>From Facebook to, well, Thoreau-Inspired Trains of Thought

>I think that I'm going to take a break from Facebook for a while, if not permanently.

This is in no way my assessment of Facebook on any intrinsic or moral or ethical set of values, all it is is me coming to this point of realization of what is necessary and what is not. I realize that by typing this on a macbook pro in my bed with a fan and air conditioning (and a very nice guitar still out of its case, the body probably warm from my body heat and my belly full from a meal that I ate not too long ago and 140 people following my twitter and fifty plus steady hits a week on a blog that is nothing but my thoughts) that statement can seem rather snobby, naive, even elitist in light of the definition of "necessary," but I ask you to bare with me for a moment.

I've found myself for the past week or so calling into question all of these things around me and wondering just exactly what I need. I drive a very nice car, when really something with wheels and an engine would do just fine, for example. As my day goes on and I interact with more and more of this stuff that is, at its core, totally made up, little things start to seem superflous.

We have all of these protocols for things like driver's licenses and Bachelor's degrees and line cutting policies at theme parks and what to do if you're seated in an emergency exit row on an airplane and the baffling thing to think about is every one of these things is completely contrived. Were we, as humans, meant to be able to propel a piece of buffed, waxed, curvy machinery using a series of pistons and controlled explosions in order to get from one place to another? Were we meant to be able to store 120 GIGABYTES of music in one location to access at any time?

Then it moves to things like: Is it natural for this world that used to feel like everything that could exist to start to feel somewhat hokey and contrived? Why do I feel like we are missing the point of all of this ridiculous stuff that we have when it literally begins to control us? What in the world could I possibly gain by clicking over on the open Facebook tab I have sitting just to the left of this one out of compulsion to see what other people are up to?

Paul seems to have thought about some of these same things and felt similar feelings towards them (although they clearly were not iPods or cars, etc) and come to the conclusion that we are not of this world when we are found in Christ. I have read that part a million times in my life but when he says, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body...." (Philippians 3:20) I HAVE to believe that he was questioning the legitimacy of his surroundings. He knows, beyond a doubt, that all this stuff that's here is all well and good, but it's not us. Our citizenship is not here, so there's a reason that this should not feel like home, because frankly this place isn't even worthy to think about the dwelling place of the Almighty, even though we do.

It is a strange feeling, indeed, when things appear to you as hollow alloys and plastics and items made by sweatshop labor. I'm not at all even starting to begin a political debate, and absolutely nothing about this is politically charged, because frankly politics makes less and less sense the more I think about it.

So to come full circle (somewhat), I'm kinda done with Facebook. Each time I had access to a computer I was checking it, most of the time several times each session and I'm just a little bit tired of it. Does all of the above mean that I'm going to sell all of my stuff and live as a sherpa wearing animal skins in the woods? Absolutely not. I love my music. I love my guitar and my pedalboard and my computer and air conditioning and fans and sleeping under tons of blankets in the winter. We humans were created with the spark of originality. We can construct computers from metal and electrical signals and I believe that God looks upon the way that these people He created use their God-given minds and smiles because creativity is part of Himself that He put in us, whether we believe in Him or not. This also must literally frustrate the hell out of Him because so many of us humans shake one fist at Him in anger or turn around and state that He does not exist, while we, with the other hand, demonstrate a small spark of Himself that was put into us. That separates us from the beasts.

Does He look at the depravity into which we have dug ourselves with the things we made using His gifts and shake His head and turn His back and whisper "be gone with them?"


He looks at us with His arms spread, just waiting for us to take the hint.

Hamilton Barber

The subject of this page is an introverted writer/musician/lunatic from Chattanooga, TN who dabbles in lexical dexterity, unorthodox thoughts on prosperity, and being overwhelmingly undeserving of the privilege of waking up every day. He hopes that everybody who reads these words takes them to heart and leaps higher than he ever could. He reads, thinks, and speaks too much; he listens, works, and loves too little; and he says “I” entirely too often. The words on these pages are not his: they are the words that were given to him.