Life without Facebook
By Kathi Macias –
Ever heard the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans”? I think God had a great laugh on me this week—and I deserved it.I’d been flying pretty high—new book releases with great reviews, another contract in the offering, lots of speaking invitations…life was good!
Until I decided to check Facebook. I’d been away for a couple of days, so I tried to log on from my Blackberry. It refused to allow me entry. I’d have to wait until I got home and log on there.
Wrong again. Once home, I went to Facebook, typed in my email address and extremely complicated password, and…I still couldn’t get in but instead saw a message saying that someone had tried to access my account. I looked at the date and time and realized it was when I tried to get in via my Blackberry. It was just a misunderstanding. All I had to do to clear it up was to identify some of my Facebook friends.
That could be a problem. I have about 2500 friends, plus an additional 500-plus fans. But it seemed to be the only game in town, so I decided to play it.
Sure enough, they sent me pictures of three people I didn’t recognize, along with two dogs and a picture of scenery. Now I was stuck trying to identify people I didn’t know, along with their pets and views of their backyard. This was becoming more complicated by the moment. If I could only talk to someone at Facebook….
No easy task. I eventually tracked down a list of emails specifically assigned to Facebook-related problems, but none were about what to do when you can’t identify pictures of your Facebook friends. Still, I tried the closest thing—verifying identity from your cell phone, since that’s what seemed to initiate the problem—and lo and behold, I got a reply from my helpful Facebook Team. The problem was that it didn’t address my specific question and gave me absolutely no recourse beyond continuing to try to identify random Facebook photos—which, by the way, you are restricted to doing once every hour.
By day three, after trying to identify someone’s pet gerbil and a cartoon character that vaguely resembled Groucho Marx, I threw up my hands in despair and thought, Fine! There was life before Facebook; there can be life after it! But I decided to give it one last try. This time Facebook let me in and, instead of showing me pictures to identify, asked me a few NORMAL security questions: my father’s middle name; my birth date; my mother’s maiden name, etc. Voila! I answered them in seconds and was allowed back in.
Ah, Facebook heaven! I was reconnected with my 2500 beloved friends whom I wouldn’t recognize if I passed them on the street. I quickly posted explanations of where I’d been and what I’d been doing the last few days. Out of 2500 friends, I soon discovered that only about a dozen noticed I was gone and welcomed me back.
Hmm… Food for thought…and fodder for prayer as well. I’ve been doing a lot of both lately, and realizing how easily I get caught up in things that seem important but actually may not be. I can’t help but wonder if this was a reality check from God about how wisely (or not) I’m “redeeming the time,” as we’re advised to do in Colossians 4:5.
What about you? Am I the only one who needs an occasional reality check from God? I doubt it. If I’m right about that, let me assure you there really is life without many of the time-consuming activities that fill our lives these days. Perhaps getting locked out of Facebook for a while isn’t such a bad thing after all.
Kathi Macias is a radio host and an award-winning author of more than thirty books, including her new Extreme Devotion series from New Hope Publishers. Find out more about Kathi and her books at www.kathimacias.com.