By Sarah Halbur
I rarely scroll through my news feed on Facebook. But tonight, as I opened the social media hotspot, an interesting article caught my eye. I stopped to read it, and then I kept scrolling to look for more interesting articles. Several nuggets of wisdom popped onto my screen, but mixed in between were posts more akin to nuggets of time killing. As I scrolled, and the time slipped by, I realized what a time killer Facebook could become for me if I made a frequent habit of scrolling.
I'm not trying to say that Facebook is evil. In fact, if used well, it can be quite good - a means to reconnect with faraway friends and family, a useful networking tool. But it can also be a trap - a temptation to live more in the virtual social world rather than to be fully present with the people around you, a tendency to post useless things and spend hours gaping at others' useless things instead of using those hours to be purposeful, to serve, to make a difference in someone's life.
I'm not yet married or a mother, but I recently heard a young mother wisely warn against the Facebook trap. It dawned on me that I could see how easy it might be for young mothers, especially when exhausted, to sit at home and browse Facebook too often...instead of going outside and playing with her children, or reading stories, or even going out and spending real time with other young moms.
As women, we have a beautiful natural gift of connecting with other people, of nurturing others. One of the valuable articles I did read recently on Facebook was the 2014 commencement address given by a navy seal admiral. In it, the admiral noted that if each of the 8,000 students in the graduating at University of Texas changed the lives of just 10 people in their lifetime, and each of those people in turn changed the lives of 10 others, then in just one generation the whole class will have impacted the lives of 800 million people. That is powerful!
Think of how much good we could do if we were to positively impact one person each day, even by something as simple as a smile, or a helping hand, or cooking a homemade meal for our family or another family in need.
Here's some food for thought: The next time you go on Facebook, ask yourself if you are there to positively impact yourself and others, or if you're only going to kill time. If it's the latter, consider closing the news feed and opening your door instead to find the person just waiting for you to share your gifts with them.
Sarah Halbur is a communications director for Thomas More Society, a national pro-life law firm based in Chicago. She enjoys star-gazing, making music with loved ones, and creatively evangelizing, especially to children.