Thursday, January 6, 2011

How Will Facebook Change Our World, Christian and Non

Two things bring this to mind. The first was a story on NPR two days ago in reference to fact that Goldman Sachs decision to invest $500,000 into Facebook. The commentator, who is an expert on economic as well as social change, was asked, “Is Facebook really worth this much of an investment.”

The commentator responded in a way which surprised me. First of all, he described their financial assets including their advertising exposure. It is huge, thus, he believed that they really were worth the investment. But something he said caught my attention much more than that.

The commentator said that most people don’t realize the depth of the radical social change which is happening right now, thanks partially to Facebook. Right now there are more than a half a billion “active” Facebook users. That’s 1/12th the world’s population. At least 10% of the world’s population has joined. But if you break that down to those who access to the Internet, the percentage would be much higher.

So, beyond those high numbers come the changes in behavior of people in social settings. There is a social revolution going on and it is world-wide, or going to be world-wide before it is over. But does this mean to us, especially the Church?

A long, long time ago, the very first time I logged onto the Internet, I was blown away. It was a totally new concept for me, being able to communicate with anyone around the world, in the privacy of their homes, from the privacy of my home. I remember sending my first e-mail, to a Christian friend. I said, “What a potential for the Gospel!”

Of course, like with anything, there is a bright side and a dark side. For every person who has been helped, spiritually, through the Internet, one has discovered something bad. It could be finding an old girlfriend (or even a stranger) and running off with them, leaving their wife and kids. I’ve heard that story over, and over and over. I’m sure a lot of people have looked at porn that would never have gone to a porn shop or other source (if the Internet didn’t exist). And then the worst of them all, child porn. So, looking at the new age of Facebook, I have to ask what good things, and bad things will it bring us.

The above narrative is about half of what I've written, however, I got too busy today to finish the thought so I will post it as part I (this introduction) and Part II (more thoughts).

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