Friday, April 15, 2011

Facebook: Does the Good Outweigh the Bad?

I am faced with a dilemma.  I have become dependent upon Facebook as the source of most of my social connection.  That, in itself, is pretty pathetic.  I know that.  I get that.  Being one that lives alone with my husband, with all my children living far from home, I feel like I am able to stay in touch with many friends and family members and feel connected to their day-to-day lives.  As Martha would say, It's a Good Thing.

Yet, in the same breath, I must declare that much of the time Facebook really brings me down.  I have become so tired, so weary, of the "yelling" that happens, as people try to make their opinions heard over the fray.  I am sick of the name-calling.  I am sick of the arguments.  I am just sick.....

As I search for a solution, I ask myself if closing my account is the best alternative.  It can't be.  I would miss it so much.  And yet, I wouldn't miss all of it.  It would be refreshing in some regards.  I do welcome everyone's opinion, and learn so much from others' insights.  But is outrage the only answer to the troubles of the world?  I think there must be a peaceful way to express our frustrations without relying on name-calling.

As the history of the world winds down to its close, to its final showdown; as it escalates in intensity and drama and hatred and iniquity, can't we stand forth as examples of peace, as disciples of Jesus Christ?  Can't we stand together in holy places, watching and aware of the turmoil around us, yet not get dragged down into the ugliness?

I guess I need to do some real soul-searching.


Kim said...

I've thought about this very same thing. I love the connection facebook gives me with my cousins and other relatives that I haven't kept in as good of contact with until facebook. Both sides of my family have group pages where we can post fun things and memories...this is way better than the family newsletter which never happened, though it was well intentioned.

I've decided that I just will block anyone's status who is continually on a political soapbox, is negative, or crude. This way, I can have contact with good family and friends without all the drama and/or negativity. I love the blurbs from the church on facebook as well as the great apps from itunes that I've gotten for free or on sale because I'm a fan of the app store on facebook.

This is the main reason why I try to post funny things on facebook that will make others smile or perhaps spawn a fun discussion.

Ardith Haws said...

Thank you, Kim. Great comment. I know it would be very difficult for me to walk away.

Wendy said...

I just block the name calling, and swearing, ect. works for me :)

Laura said...

I love the blocking option too. I'm with Kim about the long distant family members. It's so nice to be in touch with family far away that I didn't get a chance to know while growing up. To me, it out weighs the Facebook cons.
AND, I love Kim's funny status updates! :-)

Kate The Great said...

Sounds like you need a break. My suggestion is that you don't look at Facebook for, say, a week. When we feel befuddled like this, it's usually because of overload.

Outside the Pumpkin Shell said...

I completely understand! I have found "ugly" features in people I have loved long, from their interactions and "yelling" on FB. I have thought about deleting because my sister deleting my comments has heavily damaged my relationship with her. I have thought of deleting for many, many reasons. And then I have those I love. Those that I would only hear from by chance meeting, who I truly love, but do not make the "in person" time to get together. Or that live too far away. So I keep it. The other night, as I pondered deleting, I thought I should make a FB Group of my "good" friends. The ones that lift me up!

neffie said...

You're not pathetic for feeling socially connected through facebook and you're not alone. It has become a standard way of staying close and in fact it's become so entangled in our lives that it does feel like a personal attack if you're "de-friended" (A couple of my friends have had this happened to them and it had hurt them.)

Facebook as allowed me to get to know cousins and stay in touch with those I've know and lost touch with.

My initial thought was the same as Kim's - use the group or blocking feature so you're getting out of facebook what you want. You can still be friends with them on facebook, but just because you're friends doesn't mean you have to read every negative thought that they put up.

Good luck on your soul searching to figure out what you'll do.