. Sherelyn Hornick

Mike said...

Bro. Brandenburg,

I tend to agree on most things for sure, but I also agree that if someone is looking for an excuse to do wrong, they will find ways to do wrong, no matter where they are sitting, talking, typing, or playing.

It's possible that some have not used Facebook as they should have and so they have friends that should not be friends. I carefully select the friends I have in Facebook and am friends with them in person as well. Some are Christians and some are there strictly for the testimony's sake. I block their posts so they can see what my Christian friends type but they can't type on mine. (Note: Because of this article I dumped a few that I've been meaning to dump for a while. ;))

I live way out in the country in Texas and it's hard for me to get fellowship any time I feel like it. Since I have a cell phone as my main phone, it also can get very expensive to call on the phone all the time. So I use my computer to communicate to my friends when I can't call them. If that is through Facebook or via an Voice over IP system, it matters little. It is not evil communication to communicate to my Christian friends and family.

Also, I have travelled much in my short life and over the years I lost contact with many good Christian friends. Through Facebook I have connected once again with those Christian's who I had thought I would only talk to once again in Glory. I also have friends and family all over the world in different time zones and Facebook is a great way for me to show them a little of my life without the great expense of calling overseas. I recently had a friend go on an extended mission trip to India and I was able to keep up with much of what was going on through Facebook. I never would have had this opportunity otherwise.

As with anything, if you use it improperly, you will experience evil from it. If you sanctify all things with the Word of God and prayer, then you will receive blessing from it. Choose you this day whom ye will serve, even as you use Facebook or any other *device* this world has to offer. Even the very car you drive to church in - think: Listening to the radio, how you drive, etc.

Remember that some years ago it was the IFB (I am IFB) Christians who were saying that the Internet was going to ruin families because there is porn on the Internet. Yet we sit here today and type these long messages into this browser that could literally be one click away from a porn site.

Yet again, it is how you use the device, not how the device uses you. If you cannot contain, then delete it and get rid of your computer.

Note this though that the Amish did not get away from wickedness because they chose not to participate in modern technology. They still have great wickedness in their dwellings where Christ does not truly live. This fact of wickedness in the absence of Christ is promised by God and must be so - and I personally have confirmed to be true.

Oh and by the way, you can get rid of the nasty ads... I did. :)

In Christ,

Mike Van Nattan

Brian said...

Very timely article with excellent points.

Jay C said...

Excellent Article, brother.

As someone who has recently journeyed into the realm of Facebook, I can totally see what you are saying and appreciate the admonitions - as a matter of fact, I'm going to Facebook this article :).

I have recently been impressed with how many different ways Satan has devised to suck people away from using their time properly, and this article did give me much cause for reflection with Facebook, especially as I see how others use or are being used by it. It also can be illuminating as to whom that person really is when they aren't in church!

Thanks so much for your well thought out admonition.

Sings4God said...

I disagree with this entirely! You CAN and DO choose what you put before you in that you control who your friends are. If you don't like what they are putting on your page you can use the controls that facebook has for you to "see less about this person" or to simply delete them as a friend, or talk to them about it. Your choice. If you are getting ad's with porn in them you should let facebook know and they will delete it. You sound like one of those "Works" Christians that think you should only associate with other "perfect" Christians like you THINKS you is. That type of attitude is what is chasing so many American's away from judge mental Christianity and into other religions! To run and hang out with only OTHER CHRISTIANS is SO far away from true biblical teaching and from what Christ would have done were he here now. My guess is that if Jesus were here he'd have a facebook account and he'd friend everyone that wanted to be his friend and then be an example by actions not by condemnation. It is NOT your place to judge and if you hold your self up as a pastor you will have to answer for your teachings one day more than the rest.

Jack Lamb said...

Here's a great article on the benefits of Facebook :-)

Anonymous said...

A mom not to sure of what to do.
I have a husband and a 21 year old involved with facebook and haven't seen any question sights yet.
I will probably get accout so I can join them and my girlfiends who have fun chit chatting with our friends in Alabama,who's husband is in Afganastan lonely, and trying to stay upbeat and true to God, his mission, family, and friends. It sounds like it can be a real downer. Please keep John in your prayers.
Thank, Heidi

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

14. Facebook breaks down decent language.

Like, foshur, what r u talkin bout?

Anonymous said...

You Guys are retarded!

Anonymous said...

Dude,
How much control do you think FB has? Be discerning. And by the by, have you read your "about me" at the top of your blog page. Funny or not, you do the same thing.
"I got lots of learnin when I was in cemetery. I also gots books I try to read. I has preecht throo most of the books of the Bible spositorally. I is marreed and has 4 youngins---3 is gurlz. Me am indipendint Babtist. Pleeez reed my blog."
It's just not as catchy.

Anonymous said...

Facebook takes advantage of you? Wow... Did this take you a couple days to think about? I'm sure you just sat on your couch watching TV thinking of what you could put on this site. But guess what?!? On TV they have ads. Are they taking advantage of you too? I assume you are just an older person who has no idea how to use technology and is just confused by it. And if you would like to look me up, MY Facebook page has my religion and you can tell from my page that I strongly worship God. You do have two great points though. I believe it wastes time,COMPLETELY. It also hinders the meaning of real friendships. That is true. But I am sure the man who thought of Facebook wasn't thinking "Hey, I can take advantage of a lot of kids and adults. I can make millions! Muhahahaha!" I'm sure it was more like " Hey, maybe there is a way I can keep in touch with my old friends on the computer!" And from there Facebook just expanded into being one of the most successful websites in the HISTORY of the Internet.

Clean Cut Media said...

Good points.

First full disclosure. Though I do have a facebook account, I rarely use it (I use it like an email box).

One very good argument especially for married couples is the fact that often it is so easy to reconnect with ex girlfriends or ex boyfriends. Even though many of us would never even dream of cheating or doing something questionable.. just having that temptation around is never a good thing. Who knows what kind of circumstances will come your way..

http://blog.cleancutmedia.com/internet/social-network-facebook-friends-forever

Dawn said...

Wow! Excellent thoughts and comments. All of what you have said is correct. I am a practicing Christian,and the truth is, it is way too public for me. There are people I would not link together face to face, so why would I do it on facebook? I actually have some enemies and people who have not treated me well, who have agreed to be my facebook pals. Why, I ask?
The time I spend making the facebook creators rich, I can spend making myself rich, and in the end I don't want to stand before God and have my used the time I was supposed to have spent in increasing my gifts and talents, as wasted time on FACEBOOK.
Way too public,and it does lower your guard on the discrimination of
whether or not someone deserves to be my friend.

Anonymous said...

I have spent more time reading your website than I have on Facebook in three days.

Anonymous said...

This are good reasons. Im addicted to Facebook. So I was searching for reasons why to delete it and this really helped.. im deleting my account. Thanks =)

Anonymous said...

I stumbled upon this blog through a Google search and have greatly enjoyed reading this post. I, too, deleted (ok, deactivated) my Facebook account because it was too hard for me to resist the temptation to be a busybody on that site, it distracted me way too much from my responsibilities (which, as a college student, require me to spend much time on the computer), and lastly, it simply made me feel bad about myself, because it was so hard not to compare myself to others rather than our Glorious God as I could view snapshots of their lives through their photo albums and wall posts.

Although I see the point of the people who say that it’s not much different from saying that using the telephone is sinful because it can cause people to gossip, I disagree. There is a difference. When you make a phone call, you simply have a one-on-one conversation with someone else. But when you log onto Facebook, before you write a message to someone, you are given glimpses into many other people’s lives in the process via newsfeed, friend suggestions, etc. This makes it difficult not to want to pause for a moment before you write your message and check out several people’s facebook pages. I guess what I am trying to say in so many words is that the amount of temptation faced when logging into facebook is so much more than simply when one talks on the phone.

Lastly, although you can control the people you choose to be friends with, at some point, it’s going to be tempting to add more and more people. People are going to request you who are just casual acquaintances at church and you are going to feel guilty if you refuse their request. Then they find out things about you that you only wanted your close friends to know, and you start snooping on their Facebook pages . . . though you control which information you choose to post, let’s be honest: it’s so easy to get carried away when updating our pages and to forget just how many people are actually reading what we write. We’re all going to slip up sometimes and post something we shouldn’t have, we inadvertently hurt people's feelings when they see posts on our walls about small gatherings we've hosted that they weren't invited to . . . maybe Facebook can be used in ways that are glorifying to God, but I think the consequences FAR outweigh the good things. And I totally agree with people who pointed on the silliness of married people re-connecting with old boyfriends/girlfriends via Facebook. Get real, if someone was really that important of a friend to you in the first place, you wouldn't have needed Facebook to reconnect you guys. Just some thoughts . . .

Anonymous said...

Your "about me" on this blog is a clear case of facebook rule #14. Is this a "do as I say" blog?

TianaBoos said...

Hello. I am a born-again Christian woman, married, with a baby daughter. I use Facebook. My grammar, bluntly, is better than yours. I find many—if not most, or even all—of your nineteen points to be invalid.
I find your undertaking of attacking Facebook's merits—or rather, demerits—to be a rather unecessary expenditure of time and energy, and perhaps even somewhat bombastic.
To the commenter—'Philipians 2:5-11' (way to spell Philippians by the way)—who stated "I allowed my wife to join facebook…" You allowed your wife? Really? Women's Suffrage was in the 1920's, and I suggest you quickly realize this, for both your wife's sake and your own.

I do however agree with Mom4boyz; if you're going to fall into a lifestyle of sin, or succomb to sinful habits, you will do it in any outlet. THE WHOLE WORLD IS FILLED WITH TEMPTATION. That's the point. The righteous are righteous wherever they go, and the sinners will sin wherever they go. Me, I'm a righteous sinner. So are you, my magniloquent friend.

Mike said...

In defense of Bro. Brandenburg and the other Biblical men who have posted on this blog:

Tiana,
First I have to say: You must consider yourself an American first and a Christian next. Why? Because you subject yourself to the laws of the land instead of the law of God. No, I am not saying we are to follow OT law. I am saying that the whole counsel of God is the law and you are not following it. Why? Because you are on here correcting another woman's husband instead of going through your husband to deliver instruction to a man. The Bible says for every woman to be subject to their own husband yet you are here usurping the authority of your own husband. (You must not love him very much.)

That said, my wife uses Facebook and ALWAYS consults me first before adding someone because she loves me and WANTS to be subject to me since I am her "head" according to the Bible. Likewise, I also tell my wife whenever I add someone on Facebook because I love my wife and I want her to know everything about me.

There is no "United States of America" in this household when it comes to the sanctity of the home according to God's Word.

Fact is, my wife wouldn't let someone like you on her Facebook simply because your arrogance and pride are abominable to the righteous. Her friends would be appalled at your arrogance toward men.

Your verbosity is full of pride and is very much against what Paul wrote about referencing his abasement. Your pride is that of a pharisee, not a publican.

If you don't know the verses I have been referencing, then your head knowledge is far above your Bible knowledge and therefore you have no ground whereon to stand.

Prv 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Prv 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

In Christ,

Mike Van Nattan

Mr.Boos said...

Mike,

I will come to my wife's defense in this matter, I say these things not as a Christian, if only for the fact that I've read the Bible only as a curiosity, but because I agree with Mom4Boyz and my wife's view of sin.

As said by T.R. Glover in The Jesus of History: Jesus Teaching upon Sin, "When God matters to a man, all life shows the result. Good and bad, right and wrong stand out clear as the contrast between light and darkness - they cannot be mistaken, and they matter - and matter for ever. They are no concern of a moment. Action makes character; and, until the action is undone again, the effect on character is not undone. Right and wrong are of eternal significance now in virtue of the reality of God."

He continues with,"There is a gulf between good and evil, and each is inexorably fertile of consequence. There is no escaping the issue of moral choice. That is the conclusion of men who have handled human experience in a serious spirit. As physical laws are deducible from the reactions of matter and force, and are found to be uniform and inevitable, fundamental in the nature of matter and force, so clear-thinking men in the course of ages have deduced moral laws from their observation of human nature, laws as uniform, inevitable and fundamental. In neither case has it been that men invented or imagined the laws [= "general regularities", rather than "legislation"]; in both cases it has been genuine discovery of what was already existent and operative, and often the discovery has involved surprise."

Here are scripture that also come to mind when I think of my responsibilities to her as my wife: Colossians 3:19,Ephesians 4:32,Ephesians 5:25-31, & Peter 3:7.

They all have the same message, as said on our wedding day, to love and honor her as I would The Lord, the church, and my own flesh.

When it comes down to it I "TRUST" my wife not to lead herself down a the road of temptation, I trust my wife to make morally righteous decisions, and live a true Christ like life. My trust in her is the same as that in my savior, and even if she were to falter I would grant her forgiveness of such debt, lest she not repent. Even then such debts are inescapable in the eyes of the Lord.

Now that this is out in the open I will close this discussion with you, as Mr. Brandonburg might say as he did in reason #18 this is a waste of my time.

Mike said...

Well, at least there is union in your house: Man's word first in your discussion and then God's Word.

Mrs.Boos said...

It saddens me to see other believers, members of the same body of Christ, being so condescending & judgemental of their own brothers & sisters. Looking back over this exchange, I see only ugliness & hostility, endless semantics, & distraction from the true beauty of Christ's love.
There is a reason why so many of God's children are driven away from the institute of religion & the church. It's things like this, & people like you. You made foundless assumptions & accusations, & hurt me in the process. This is not my idea of Christ-likeness. I love you unconditionally as my brothers & sisters in Christ—unfortunately, I don't feel that any of us are benefiting spiritually or otherwise from this petty exchange. Ultimately this could only get uglier, so I am done here. Let's agree to disagree on the pointless semantics (NO one is gonna agree 100% on everything, even the disciples disagreed on many things), & keep in mind that the teachings of Christ were those of acceptance, sacrifice, forgiveness & love.

God bless.

Mike said...

Mr Boos, Please advise your wife that she initiated the ugly attitude and the hostility when she started her rant off with "my grammar is better than yours". She also exhibited disdain and contempt for the one gentleman's statement that he "allowed" his wife to use facebook (that is none of her business) and then became extremely sarcastic in stating the US law about "women's suffrage". It is exceedingly hypocritical for her to claim that I was being hateful when I was only answering a fool according to her folly.

I apologize that I did not address you in the first place but since she was "wearing the pants" at the time and you were no where to be found, I spoke to her directly.

Bro. Brandenburg,
It is a curious thing. I do not agree with all the points you made, yet it is curious that when one is confronted with the thing most lacking in American culture, sobriety, the offended one becomes completely irrational and malignant. Which is an appropriate word because I believe that righteousness starts in the home and so many people refuse to take personal responsibility for their actions that this "cancer" has grown to gargantuan proportions in our society.

This is the very reason that you wrote this blog in the first place; because some people have trouble with personal responsibility and therefore to remove the temptations that Facebook brings to them is the most logical choice. With this, I do agree.

I'm sorry this had to come out this way. But it seems to be a byproduct of our "woman's rights" culture. Even this week my Dad (a former pastor) has had to deal with a woman that wants to find a church but can't help herself from correcting every pastor she comes in contact with. Sad that this is the way it is.

I see future persecution coming from these kind of interchanges simply because there are a certain number of people who hate God's Word so much that they would take me before a judge for a "hate crime" because I refused to give in to the "agree to disagree" cliche.

Sigh... someday the Lord will straighten it all out. Until then, keep your zeal up for preaching on sin, righteousness, and judgement.

In Christ Jesus,

Mike Van Nattan

Kent Brandenburg said...

Mike,

Thanks.

One thing anyone should know from the piece I wrote. I never said it was a sin or even wrong to use Facebook. I gave reasons why not. I thought it would be some edifying thoughts. I think it has been. I take the criticism from others with a grain of salt, especially those who chose to attack me for writing it. I got a chuckle out of those.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this great article - I really appreciate your tackling this modern issue from a Biblical perspective!

Anonymous said...

Facebook deleted.
"Beware of the hobby that eats".

Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

How does this have anything to do with face book?
1. If you can’t stand up to peer pressure is that because of face book. Does face book make you look to others for self worth? This week my paycheck was larger than it should be because of a typo giving me 5 hours over time instead of .5 hours overtime. No one knew of the mistake but I spoke up and did the right thing. Peer pressure would say more money is better.
2. Cheapening of friendship is caused by you friending willy-nilly. You can decline request by those that friend everyone.
3. Face book sets wicked things before your eyes? Have you seen the billboards on the free way? I saw one for a strip club the other day so I did the right thing and closed my eyes for the half mile it was in view. Not really. If it is an ad on face book you can close it. If it is a friends application you can block the application or the friend. The best way to keep wicked thing out of sight is to take the sight out of you. Stick your head in the sand.
4. If you don’t want friend to meet your other friend what kind of friend are you? Are you friend not capable of thinking for themselves?
5. If peer pressure to be sociable conflicts with your values and you let peer pressure win it is not face books fault.
6. “You have a friend who isn't much of a friend. That friend writes on your wall. Now what do you have to do” it is called un-friend, duh!
7. Don’t friend fake friend it is that simple.
8. About half of my 33 face book friends are people who I lost touch with or that I would have lost touch with, if used right face book helps you keep relationships alive.
9. There are groups for bold biblical Christians. Like “can we find 1,000,000 people who don’t believe in evolution before June” if that is not confrontational I don’t know what is.
10. If a friend post about a bad day you can comfort or give advice or send them a link to something you know will cheer them up. As for groups that support certain causes the majority are not very useful but groups like the tea party or (for those who don’t like the tea party) the coffee party, it is an invaluable way to advertise for local rallies and exchange ideas
11. Don’t friend people you don’t know
12. This makes sense because perverts are not in our community or in our church or our next door neighbor.
13. “Your status shouldn't matter. Someone shouldn't have to return a comment just because you've made one.” I agree so don’t, duh!
14. I agree I am a bad speller so I often type what I want to say on a MS word and spell check it. As a 25 year old I do not feel pressure to use slang. Slang is used because of speed. How long does it take to say ”I need to leave” when you can type g2g (got to go)
15. Face book spawns fraudulence and hypocrisy? Yes some people lie about their identity but if you only friend people you know this does not happen. Face book promotes honesty to oneself. There are thing that we hold back from the world, we hide our true self. In a conversation out in the real world a friend might say something racist or sexist and you miss that moment to speak out against the offensive comment because of fear of drama or the social situation. On face book you have time to rebut your friend comment with a well shaped argument.
16-19 It is called self control!

vickie said...

wow thanks..i BEEN ON FACEBOOK for 3yrs now it does make you be very judgemental and crital judging people for all their posts and comments make you get into their business which the God word does say not be busy bodies..I have felt it is a sin very wicked one of satan traps to get us away from GOD..IT makes us gossip alot which i have fallen into now..now I have alot sins in my heart its time I step away from it get my heart with GOD THANKS FOR SHARING ALL THIS....WE SET OUR EYES ON GODS WORD NOT FACEBOOK...

Isaac said...

I must say that this judge-not fallacy is most humorous. The BIBLE tells us to "prove all things" (1 Thess. 5:21) and that "he that is spiritual udgeth all things" (1 Cor. 2:15).

Either way, good article. The problem is not with FB per se, but how it is used; because it is usually used improperly, I am in agreement with the idea that there are a lot of people who would profit from departing from FB.

Anonymous said...

I have been concerned about Facebook fro awhile. Something I can't put my finger on. My church is sunk deep to the point where it is becoming the main venue of communication. I refuse to have anyone in my family to have a Facebook account.

But have I missed the news that E Mail has disaapeared from the world of technology? To communicate with a missionary? Really? The mail has stopped running, Emails no longer have the ability to communicate, phone lines are down? Sorry for the sarcasm, but Facebook seems to be more about "Hey look at me, because no one pays attention to me!" or ""we went to high school together, and I am now middled aged and need to reconnect to my youth!" There is something wrong with Facebook.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff indeed, this post helped me make my decision. I have to have a Facebook for my band because it helps us book shows, send invites etc. and its a great tool for reaching a large group of people at once, but my personal account was deleted last night because of the many reasons you stated. I feel free not having it and it sets a good example for my daughter. Some people have this obsessive need to be "liked" and as soon as I saw my own behaviors changing to reflect this importance of "self" I made the cut. Best thing I ever did.. :)

Anonymous said...

While I am not Christian, I entirely enjoyed reading these reasons and they are all reasonable, whether Christian or not. Facebook has its ways to tempt people.. I had one and deleted it almost a year ago and remade it again. It's hard to stay away from. And your friends on there just say hi to you in the streets and never talk to you again.

sherwrght said...

FACEBOOK is causing a lot of problems with relationship and marriage. It is not about being JEALOUS, it is about RESPECT for others.

WOMEN are placing pictures of themselves nude, wearing pajamas looking like STRIPPERS. Where is the RESPECT these days? It is not about being JEALOUS, it is about having RESPECT for yourself, WOMEN. You are not seeing MEN placing their pictures with NUDITY.

Some of you WOMEN, are advertising yourself coming out of the closet acting like REAL WHORERS. A decent man would want a REAL LADY.

Anonymous said...

Women who have no respect for themselves are going to send nude pictures and stuff thru cellphones too. Should we not have cellphones? I only allow people I know on my FB and if they get out of line then I block them.

Paul said...

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your wonderful reasons and comments. I am a devout Catholic college student, and I believe that you are right on all terms. It is affecting my mind, my life, and other things too. I indeed felt that Facebooking was "trying" to stumble me my Christian Faith and my eyes on the Lord.

Again, thank you. You gave me wonderful reasons to delete Facebook and focus on my life more.

Why should we be Facebooking? Instead we should be allowing the Lord to work in our bodies in order to help others? We are basically wasting time on Facebook and not letting the Lord be glorified in us.

Thank you, Sir. Just to let you know. You made a difference in someone's life. Someone else could actually benefit from this. Remember that.

May the Lord bless you and guide you always.

College Student

Anonymous said...

thanks!

Anonymous said...

thanks

Sharon said...

I think that Facebook, like the rest of the Internet and like any tool that man has created, is that, a tool. While this is in the negative, I think it can be likened to owning a gun for self-defense. Many people want to keep people from owning weapons to protect themselves because of so many people who get killed with them. Yet, I think it is what someone else once said, it is not the gun that kills, but people...hard hearts or in some cases, stupidity. Having said that, I agree that we must be responsible with computers and Internet and social programs and monitor our kids (which I think means really being there for them and involved in their lives). I use my facebook account mostly for promoting my scrapbook website. I am trying to build a legitimate business as well as be open to a way in the world of serving God by the sharing of my faith (which I have done through my site) and I like to keep up with family and friends. I agree that Facebook can be a time waste, especially if you spend it on all their games. Used to do that. I figured out what was more important to me. So, I use the tools I have to better mine and my husband's life. Facebook is like any other habit we can end up letting control our lives if we let it. The individual has the power. You can't always blame someone else. But then the blame game has been going on since Adam and Eve.

One more note...I know that my own folks have their qualms about Facebook and they don't personally have an account, but they don't use religion as a reason to not mess with it.

Jane said...

This is a really good list of reasons. Although each person should be convicted by God himself or herself rather to keep or delete his or her FB account, I respect the points you laid out. I personally decided to get rid of it a couple months back and I feel like a part of my soul has been freed. It's hard to describe how exactly but I am most certainly less conscious of portraying a virtual image of myself and making myself appease to others' tastes. Rather, it is all about pleasing GOd in all that we do. I pray that God may redeem social networking and use it for the purpose of advancing His kingdom. I really hope people can use it as merely a tool and nothing else. Thank you once again for posting this.

Cheers,

Tammy said...

Nice article. Deleted my facebook right away. Don't feel the need to flaunt my popularity in everybody's face for my enjoyment and everyone else's envy. Facebook = satan.

God Bless :D

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!!!! I was saved 2 months ago Nd if there was anything that caused me to stumble it was facebook!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this superb article!!if i did not delete my facebook account 2days ago, i will stuck in facebook forever and definetely will not read this!!!!i spend most of my time reading facebook but not the real BOOK!!
I can say 60% of my 'friends' in my facebook acc are keep arguing about silly thing and showing off!!and why i need to get involve with other people life!!!! so, deleting fb acc is one of the best decision I ever made!get yourself out from facebook before you get stuck there forever!get your real life back!!

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Charles said...

Great Stuff!! Thank You!

KJB1611 said...

By the way, for those who reach this post and don't know how they can have eternal life and be saved from their sins, please visit

faithsaves.net

to find out.

The website is run by the person who posts on this blog every Friday, Lord willing.

Anonymous said...

It is up to each one to form her own purpose in each of the media that is used. If you have a bad purpose then bad outcome is to be expected. If you have contacts who are not good, then its up to you to unfriend or block that person. Yes there are some people who change their character once on facebook. Some like the idea of having an 'audience' there in facebook. It's up to you to choose the outcome. Its up to you to choose your friends.