I hate Candyland. I have never liked it. As a child I remember liking Trouble or checkers, never Candyland. There is no strategy, there is no candy, so what’s to like?
But nowadays I find myself playing Candyland, and enjoying it, though it has nothing to do with the game. I can’t redesign Candyland to make it a game of strategy, so I bring the strategy to it. I play Candyland because of my kids.
I approach Facebook the same way. Facebook is fantasy world, and a dangerous one. Facebook has many candies, but they are illusions, they do not satisfy.
[Narcissism] One of the characters you’re sure to encounter is Narcissus. Do you remember him? In Greek mythology he was the man who when lured to a pool fell in love with his own image and died staring at it. Facebook is the garden revisited, and we fall a thousand times over, wanting to be gods. Failing at real life to be worshipped, we enter a virtual world to promote our own glory. We are so presumptuous as to think our every banal action needs to be broadcast for the benefit of mankind. We are our own paparazzi. My friend David described Twitter (which I also joined for the same reason I will soon give) like this, “It’s like a guy carrying around a megaphone who periodically announces to no one in particular; ‘I’m shopping at Pay Less!’, or ‘Just waiting at a stop light!’, for no other reason than to justify the carrying of it.”
[Gossip] Facebook is TMZ for the commoners. While some approach Facebook to promote themselves, others journey there to demote others, if only in their own heart. Perhaps this is just a more sinister way of convincing oneself that they are god, or at least more god than others are. The saddest reality is that often one need not talk to a friend or enemy to get some leverage on you, you provide that yourself. “Curious how sinful I am? Have a look!”
[Voyeurism] Molasses Swamp exists in Facebook as well, or we might now call it The Matrix – a group of people living in a virtual world or living voyeuristically through others. The real is traded for the less real. Friendship is redefined to mean nothing more than acquaintance. Molasses Swamp is sticky, people get stuck here. Instead of enjoying good company, a vacation, or a meal, we either are preoccupied with how we are going to share it with others, or instead of enjoying our own, we are envious of someone else’s.
[Lust] Princes Lollipop is everywhere. She is very attractive. She can be a close friend, even a sister in Christ. Proverbs speaks a lot about this whore. Avoid her. Don’t click on her photos. Hide all posts by her. Establish a one-way route of influence. De-friend her if she is invasive. It is a shame for a woman to tolerate pornography, worse still to enjoy it herself, worse yet to become a self-promoted, softened version of it. Modesty is platinum; a rare treasure in this land. Celebrate it where you find the Proverbs 31 woman.
So why play such a deadly game? Because there is no new thing under the sun. Facebook isn’t evil, we are – we bring the evil to it – ourselves. I’m coming to this game with a strategy.
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’”, so said Abraham Kuyper. And this truth rings true over virtual worlds as much as real ones. Facebook does not exist for us. The chief end of your life is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. We should bring this purpose to everything we do, including Facebook.
So why then join this candyland full of deadly enticements? One may as easily ask “Why live in this world?” There is only one acceptable answer – for His glory.