Ex-Facebook prez: We want to ‘consume as much of your time as possible’

He explained that when Facebook was being developed the objective was: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?” It was this mindset that led to the creation of features such as the “like” button that would give users “a little dopamine hit” to encourage them to upload more content.

“It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

via Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human ‘vulnerability’

Social media like Facebook causes many saints to sin, not least among their transgressions being the waste of time. So many opportunities for study, for evangelism, for edification are lost! So many souls go careening into hell for lack of teaching, because saints are clicking on social media!

Yes, Facebook is but the latest in a long line of time-wasters. But it is one of the most potent, a powerful addiction.

Facebook is not a free service. It is costly. And for some, it may well cost their eternal salvation.

“making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” Eph 5.16 ESV.


(#174) The Proverbs of Solomon 25:17-Twitter This

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 25:17: “Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, Lest he become weary of you and hate you.”

If there ever was a cautionary warning about “social media,” this is it! It is possible to “wear out our welcome.” Facebook fans, beware. Not everyone wants to read about what your husband will have for supper, or how many messy diapers your baby has had, or how many trips you make to the store, or where you plan to grill food for company, or everything your children accomplish. The most tiresome invitation used to include, “and we have slides of our family,” but now it seems to be “friend me on Facebook!” There are many who “unfriend” those who seem to “think” with Facebook, Twitter, or on other social media. Enough is enough.

Social media seems to have cultivated a climate that was condemned by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul: “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan” (1 Timothy 5:13-15). The responsibilities of home and family should be enough to keep one busy, and avoid being “gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” With our constant, instant communication devices, people have forgotten the self-limiting barriers that should protect our privacy. It seems that “Generation N” (Narcissists) thinks everyone should be interested in everything going on in their lives without ever asking for that information!

The communication today is wonderful when used properly, but remember “too much familiarity breeds contempt.” Try talking to God, He does not get tired: “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #christian-living, #facebook, #family, #instagram, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #social-media, #twitter, #wisdom

Walking away from Politics

I am a recovering news addict. In times past, political news was one of my chief interests. However, I have left that life behind me and it has made me much happier and calmer. I needed it for my emotional, spiritual and physical health.

God has promised us peace in Christ and all Christians should pursue it:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.   Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:6-8, NKJV).

Politics will divide friends, family and foment anger.

In terms of political posts and discussions on Facebook, we must step back and ask the following questions:

Continue reading

#christians, #elections, #facebook, #politics

A Word of Caution on FB

Just a word of caution to those who use Facebook.



Understanding the Internet for mission

Facebook now includes icons for homosexual and lesbian couples in its relationship options. Some brethren are abandoning the service because of it. Apparently, they consider their presence on the service as crossing the line between being in the world and being of it, or approving of it. I invited one of them to TFR.

• Facebook seems to have become a more visual medium of late. More people post images, photos, and graphics. At least, my “friends” do. What about yours? Not sure why this trend has taken off. Maybe from influence from Pinterest. Or a general preference in our age for images over text, started in the 20th Century by television. A hard challenge for the gospel, this trend. (Remember our first step to salvation: hear?)

• Twitter is tightening up third-party access to its service, certainly within its right, but raising the wall to protect its proprietary model. Most recently, it has cut off LinkedIn.com from posting to its service. I like Friendica‘s approach: the Internet is our social media. Remains to be seen if commercialism will allow such ideas any elbow room. (Find me at randal@myfriendica.net.)

• Meanwhile, Google continues to skew search results, most recently by muzzling firearms retailers. They’re making it harder for you to find a gun online. Of course, this is not their first foray into socio-political filters. I’ve pretty well abandoned it for other good services like Duck Duck Go and StartPage.com. Remember: you got options.

• All of this is background for serving the Lord on the Internet. Where are the trends? In what direction are developments moving? How can Christians be effective on the web? Those who strive to tame the Internet beast for evangelism and edification want to have a bit of understanding of how it works. A tall task, but part of it.

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#facebook, #google, #internet-ministry, #twitter

AudioEvangelism.com Facebook Page

We’ve finally got this going and daily lessons are being posted there for any to easily share with their FB friends. Please “like” us, if you will.


#audio-evangelism, #facebook

Social Media and Fellowship

What role does social media have in Biblical fellowship? More specifically, what does it do to the lines between sound and unsound brethren? In the past, I have received Facebook friendship requests from false teachers who have dozens of sound brethren as “friends.”

Should we be Facebook friends with false teachers? Do we need to examine the Scriptures on fellowship through the prism of social media? I look forward to the discussion.

#facebook, #false-teachers, #fellowship, #scripture, #social-media, #truth

Leaving Facebook

Another friend is leaving Facebook. I’m there still, not because of what it offers, but because I have something to share. Otherwise, I’d be gone as well.

#facebook, #social-media

Thankful Thursdays!

I am trying to start Thankful Thursdays among my friends. How you can help:

  • On Facebook, post about Thankful Thursday and share the ways that God has blessed you.
  • On Twitter, use the hashtag: #thankfulthursday and share it with your followers.
  • Thank the Lord today for all that He has done for you.
  • Share your blessings here in the comments section about what God is doing in your life.
  • Pray that this will encourage the Saints and reach the lost!

The Lord is worthy of all our praise and more.

“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water. So I have looked for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You” (Psalm 63:1-3).

#blessed, #blessings, #facebook, #hashtag, #hope, #joy, #thankful, #thankful-thursday, #thanksgiving, #twitter

Today, the Day for Love

Christian loveNo, it’s not another international day nobody knows about, nor another Valentine’s Day, not even in Brazil. (Here, June 12th.) Nor has the wife sent me a promissory note for later. Following our reading schedule, today’s chapter is 1 Cor. 13, the famous love chapter. So most of what I’m writing today, and will be teaching tonight, focuses on love.

Three chapters (12-14) boil down to one phrase. Chapter 13 centers the discussion of gifts. In that chapter, three sections (essentiality, 1-3; activity, 4-7, superiority, 8-13) center on love’s actions (13:4-7). In that section, we have positive, negative, and positive actions, so the negative is the focus. Of the nine negatives, the middle one is, “it is not self-serving.” That’s what the Corinthians were doing with the gifts, serving and exalting themselves, when the gifts were give to serve and edify others. Pretty neat the way he organizes it, no?

Chapter 13 isn’t about marriage, although it probably gets read more at weddings than anywhere. It’s about church, about brotherly love. And, boy, oh, boy, do we need that today, when each one is going his own way, and we don’t have time for each other. It’s not that we fight. It’s that we hardly interact at all. Early Christians had daily contact. We do good to be in touch weekly.

I love the Internet. I work it, use it, benefit from it, share through it, and enjoy fellowship thanks to it. But as good as the Internet is, it’s no substitute for personal, daily contact with the saints.

Facebook is becoming a huge substitute for live social interaction. That’s just a fact, and we ought to use it for the gospel. At the same time, we as God’s agents of transformation must cultivate living, breathing communion at the local level. The Internet may even contribute, but it cannot substitute, our full fellowship together.

Some of God’s gifts can be used through the Internet, but not all. It cannot visit, feed, listen, touch, nor perform a hundred other actions necessary for full fellowship. For all its advantages, the Internet cannot give the holy kiss, or holy hug, or holy handshake, if that’s all you’re up for.

Today is for me, then, the Day for Love, the day to read, think, and practice the love of 1 Corinthians 13. Truth be known, though, every day in God’s church is the Day for Love. Every. Single. Day.

Love has skin, feet, and hands. Let it have your skin, your feet, and your hands.

#christian-fellowship, #christian-love, #facebook, #social-media

Appreciation To My Many Christian Friends

As most of you know, today is another birthday for me. Actually, I’m celebrating the third anniversary of my 22nd year + 1. 🙂

There are many Facebook friends that I wrote personal notes to this morning, thanking them for their well-wishes for me on this day.

A person can never have too many friends. I pray that I’ll be a true and faithful friend in return.

Thank you TFR friends for your friendship as well. You are a bright light in an otherwise dark world. May God richly bless you and your work in the kingdom. I’m reminded of the encouraging words of the apostle Paul:

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).


Mike Riley

#abound, #anniversary, #birthday, #bless, #facebook, #friend, #kingdom, #light, #note, #personal, #steadfast, #today, #well-wishes, #work, #world, #write


If you want to teach the truth to people who desperately need it, then “like” the major news networks’ Facebook pages and when they post moral topics, which is often, teach the truth to the humanists and doubters. Remain calm and stay in the book and show love to all. You might lead someone to Christ.

#evangelism, #facebook, #truth

I’m registered on several sites, but th…

I’m registered on several sites, but the one I use is Facebook. I almost never log into the others. Most of my friends, family, and brethren are on Facebook, and since I use it to socialize and have some good clean fun with folks, that’s where I stay.

#facebook, #nudge

Daily Nudge: social media — and news

Social media sites, which allow for intense interaction between people, are all the rage. Young people check their Facebook accounts before reading email.

Of all countries, Brazilians are most likely to be involved in social media sites, 86% of the Internet users in the country do it, as I recall. (Their favorite is Orkut.)

So what part of the social media world do you dabble in? Facebook. Twitter. SaintsMeet.com. There’s a lot of them out there. And I know where some of you are, but not all. So ‘fess up. And tell us why you’re there as well.

As per yesterday’s BNc tweet (social media! squirrel!), Nick and Amy Fowler arrived yesterday in Belem, Brazil, joining their recently arrived teammates for a new work in this untouched (by churches of Christ) city. They’re sponsored, as I recall, by the Mount Juliet, Tenn., church, where my daughter-in-law Tansy was reared. My wife Vicki has exchanged emails with Amy’s mother off and on since last year when we were at Mount Juliet for Joel and Tansy’s wedding.

What other news of the churches is out there waiting to be shared?

#brazil, #facebook, #mission-teams, #missions, #nudge, #social-media, #twitter

Average wired

I’ve not had a chance to answer my own Nudges lately. Here goes one, on how wired we are. I’m probably wired slightly above average. Hmm, OK, well above average of some. I have periods I’m very wired, others I’m completely out of touch. Often, when I go to teach or travel, I lose connectivity.

Since buying a MacBook last year for presentations while in the U.S., I’m more wired, with wifi. With Skype I keep in touch with family and some friends. It’s replaced all the other messengers for me.

I do several of my own websites, manage several others, somehow wind up being a consultant for quite a few, since I’m a step ahead of the curve. Know just enough to be dangerous. And I like to help people. I’ve become a WordPress fan, when I’m not using Tiddlywiki.com, which I love.

Email has always been my main channel of communication. I have what must be the greatest service in the world on that score. Since I started working Facebook, that’s an up-and-coming area for me, though I foresee easing off on it once my purposes with it are done. I was a Twitter fan before FB, and think it’s better. I’m on Orkut, since most Brazilians are there (though they’ve been piling in on FB lately), but I don’t care much for that service and go months without checking in.

FriendFeed.com brings a lot of stuff together, I like that, for reference purposes.

I was a latecomer to cell phones, and often forget mine. Still don’t know how to text. That’s the extent of my wiredness.

#email, #facebook, #wired