Thursday, March 25, 2010

Facebook as a Spiritual Practice

Dontcha just love it when it seems like you and others you know are all thinking the same things at the same time? I've been ruminating on how much I like Facebook, and how it has become a part of my daily routine, and then iMinister posts so eloquently about why ministers should be on Facebook.

For me, Facebook is like the lounge that was at my college dorm, except without time. I poke my head in and look around -- a friend may not literally be on Facebook at the same time as I, but she has left a status, so she is still "there." I comment back to her, and so even though we're going in two directions at once, we are "meeting" in the lounge.

But ... spiritual practice?

Well, perhaps in the context of those who say they are "spiritual but not religious," I should say that Facebook is a religious practice to me. It is where I connect with others, on a routine basis.

I pop in, in the morning. I see who has what kind of day planned. For some, it is day in which they need more strength. I say a little prayer for them. Whether the prayer does anything for them ... eh. What is important is that I feel more connected to them. And when it is someone who I know takes strength from the prayer of others, I tell them.

For others, it's more routine, and we swap info back and forth. Hey, try this kind of cloth diaper! And have you tried the low carb bagels?

Some are inspiring, like iMinister's I Ching twitters. Or Rev. Sean's quotes.

And I post. Sometimes a quote, sometimes an "I'm off to ..."

Every now and then through the day, I check in, popping my head into the lounge. Sometimes just for a quick look around, but occasionally a ripping conversation will catch my eye, and I have to give my 2 cents, not even worth that much.

It's a magic way of seeing how parallel so many of our lives are. Christmas morning, many of us logged on to say what was happening at our homes. It just takes a minute, and we are connected. Saturdays, there are often quite a few ministers and seminarians in da house, getting sympathy for sermons unwritten. We touch base, go away, come back to compare notes, back to work, then finally post, "It's done! I can go out and play now!"

Sunday morning Facebook ... oh, there's my joy. Oh so briefly, because there are great works to be done, we check in. My AME and Baptist sisters and brothers, other UUs. We are off to church, ready to raise the roof, ready to do some preaching, ready to hear some wisdom. Praise be! Happy Sabbath!

Yes. I consider Facebook to be a spiritual, religious practice.

1 comment:

Mickbic said...

"Creepier still are the Orwellian implications which apparently riddle both the origin and the structure of Facebook."

(THIS LUDDITE IS A FACEBOOK-PHOBE, Calgary Herald, May 6, 2008, Kevin Brooker)

My spiritual practice involves writing e-mails. I am not interested in Facebook for the same reasons Kevin sets forth in the newspaper article.