Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Facebook

Facebook.  If you're not a teenager, you might have a love/hate relationship with it.  If you're a teenager, you basically hate it, because it is just for old people.  I am an old people, so I fall into the first category.

On the one hand, it's great.  It connects you with old friends, family members, people you see on a daily basis, people you haven't seen since high school, and people you never knew much or cared about in high school anyway. You get to see pictures of everyone's kids and grandkids, dogs and cats.   It also keeps you abreast of the teensiest detailed news from basically everyone you've ever known (who clipped her toenails today?  got it.  who is really ticked off that The Bachelor is not actually in love with the girl of his dreams? check.)

But on the flip side, it is a total time drain, it promotes drama and inflammatory statements and comments, it lends itself to gossip, and it might make you feel superior or inferior to your friends.

It also presents you with all sorts of tricky situations.  Friend or unfriend the person who is flooding your feed with cat videos  - that is the question.  Tis nobler to block all posts from the neighbor of a former coworker you spoke to for 5 minutes once at a party.   And what about that persistent friend who constantly invites you play FarmVille or Candy Saga or Criminal Case?  Is is acceptable to block all such requests??

And then there are the many links that you know cannot possibly be true.  Has your friend ever heard of snopes?  Should you be the one to inform her of its existence?

Or how about - "Name a city without the letter "a" in it" Truly?  And the post already has 58 comments?  Why oh why would I fall into that black hole?

And my personal favorite kind of post:  "Repost if you love Jesus.  Ignore if you don't" (and all variations of the sort "Repost this prayer and God will rain blessings upon you in 18.5 minutes").  Really.  Really??  If I repost it, God will wait 18.5 minutes and then shower me with blessings?  Is my love for God dependent on my Facebook postings?  I know I love Jesus. I don't need to repost something to prove it to myself or God (or all my friends).  And are God's blessings so finite that he might not deign to bless me unless I repost?  How demeaning to the God of the universe!

So why oh why, do we continue to post and read?  I use Facebook because I do like to see pictures of my friend's kids, and hear their big news announcements (we're pregnant!  we're moving!).  I smile when I read about an answered prayer and I pray when I read about a tough situation a friend is facing.  And I even like to hear about the little things.  Thanks for sharing your life with me!  I like to know!  I can skip the drama and Farmville, but your baby rolled over?  Yes!  I'm celebrating with you!

Cheers, Facebook friends!  I'm so glad the internets keep us connected! :)

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