Facebook, the devil & Me
Posted May 28, 2010on:
A dear friend of mine told me Thursday that she quit Facebook. She said a relative of hers had called her to say that she had to stop because it was akin to working for the devil. The relative heard it in church and pleaded with my buddy to stop being on Facebook.
For the devil in me, I cannot agree, although I understand and respect her decision.
I, for one, will continue to be on Facebook, which I believe has good and bad elements as anything else does in life.
I decided to Google the devil and Facebook to see what is going around the web. I found a site on something called Hubpages by shibashake that begins: “On the surface, Facebook may seem like a simple, and useful application for staying connected with your friends and keeping them updated on your life. But there is a devil lurking behind Facebook’s placid facade. Is Facebook the Devil in disguise? Why?”
Shibashake, who does not capitalize her name, responded to four charges:
1. Facebook lowers the productivity of our nation or even that of the world
While the Syndney Morning Herald reported Facebook may be costing Australian businesses $5 billion a year, she said the “same arguments were used against electronic mail and instant messaging. Now, they are touted as tools for increasing productivity. I suppose the verdict will be out until the next innovative idea/scapegoat comes along.”
2. Facebook exposes our children to smut
“The price of freedom of speech and information is having to deal with things that we may not agree with, may not like, and may not deem appropriate. Smut has been around since time immemorial – before Facebook, before HubPages, before the internet, and before television.” She (I think she’s a she) said protection for children will come from parents, teachers, and other responsible adults in the child’s life. Spend quality time with your child on the internet and direct them towards constructive pursuits; there are many.
3. Facebook disconnects us from the real-world
Some folks are uncomfortable with all technology, she wrote. “From my own experiences with Facebook, Hubpages, and others, participating in these online communities actually help with social disconnect issues. For example on Hubpages, many users talk about facing alienation in real life. Sharing their stories, and getting support from an online community, helps with that alienation,” she wrote.
Any technology can be misued, but “Just because some bad can happen, does not mean we should stop using it. Car accidents happen a lot more frequently, but last time I checked, cars are still in use.”
4. Facebook exposes us to stalkers
Facebook is stalker heaven. “To share in the benefits of a community, we must share a part of ourselves,” she wrote. “If we use sound judgment on what information we publicize, the danger of an online stalking, which is already small to begin with, becomes negligible.”
Are we fully protected? No, she wrote. Just as we are never fully protected in real life. But that does not mean we should become social hermits. The benefits of belonging to an online community, such as Facebook, often outweigh the dangers.
If you do not feel that is the case, you are free to not participate in Facebook, electronic mail, and the internet in general.
You can read the whole article at: http://hubpages.com/hub/facebook-devil-myspace-hell-online-community
But I agree with shibashake. I think we have the ability to control our own reactions and activities. We can turn it off, something that I admit is hard for me when I play Scrabble on Facebook.
Life is about risks and about choices. I say lighten up about Facebook, folks. It’s a free service, that allows us to connect and reconnect with folks across the planet.
During my cancer treatment, I had support from all kinds of folks, including those I have not connected with for decades. I had folks immediately available to encourage me and entertain me. It was touching, exciting and just plain fun. I needed to connect with folks especially during chemotherapy. Thanks folks for being there for me.
Of course, that may mean the devil has taken control of me. But was that before or after I joined Facebook?
Oh, let me share a quote about the devil from Helen Keller: “It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.”
Feel free to be my friend on Facebook.