This is not my stuff. This is all from Tim Challies over at Challies.com. But this blew my mind. If this blows your mind at all, go check out Tim Challies’ full post over at his website.
Seven hundred billion minutes. That’s how much time Facebook’s 500 million active users spend on the site every month. 700,000,000,000 minutes. Let that one sink in for a moment. Every month we spend the equivalent of 1.3 million years on Facebook; the equivalent of nearly 18,000 lifetimes. More than half of us login every single day; we average 130 friends. And we spend vast amounts of time on there.
Facebook now offers 900 million different objects or pages for us to interact with—groups, events, community pages, and so on. We upload over 3 billion photographs every month (which means we’re uploading millions every hour).
Do you know what really blows my mind about all of this? Facebook is only 7 years old. Most of us have joined in only the past 2 or 3 years. The growth charts are out of this world:
(The image was made by Ben Hopster.)
Think about this. Every hour we’re on Facebook, we’re not talking to another human being. Assuming that’s another human being on Facebook (not an unreasonable assumption) that’s a half hour of real face-to-face time. That’s 250 billion minutes of face time we’re loosing out every month to something that, seven years ago, we didn’t even know anything about….and four years ago most of us still hadn’t heard of.
Is this getting in the way of “REAL” fellowship and community? Have we been sucked into something that is actually making it MORE DIFFICULT to be in relationship?
I know I say “I can quit any time” but can I, really? Am I using this medium for good or is it really eating away at my soul? What if the time I was on Facebook I was in a small group study for support and encouragement or reading my Bible or praying. And this is something that’s only been in my life for a couple of years.
Am I accomplishing more? Am I accomplishing less? Is this helping ministry or getting in the way of it?
I know I convince myself that I’m using Facebook for good. I tell myself that I try to stay away from the “time suck” of Facebook. I don’t do Farmville or other games. I don’t chat–something that I’ve always found annoying since someone always seems to pop up to chat when I’m working on something else. And I tell myself that it has gotten me into a real connection with folks I’ve not connected with in a very long time. And, perhaps, that community will prove to be important in the long run.
But is it an idol for me? Has it taken a place rightfully reserved for more holy purposes? For God?
Amazing! Isn’t it?
A while back I suggested that we might be able to tell what our idols are by looking in our pockets and seeing what we need to have with us all the time. We can also tell what our idols are by seeing where we are spending our minutes and our days. There is clearly something about Facebook that has captivated us, something about it that has drawn us in. For many of us, it is now the place where we live our lives—18,000 of those life times every month.
Mind…consider yourself blown.