What made me think about this earlier today was Facebook and the people I have as friends. Facebook is a weird beast in that there are a lot of things that I love about it, but there are also a lot of things I don't like about it.
1. I keep in touch with people I probably never would have otherwise. I see/talk to a lot of high school friends on facebook and keep up with their babies, etc. I LOVE seeing the pictures of their lives, their husbands, children, etc. Some of them live in other areas like Washington DC, Columbia, etc.
2. I get to know people a little better than I would if I didn't have access to facebook. Biggest example, my husband's family that lives in MI. I keep up with them via Facebook and while we do try to do something once a year where everyone gets together, I would NEVER get to communicate with them and see what they're doing if it weren't for FB. Or maybe I would, but it just makes it a bit easier.
3. Business - I can keep up with businesses that I like and more importantly, my husband can promote his business. I also use it to promote my blog and to keep up with others' blogs.
Really there are many more benefits and that's why I like Facebook so much because it's a great way to connect with parts of the world that I normally wouldn't be able to.
1. Is this my only form of communication? Do I hide behind snipits of things instead of truly getting to know others? I don't really think this is something I do, but I can see where it might be a problem. I think sometimes, it's too difficult to keep up with all the things going on with facebook, and have personal relationships as well. But isn't that true of all things? I don't know.
2. The lack of fear/compassion for others. I'm having a hard time verbalizing what exactly I mean with this. I've written and re-written this paragraph several times because I want to say this correctly. With the added protection of the internet, we've become braver and meaner as a society. What I would say to someone on facebook is not necessarily what I would say to that person directly. In my mind, I can think of all kinds of hateful things to say to a person when I'm upset, but in reality, I would NEVER say some of those things because I don't actually want to be that mean. Facebook takes away that fear, or that concern of the other's reaction. People get into disputes and say things in the comment section that are rude and hateful. There is a lot of complaining, a lot of opinions being thrown around without the lack of concern for the thoughts/feelings of others.
How does that effect me? One thing that I am trying to do is limit the amount of negativity that I bring into my life. I tend to be negative myself, so one of my goals has been to be more positive. How can I be more positive when I'm constantly consuming negative things? News is a great example. I've had to limit the amount of news I read, watch, etc. While I want to be an informed individual, I also sometimes feel that the news is sensationalized for dramatic effect and it can be devastating to my psyche. I try to limit the type of music I listen to. I used to love all kinds of gangster rap, rock, etc. I've found that it can have a negative effect on me, even causing me to be anxious. I know it's weird, but it's true so I've changed a lot of what I've listened to.
With Facebook, I've actually had to hide a lot of my friends. People will say things that are mean or negative, they'll get into arguments about sports teams, talk about politics, etc and I've had to hide them. I don't want to be rude and defriend them, although I have done that to a lot as well, but I have to work hard enough to keep myself positive, I can't worry about others being positive as well. In turn, what I've tried to do is to only do/say positive things when I post something. I again, am not perfect, and fail a lot of times, but in spite of all the things that I've posted on FB, I've abstained from posting a lot more because I've thought, is this something I really would want to see from my friends. How can I add something positive to peoples' lives, I can be the change I wish to see.
What are your thoughts on facebook?