Faces and Souls and Twits, oh my...

I'm knee-deep in a mammoth project right now, its due April 1st...ah, blessed irony. Its one of those projects where a number of people, let's say a whole bunch, are expecting me to deliver. To say I'm stressed right now is an understatement. I've been tempted to start smoking or something, you know, some vice to help me make it through the night. But my teeth are stained enough from coffee and I would like to run a half-marathon this year, so for now, no cool-Mad-Men-smoking-John.

So I'm blogging a little these days, but not too much...and maybe that's just fine. Here's something I've thought about lately, I'll slow-pitch it high, give it a lob, a chance to linger a minute before you swing. I've wondered about Facebook and the social networking gig now firmly ensconced in our world. Native American people were shy about having their pictures made, a feeling that being captured like that on film was an intrusion of territory and privacy, it thieved something at the soul-level. What if, and yes its a big what if, but what if that same belief applied to Facebook? - that every time I post an update or change my profile pic or link to my blog or display an array of photos of me and mine, I lost a piece of my soul? It brings to mind a verse I've read a few times, that of gaining the world but losing one's soul...could that maybe, sorta, possibly be along the lines of gaining a following or gaining more friends or gaining herculean 'likes' to a particular quote/witticism? Hopefully I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but there's a kaboodle of posturing on Facebook, putting on our 'best' faces...and I'm sorry, I tried Twitter, but I never 'got it' and the word is too close to 'twit' and I don't have a smart phone and I really couldn't stand that perky bird.

I don't know about all this...like I said, its something I've been chewing on lately. To even type it feels old, stodgy, Luddite-ish, the old hairy crazy guy who lives back by the creek and yells at kids...but that's fine, I don't care. I stepped away from Facebook last year during Lent and I'm planning on doing it again in a few weeks...a season to not be so plugged-in/connected because I'm not a machine, I'm a man, a man who believes in territory and privacy and that just because you don't see my 'face' doesn't mean I don't exist, it means I believe there is more, so much more to a man or woman than the faces we choose to reveal to others...there is something deeper, more enduring, something that remains...the soul...and that the soul is something that can be lost if we're not careful. If you should un-friend me, I'll be alright, a country boy can survive, but if I should lose my soul, that's like losing me, face and all, and...

Well, gotta run, I'm heading over to post this on my Facebook page...hope you like it.


  1. Thanks John, at the risk of losing something vital, I'll comment.

    I'm reminded of Foster's "Money, Sex & Power" and how it is the heart of the person that determines whether each of those is used for good or evil. I'd put Facebook in that mix. It is a tool to be used and will always reflect the ethos of the user.

    Jesus seemed to have a rhythm to his life: time with the Father; time with his friends; and time with the broken and lost.

    Facebook can easily be a part of the mix for the friends, for the broken and lost. Yet without relational rhythm and balance, it can intrude on time spent with our Father—then it indeed steals the soul.

  2. Thanks, Tim...like I said, I'm mulling it over...I understand the 'tool' analogy and agree with it, the hammer can straighten the nail or bludgeon my neighbor...but what if Facebook has a heart/soul? Personification? Well, maybe...the Irish believed in the animation of all things (rocks, cats, cottages), the soul of the world, so to speak...sure, that sounds like I've got an i.v. drip of sourmash going, but I do think about such things and wonder/wander...

  3. Facebook, I think, is a great tool for connection, a tool we've lost when we lost the "let's drop in and see how the neighbor's are" mentality.

    We no longer drop in. We don't really care - often - about what's happening in our neighbor's lives.

    And yet Facebook lets us keep up with the neighbors. And not just the neighbors, but the relatives, the friends, the kids, the friends of the kids... Und so weider.

    At the end of every year, I print my blog for that year and include my daily twitter/facebook posts. I like the reminder they give me and I hope they enlighten those who want to know me in the future.

    But let it invade my time with the Father? Never. Never, ever forevermore.

    God bless.

  4. A man between, that's what I feel like. I hear you, I hear you.