Last Updated on July 9, 2013

It was my intention to take a real quick look at my Facebook page today. There on my news feed was a post from a distant friend saying she had just finished a Race for the Cure in honor of her mother. “We are continuing to fight for you, mom,” were the final words on this particular post.

WHAT!? I didn’t know she had lost her mom. I remember how dear her mom was almost 20 years ago when we had our six years of hanging out together. I remember the joy that her mom brought to her. And even though we have not really kept in touch, other than an occasional Facebook post, I know she is hurting, grieving, and longing to see her again.

Here’s my dilemma. Her mom passed almost a month ago. Since we have barely kept in touch, is Facebook the place to express my sympathy?

Facebook is a website I have learned to love and hate! On many occasions, I have found out about engagements, baby announcements, births, deaths and even family feuds by strolling through my newsfeed. I have been blessed, cursed, given gifts and flowers, and invited to all kinds of online games and game nights on this site. I have befriended folks I’ve only once met and defriended family members whose language was so bad I felt offended reading it. I have lost connection with friends who have removed their pages, and had friend requests from those whom I’ve never met.

Facebook has given me so much more that I’d ever bargained for. I have seen nudity on pages that have been hacked and been pursued by strangers that don’t care that my status says I am married.

Facebook is a lot like relationship. Yes, great relationships are more than you will ever bargain for. You must take the good with the bad. Relationships should not be easily dismissed because one thing in the relationship has offended you. In a relationship when you hear that something, good or bad, has happened to the one you are bound to, acknowledge it. Ask for forgiveness, keep short accounts and make certain that you continually wrap this affiliation in prayer and love. First remembering that love, itself, is so much more than we think (1 Corinthians 13).

I have many friends who have gotten rid of their Facebook accounts because they were addicted to them. All around us are things that crave our attention and demand our allegiance. The convenience of technology has blinded us so that we TiVo our favorites so the addiction fits into our schedules.

Facebook is just a tool in today’s technological world to keep us in touch with the many associations in our life in practically one place. It doesn’t replace the need that we have to connect with those around us but it does give us the ability to connect with those who at one time impacted our lives.

Facebook is also just one of many things that may draw our attention, time and energy away from the one who loved us first. I pray that those on our pages would see that God is the center and source of our lives and that HE receives our first allegiance.

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

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  1. Yes! FB is a tool. May we strive to keep it in its proper place, my sweet friend.

  2. Hi Robyn,
    love it or hate it….
    I would try and get her address and send a card. I had a friend to do me like that also and this is someone that I do keep in touch with. She told about a month or so after her father died. You know I say to that meet people where they are take it with a grain of salt. And whatever you do don’t take it personal.

  3. Chantele Ferguson says:

    Robyn, this was provocative, as always. I agree: FB is just a tool. When major things happen in the lives of those we have more than a nominal relationhsip with, we must let them hear our voice. To me, a telephone call speaks oodles more when we want to express concern, interest, joy, sadness for a friend who experiences something significant in life. While I enjoy facebook and the connections and re-connections that it has allowed me to make, I agree with Jennifer that we must strive to keep it in its proper place.

  4. I stopped using Facebook about two months ago…cold turkey just stopped one day because it was taking up too much space in my head. I would post things that happened, good thoughts, random thought, etc. My thoughts were always I should put this on FB. Even my five year old would say things about FB which he hasnt for a while. Now I spend more time looking for my phone because it’s not always by my side so I can check to see who posted. I’m loving not having FB anymore.

  5. HI Robyn, Speaking from the experience of loss, it’s better to say something than nothing. If FB is the only way you have of contacting her, you could send her a private message expressing your sadness at her loss, apologizing for the “informality” of using Facebook and ask her for address so you may send a sweet card or letter. I will be praying that you have the words to comfort your friend.

  6. Thank you for these thoughts, Robyn! Very wise words. I have been transplanted out of state from my family, so, FaceBook have become very important to me. I keep in touch with friends, family, and extended family with it in a way that I could not keep up with by email, and certainly not with paper letters. I also know your uncertainty about how to handle situations like the one you described, and how to handle it. I would treat it like you would any other “incidental” way of finding out about a not-so-close friend losing her mother. I would send a sincere card with words of encouragement. If this friend knows you, she will understand. FaceBook isn’t inherently evil, in my opinion. It’s a communication device, like a telephone. I know ladies who spend way too much time on the phone, or over a leisurely lunch, or at the mall, shopping, or reading romance novels, or anything else. God tells us to “redeem our time” because that’s what we can’t get back. Relationships, time and memories.

  7. I love your writings, Robyn! You have a wonderful way of expressing your thoughts and feelings! Thank you! So good to hear from you. Thank you for inviting me! 🙂

  8. Robyn, I love the article. It has many valid points. But yes, we must still reach out face to face, phone to phone or old fashioned snail mail. Nothing beats hearing my loved ones’ laughter, the sound of their voice or opening the mail box and getting excited because I see their handwriting on an envelope.