I’m not going to lie, I love me some Facebook. When I started serving in Student ministry, I decided to love me some Facebook so much more. In ministry, Facebook can be a great asset. It is an easy and quick way to connect with parents, and to stay completely up in the business of all my teenagers…. oh wait…not all.
I have a few students who aren’t on the big F.B. I realize this the most in the middle of conversations with other students. We are talking about something funny someone commented on, or ask about someone’s prayer request. These few students who aren’t connected on FB seem socially isolated, unable to connect in the way that students do “these days” (said in a crotchety old man voice). Awkward moments arise because the other students know their peer doesn’t have the “privilege” of having a piece of internet real estate, and they all shoot looks of pity to the poor student who’s parent says, “No, not my kid!”
Of course there are the photos of events and happenings that are all tagged. Students can comment on them, recollecting the funny moments, laughing at themselves. And yet again, the unFB child misses out on this rare form of social interaction, that happens only via the internet.
And let’s not forget about me. It definitely makes it even more challenging to lead and minister without the ease of a mouse click, or a screen tap. Teenagers don’t really want to talk on the phone, they ask each other to prom via text, and then break up with each other in the same manner a few weeks later. Email is an option, I suppose, but not instantaneous, nor does it have the capability to connect more than one person, really. Not really. No. Now I can manage to personally connect with the students who aren’t connected online, but as I grow, that’s just not a reality.
So my question to each of you is this…well my question(S) rather…
1. As a ministry leader HOW to you mind the gap for kids who aren’t on FB?
2. As a parent, what is your reasons for or against letting your kids on FB?
3. Do you think that a lack of Social Networking for teenagers leads to social isolation?