Saturday, November 19, 2011

Facebook--Good or Evil?

I confess I am addicted to Facebook. I fought the whole MySpace obsession when that was hot-is it still? I never hear anything about it these days. But Facebook...hook, line, and sinker. I tried to give it up for Lent this spring and did pretty well for several weeks. Then something happened with my sister-in-law and the quickest way for me to get in touch with her was to message her on Facebook...that was all she wrote. I was back in like a junkie relapsing after rehab...

It is nice to see old friends from high school and from all the myriad jobs I've had over the years. The kids and now grandkids (friends' and relatives'--not mine! Not yet...hopefully not for a good long while...) Reading about triumphs and tragedies, praying over injuries and surgeries. I even learn quite a bit, too--bird and dog training pages offer videos; health, diet and fitness pages present new recipes and workout encouragement. Favorite product pages give links to discounts and coupons. The site even sends birthday reminders so you don't miss any of those important dates. There are definite bonuses to using Facebook. But there are a lot of drawbacks, too.

Language, people--language. I hide friends who have to swear in every status update. Gossip runs rampant. Negativity and hate spew. Reading some of the daily posts can be truly draining. I do have one friend who posts daily "Silver Lining" updates, which I love but am dismayed at how many of his 'friends' respond with negative retorts. Then there's video viruses and spam hacking accounts...

And the games! I got drawn into Farmville for a while, then there came Cityville. I even went so far as to create two more Facebook accounts because I needed more 'neighbors'. Now I play Sims Social. I would love to stop, but I just can't seem to help myself. It's my guilty pleasure. My neighbors need me to visit and send them gifts so they can advance to the next level and buy more things to increase their home's value. Virtual materialism at its finest...So not good...

I at least try to limit myself to only playing Sims after other priorities for the day are done. I limit checking in on everyone's status updates to morning and the birds' play time since I'm in the office with them, and the computer's there...I keep the laptop put away during the day because it's all too tempting to log in and browse a while...then see who sent me what on Sims....and before you know it another hour has slipped away, wasted.

There has to be a better way to stay in touch with friends. The more 'convenient' we make life, the more lost we seem to get. Does anyone else feel that way? Letters went to phone calls, then to emails, then to texts, and now status updates on Facebook. I almost never send emails anymore. If you want to know what's going on in my life, I figure you'll hear about it on FB. Real relationships, commitments to friendships fall by the wayside for the sake of convenience. I really miss the slower pace life had when I was growing up.
Children Reading

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