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I’m not on Facebook very often.  But when I am, I’m curious about something.  Has anyone else ever had this thought as you’ve scrolled through your seemingly endless page of updates, news, pictures and promotional ads?

“This thing is a mess…I wish I could cancel my account, create a new one and start all over again.”

Think about it.  You could customize your account, only add people, pages and interests that truly helped you, right?  You could avoid that person you barely knew in junior high and don’t know at all now and focus only on those people you truly draw insight, wisdom, laughter and encouragement from, right?  You could take back that thing you typed, that one time, to that one person, when you weren’t thinking.  You could make sure to only and always type the “right” thing, at the right time with just the right words.  You would have a fresh start for once and be able to do it the way you want.

Or so it seems.

You see, this approach to social networking doesn’t really reflect reality. Like little David, ask yourself, “Is this real life?!”  It’s not.  Now, I’m not saying it can’t be done.  I’m saying that it’s not realistic.  Think about real life for a moment:

You don’t get to hand pick who you hear from all the time.  You can’t really fine tune how often you see and interact with every single person.  People are messy.  You know its true – you’re one of them.  Folks stop by when you’re not out of bed.  Peeps call when you’re busy.  Neighbors interrupt a quiet evening, you interrupt theirs.  Family members don’t always say what you want.  You don’t always say what you should or do the right thing.  Life is messy.  You can’t take back what you say most of the time.  Yes, there is forgiveness, but there is no delete key that erases something that slipped out of your mouth at the wrong time.  We are messy people.  Life is messy.

Don’t get me wrong here.  I’ve ‘unfriended” some stores or other websites that I had in our FB feed to try to streamline things a bit and keep it simpler.  But I’ve abandoned the thought of trying to create a taylor-made friends list.  It’s not realistic, and I don’t want to use a social networking application to create a false world, fine tuned to my liking.  I’d rather take the messy and I’m glad others put up with the mess I bring to the world of relationships.  The real world and the one online.