A time waster: Self explanatory. Some of you with a little more self control may handle FB consumption wisely. You may even be "inactive". However, there are a few of us who have gotten caught up in the "there-is-absolutely-no-life-outside-of-the-BOX" game, and well, our brains have suffered because of it. Facebook is an easy cure for boredom. It adds the little pop of excitement to the every day drag. When we wake up, who cares about devotions? or, they can wait. Gotta check FB. Now be honest--what the first thing on YOUR morning agenda? How about rolling out of bed, grabbing a cup of coffee, and opening the Bible? May just get the day on a better start. You can peer into your "friends" lives later.
"Stalking is all fun and games. . .until you accidentally press the Like-button."
Breeds gossip: Facebook is a breeding ground for gossip, slander, rumors, and false assumptions. Innocent notes about peanut butter can turn into "SHE has such a horrid diet! I mean, this is the THIRD sandwich today." Very possibly valid. Even so, constantly peering into people lives all day, every day, is unproductive and even dangerous. An opinion can turn into a battle ground for debate, confusion, and destroyed friendships. All because someone said the "wrong" thing. . .or possibly had an opinion. (rule of thumb: opinions and Facebook don't mix. Learn to think like everyone else, and life is SAFE. Restricting comments mainly to the weather is perfectly acceptable. :P )
But I'm bored! scene#1 Another lazy day at home. Remember the peanut butter sandwich above? Your making it now. May write a couple emails. . .check FB. Eh, only one notification (after ten minutes of staring at the screen, this is exciting.) Might as well talk about this awesome PB&J. Might even get so-in-so's attention. Might not. Nothing to lose, either way.
scene #2 So-in-so, during a lunch break at the office, casually glances at their iphone and sees the above status. Ok. The first thing that comes to mind? Annoying. Seriously, is it necessary to update on every.single.thing you've done throughout the day? That is what journaling is for. :P Oh, and while I'm ranting, we don't care if you just unloaded another basket of laundry.
"No, I don't watch soap operas. I have Facebook. There's a new episode every five minutes."
False identity: Online, you can be anyone and anything. Hiding behind our computer screens we can play the bully, paint pictures of our care-free lives, make ourselves funny, famous, super-Spiritual. Goes for any online networking site. Facebook is the first that comes to mind, naturally, since adding "mutual" acquaintances is common place. Ever meet an online friend in person and realize, "wow, they are TOTALLY not what I expected?!" It is so, so very important to be oneself online, as I covered in my post, Blogging Tips. It's a very delicate balance. Aside from a handful of people you trust, the several hundred "friends" in your virtual list know very little to nothing about you. Yes, networking is the primary purpose of Facebook, and granted, it's an excellent tool for meeting people; I've done it with beautiful results. But think about it. Most likely (unless your a journal-er, like I mentioned above, :) ) you are only sharing bits and pieces of your life online. Little glimpses that only make the smallest fraction of the real you. Because we both know there is so much more to YOU--the living, breathing person God created--than the shadows of the online world.
"Facebook is the only place where it's acceptable to talk to a wall."
Introducing Bragbook: As my dad calls it. In short, Facebook is often used as a daily "moral boaster." For ie, changing one's profile picture every other day, self-glorifying "look at ME!" status's and/or comments. Flaunting, manipulating, FB has it all.
Communication: Tone cannot be read online. Period. Oftentimes something said with a smile in person sounds sarcastic--even rude--online. Winding back to the "False Identity Clause," Facebook has made many an enemy by simple misunderstanding.
The new dating site: This one is going to sound absurd, but it is a huge concern of mine. The big question in most homeschool, Christian circles is--"why are there so many singles?" Make way for the Mighty FB with it's long nose. Not going to get into ALL my opinions, because that would take another post, and is semi-off topic, however I believe Facebook and the internet in general plays a huge part in the "unmarried" dilemma. For one, we live in an age when young men are encouraged to remain boys--living at home, unable to carry a regular job, spending hours playing video games and surfing the internet. Sadly networking sites like Facebook widens the gender pool for a lot of guys, Christian and non-Christian. Why settle for one girl when there are hundreds to browse, when talking to the next cute chick is only a click away? I don't know about you, but it's just a little creepy to check out a friends FB info and see "interested in women" attached to their name. Slightly invasive, when you think about it. This is all the reason I so dislike dating sites in general, but again, another topic for another time. Facebook is just one more tool in the devils plot against Biblical marriage.
*Note that I am not at all against meeting a potential spouse on Facebook. It DOES happen. I'm talking about randomly "checking out" everyone with zero commitment. Very different scenario.
And there you have the "official" rant of Michaela on "what about Facebook?" ;) Like I said above, YES, I'm guilty of having an account. FB does have its good points, for ie, I've met some of my best friends online. :) It can be used for God's glory if carefully moderated, is "others" focused, if we guard our hearts, check our motives, and sheesh, step outside to hear the birds! There is a big, beautiful world OUTSIDE the "box." Try cultivating friendships in real-time. Out of state friends? Buy a plane ticket. Make a phone call. Write a letter. Send an email. Write a blog post (in case you couldn't tell, I'm a huge advocate of blogging. Such a refreshing change of pace.)
If this post spoke to you at all, let me know! And by all means, add to the list--I'd love to hear your opinions. :)