Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why I Love/Hate Facebook

When I was 14, we got our first computer complete with internet access, chat and email.  To an adolescent girl who got nervous in social situations but longed for friendship, excitement and romance, it was like a dream come true! The possibility of it all in the 'safety' behind a screen was exactly what I wanted.  So, social networking and I go back a long time.



Fast forward 15 years and some days I'm still that teenager that just wants to feel a part of other people's lives but is a bit shy to be so bold face to face.  Facebook provides me with a connection to other people with little responsibility if I so choose.    I love being able to communicate, in-depth or small talk, with friends near and far on MY time.  I don't have to sit by a phone and wait for a call.  I love staying up with people's lives through pictures and videos and laugh with everyone at the latest goofy thing.  I know that it is partially created in my own mind, but I love feeling a part of a community in that way.  Plus, the 'secretarial' side of me adores the efficiency it provides! Events, group messaging, and general announcements make planning a breeze!



The deal, though, with Facebook is that it doesn't have a filter option on my emotions.  It doesn't control the user so there is a risk of abuse somewhere along the line.  When I read that someone is back to their pre-pregnancy weight barely after the child is born, there isn't a setting to keep me from getting green eyed jealous! There's nothing to stop me from getting all stressed out after being privy to someone's family feud (that probably should be fought in private, but private issues are out this season and public displays are in!). The only way to control my attitude and mood after seeing pictures of a great time that I wasn't invited to, is me! And, let's be honest, "me" works only about 25% of the time.

I LOVE what Facebook can offer to me, but the risk of negative involvement is significant and I haven't been very prepared for it in the past.  So, here are a couple of filters I'm trying to implement in my relationship with Facebook.

1. If I'm browsing someone's page/pictures/information in order to judge or criticize them, STOP. I could do so much more productive things with my time than that.

2. If I'm feeling bad about myself/life/relationships/accomplishments, DO NOT linger on those who I compare myself to.  Better yet, NEVER compare myself to anyone ever.  It will always lead to self-hate or sinful pride.

3. Never post anything or engage in anything (ex. arguments) I wouldn't mind to do on a stage somewhere. And better yet, if I can't say anything nice, then I should just shut my mouth.

I would find it pretty hard to quit facebook completely, but hopefully we can stay friends by not getting too close!


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