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Can You Live Without Facebook?

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By Alison Matheson, Christian Post Correspondent
May 18, 2011|3:00 am

Tell a Facebook user to live without checking their messages, posting photos, updating their status or stopping by their favorite pages on the social networking site and they may break out into a cold sweat.

But that’s the challenge being set to his congregation by Raymond Underwood, senior pastor of Palm Beach Community Church in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

If you’re a member of the church, don’t hit the panic button just yet as it’s just for one day a week – although that may still be too much for some.

Underwood wants his flock to "fast" from Facebook once a week to help them focus on their “more significant relationships.”

“We’re not saying that Facebook is bad or wrong,” he said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “But shutting down Facebook is one of the ways we can be more in the moment.

“We call these Facebook relationships friendships, but they really aren’t friends.”

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Perhaps he has a point. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently warned that young people who spend a lot of time on social networking sites may be at risk of “Facebook depression.”

It also noted that social media is replacing face-to-face interaction as the primary way that some teens and tweens interact socially.

A 2009 Common Sense Media poll also found that 22 percent of teenagers, or one in five, log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day.

Interestingly, the pastor is enthusiastic about Facebook as a way of letting people know about the church.

When it comes to Facebook in general, “it’s a good thing,” he said. “We target groups with social media.”

And no, the Facebook fast doesn’t apply to the church’s own Facebook page.

But still, for Underwood the point is to help people give their full attention to the people in their "real" lives.

“Everybody loves Facebook, but they’re realizing that it’s taking up too much of their lives,” he said.

 

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