Monday, November 17, 2008

Facebook Dilemma

So say you're on Facebook and a few congregation members find you and ask to be "friends".

A few weeks later, one of these women posts on her status that she is having a very difficult day. Do you:

a)respond pastorally somehow because otherwise she might think, "Gee--I put it out there that I was struggling and my pastor didn't reach out or call or ANYTHING!"

b)not respond because then she might think, "Sheesh, now I can't put anything personal on Facebook without my pastor being all in my face about it."

c)go off Facebook yourself so you won't be in these dilemmas.

7 comments:

ellbee said...

I'd start by sending an email (in Facebook). They aren't wall postings, so it won't be plastered everywhere. Perhaps just a quick, hey- hope your day goes better... I noticed and prayed for you. Let me know if there's anything else I can do...

I'd also suggest posting a note on your page talking about how this is a whole new realm... laying out some of your "i wonder how I should...." statements and invite your members to respond.

cheesehead said...

This is why I was just writing about worlds colliding on "spacehook".

Is there a way you can respond to her pastorally but not connected to the page?

Susan O said...

i started facebook as a ministry thing, and so i did respond to all of those sad messages (college kids-drama) with messages (not wall posts) inviting them to come talk. after learning my lesson once, I decided not to hold long message exchanges in response to facebook posts--but just to use the message function to invite face to face contact, or at least email to email contact. I also learned the hard way not to do facebook chat.

Presbyterian Gal said...

Well goodness. They all said it before I could. I'll just say "ditto" and go back to Facebook. :)

Kathryn said...

exactly...though I havent learned the lesson re FB chat and would be glad to hear before I discover the hard way...

Teri said...

I often leave a comment on the status itself, something like "sorry to hear that--hope things go better!" If I see things go further downhill, then I send a message.
I agree about the facebook instant messaging thing--be careful because they can turn into long drawn out misunderstandings.

Juniper said...

I'm with elbee and susan. And I think it was actually susan (long ago and in another incarnation perhaps?) who advised against "friending" parishioners or students, so that's what I do. If someone from my church friends me, I accept, but do not try to go out and look for them.