Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Facebook Caution

Much has been written about social networking sites like Facebook in the blogosphere the last week or so. Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda had some thought provoking, personal reflections about the topic on her blog. I'd have to say, I'm with Charlotte, I much prefer blogs to social networking. Facebook is fun for quick takes and blurbs about life in real time, but my blog is where I feel most at home and where I can write and reflect on deeper things and with greater variety. Facebook is where I can tease, poke, and keep up with my Dad and brother and sister, but they also frequently stop by my blog and leave comments for me here, as well.

I enjoy my Facebook page and I have mostly enjoyed being contacted by old friends from high school and college. It has been incredibly interesting to read what they have been up to, but there has been a down side to these reconnections, too. A good family friend identified the crux of the issue this last weekend when we were talking about social networking. He pointed out that there may have been a real reason we have drifted and lost contact with these friends from the past. I have personally realized this when hearing from old friends and I have had to establish with these folks who I am and what I stand for. I even had to express my concern and distaste for a certain life path an old friend has found herself upon.

I would caution you, if you Facebook you should follow two very important guidelines, based upon my experience. First, be wary of who you accept as a "friend". People contacting you from the past may not have real friendship in mind. Many are networking and attempting to grow client bases and contacts for their "causes". There is nothing wrong with this, per se, but I'm not on Facebook to be solicited for money making schemes or to join every charitable cause known to man (in fact I'm not interested in the vast majority of the causes I've been asked to join). Secondly, be sure you put it out there who you really are and what you believe. I've had many of my newly contacted friends express surprise at my "changed" lifestyle since college, but for the most part they have been respectful and have even admired my dedication to family and my faith. Facebook can definitely be a place to evangelize and I'll not allow it to be a wasted opportunity.
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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am on facebook to show the world that I am finally a cool person and to have "interesting conversations" with my sisters!

Sarah (JOT) said...

Well said. I was on FB about four to five days and was disgusted with it.

Mau said...

Brother, Facebook cannot make you cool. I, too, enjoy our "interesting" conversations. It's been awhile since we've had one.

Tonya said...

I feel similar to what you're saying. It's been fun to see what people are doing, how they've changed (or not). I hope that people see the changes in me and see Christ's work in my life! :-) As for causes people ask me to join - love that ignore button! :-) I have found it a great way to keep in touch with my extended family and friends I don't have time to talk to on the phone. But I like blogs more!

Rob said...

being the holy one in my family, i've never been on FB. Sam on the other hand is always on there. I do what I can with her ;)

maxbrucewell said...

I grew up before transistor radios and calculates and spell check (thank goodness for spell check) so I just try to keep up with the computer age and face book is just another one of those things that has evolved. It is a tool, to be used for good or evil, like most other things in life. I admire you (Maurisa) for doing a blog on a regular basis, with value information.
Love Dad

Katie said...

I totally agree. I have a facebook account, but rarely go to it. I was talking to my hubby about it one night and said the same thing to him. I like that fact that I have been able to get in touch with people from high school and college and I have loved seeing what they are up to, but I do not want to spend a lot of time talking to them etc. These are people, who, over time, I have drifted apart from. And it is unnatural, to rekindle these friendships. I do not want to take time away from my friends and life in the here and now for those people from my past.

momto5minnies said...

I'm on facebook too, but I'm still not sure what to think of it. While it has been nice to see some old faces, I know that our lives have drifted and we will likely not reconnect in real life. I've also been surprised by some folks and the many changes/beliefs they have publicly mentioned. I'm sure they may find me shocking too ;)