What If My Younger Self Friended Me on Facebook?

Add-friend-button-facebook-feat-DIThe leading theme in this blog is to explore those ideas in the humanities and sciences that lead us to new perspectives on the world.

The expansion of one’s vision of the world often involves leaving behind those old ideas that no longer make sense of the world. They are, as our blog is titled, discarded images.

In my newest article at Toledo Faith & Values (a local hub for the Religion News Service), I explore an idea related to this. The article, “Would you friend your younger self on Facebook?,” attempts to explore the limits of one’s exposure to the onslaught of worldviews or perspectives that are available on Facebook. In part of the article, I examine the rules I’ve set in place for who I allow to friend me on Facebook and when I cut them off. In discussing this, I look at a couple experiments related to Facebook and the effect of status updates on users.

BUT I also ask the question of whether I would friend my younger, “fundagelical” self on Facebook. Who I am today is very different from who I was then. Would I want to read my own status updates should some freaky experiment of internet time travel make that possible?

“I do, however, realize that I might miss something interesting in life if I dismiss some individuals entirely. Many years ago, for example, I was what some might call a “fundagelical.” I always meant well, and thankfully I had good friends who knew that, but the guy I am today might hesitate to friend my younger self on Facebook. Why?

  • My younger self was a moderate, evangelical patriarchalist; today I’m a feminist.
  • My younger self saw gay individuals as sinners who shouldn’t marry; today I’m the man who hopes for equality for all.
  • My younger self dreamed of becoming a professor of theology; today I’m the historian who left his full-time seminary position and, surprisingly, swore off teaching at faith-based schools for the rest of his life….

If I refused to friend myself today based on this disconnect, I would miss out on my own transformation. I wouldn’t get to see…” Continue reading at Toledo Faith & Values….

In search of belief changing ideas