I don’t have a Facebook page. Yes, I know that the social pressures of getting one may someday get to me, as all four of my older (!) siblings now have one along with most of my 27 nieces & nephews and nearly every teenage and young adult Jughead past and present. However, one of my stubborn hold-outs to being more savvy with social media is that for better or for worse, the nature of my youth work is that of being present—that is, more or less “all in” socially when I’m in someone’s physical presence. Of course, I always find tasks to fill my time in any setting (such as working in the gym office), but what I lack in staying connected via Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and better promptness in responding to email, I try to make up for in terms of a face-to-face ministry of interpersonal communication.
I’m not saying that I have the moral high ground of how I interact with people; I’m just saying that the way JH is run—with dozens of people gathered for kinetic and highly social activities for three or more concentrated hours on a daily basis—causes me to not crave staying connected in cyberspace since I invest much time staying connected in “humanspace.” That’s part of why I make a big deal out of learning and using names at JH while asking the kids to avoid using electronics. Our modern lives are often isolated enough; real-life, human-to-human contact is what sets JH apart from social media.
So, while someday I may have the energy to dive in and get a Facebook (and discern how many hundreds of “friends” I should accept), I’ll meanwhile focus my social energy on the mutual blessing of live, interpersonal human contact.