Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Defending Facebook

Shelle Edit: Will is new to me... and to Real World.  But the guy knows how to write and get his point across.  So do you agree with him??? Check out his personal blog when you get done reading here... it's linked at the bottom with his name!

I’ve had Facebook for a little over a year now. I was very resistant to join. I even deleted my account once because I didn’t feel comfortable with it. I joined again a week later with the decision that I would run my FB page the way I wanted to, not according to the default profiles of security, info, etc. I wouldn’t accept friend requests out of obligation, only if I wanted to. I wouldn’t list my phone number, etc.

I’ve fine-tuned my opinion of FB as time has gone on. As that has happened, I’ve found myself becoming pretty opinionated on it’s use and abuse.

So, is Facebook a good or a bad thing? I think it’s good. However, I can see the bad, the risky, the iffy, etc. That’s what I wanted to discuss for my post on FB.

First, there’s been a lot of talk about FB being responsible for divorce. My feeling, is that is ridiculous. (Then again, I’m also in the “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” group.) I feel like personal responsibility and common sense should override any argument about FB being the cause for marital strife. If you are doing something, or saying something online that your significant other would be unhappy about - perhaps you shouldn’t be doing it! If your s/o wouldn’t want you chatting with an ex - guess what, you’re free to do it, but you know without asking how they are going to feel about it. Would you have this conversation in real life? Would you say the same things you say online to their face? In front of your spouse? If the answers are no...then maybe you shouldn’t be saying them online.

Personally, I am “FB Friends” with a couple of ex-girlfriends. My wife knows them, or at least knows their stories. She is on my page, listed as my wife. So she can see the things that I’m saying, or if I’m commenting on their pages, etc. I don’t hide that. I don’t hide the fact that I’ve reconnected. That being said - I have also chosen to ignore a couple requests from exes that I know my wife is uncomfortable with. I don’t have to be friends with anyone. If a certain action on FB is going to cause drama in my life, I just don’t do it. Simple.

Now, does FB make flirting easier? Of course. It can definitely be tempting. Give me a minute to edit my thoughts, and I turn into Rico Suave. I say alllllll the right things. In real life, not so much. So online, it’s easier to say the witty, the funny, the flirty. And it feels good to get your ego boosted. Online flirting can do that quite easily. So, take some responsibility. If you wouldn’t say it in front of your spouse...take a second and think before you post.

I think that if FB has facilitated flirting, meeting up, infidelity in your life...then you were probably headed down that road anyways. It may have made it easier for you - but you are still to blame.

So can Facebook be used for evil? Sure. Can it be used for good? Pointless fun? Brand advertising? News updates? Connecting with sports teams, bands, actors, etc? It does all of that to.

It just matters how you use it.

- Will


UP said...

I love Facebook! I'm probably one of those annoying people! I pimp the blog out everyday! The best thing it has done for me is reconnect me with friends I've lost touch with over the last 40 years. It's neat to find them, and to catch UP!


nitebyrd said...

Will, I agree. I said in the previous post, if someone is going to cheat, their going to do it regardless of Facebook. Blaming Facebook (or any other "social" site) is just an excuse to shirk resposibility for one's actions.

It's not the site, it's the intentions of the person using the site to determine if it's a good thing or a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Im with Will. If Facebook is responsible for divorces we could also say that so is the telephone, the car, the restaurant, the hotel, whatever is involved in an affair. Its not the telephone company's fault that you use their product or services to contact your girl/boyfriend so it isnt Facebook's fault either. If you know your spouse you would know what is ok and what is over the line. Me personally I am friends with my high school boyfriend on facebook. My husband knows and sees it. He is not threatened by it at all. But I would never abuse that trust, either. It's all public, I am listed as married.
In a nutshell people should take responsibility for their own actions.

Gucci Mama said...

I'll just join the choir and say you nailed it. ;)

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

See I am going to be the opposing side here for a bit...

I don't think if one finds and old flame on Facebook and reconnects and then ends up cheating, that they were going to cheat sometime anyway.

Facebook isn't necessarily to blame all the way, but I guarantee that most of the cases I know of infidelity which involve FB these people wouldn't have re-connected quite the same way without FB- it's easy to be flirty and say more when your not staring at someone in the face. If they would have met in the street, I'd bet they wouldn't have re-connected quite the same way--in most cases.

But yea, I do agree that when you add these people into your friends and your life that you are playing with fire.

I don't agree that you can blame FB all the way... But it does make it 80% easier, imho.

wendy said...

Yes, I agree pretty much 100% of what you said.
It's all in how we use it.

welcome btw

DCHY said...

The downside is you get "found" more easily than before. At least my name is common enough that it's hard for the unwanted element to find me. ;)

TisforTonya said...

guns don't kill people - people kill people... that's all you needed to say :) you nailed it... Facebook is not responsible for divorce, for laziness, or for game addicts... just one more brand of blame-ism.

Rachel said...

I agree with Will. Yeah, Facebook does certainly make it easier to reconnect with old flames and to flirt, etc., but at the end of the day we are all responsible for our choices and actions. It doesn't really matter how we got there. Just like any other type of media, we have to use sound judgment on what we view/listen to/participate in. The more entertainment options we have, the more disciplined we have to be. Sad but true.

binks said...

Yep, what he said.

Cluttered Brain said...

I agree with T, Guns dont kill ppl, ppl kill ppl...people are on Facebook, don't blame FB for your infidelity and lies, OWN up to your mistakes...Sheesh.
I love FB to help me keep in touch with my family who currently resides on the East Coast.
Old friends are also nice to keep in touch with too!

Anonymous said...

Good post Will...

You should do what I do...make a fake FB account and do all your cheating on that page.
Serious...people are stupid as hell...if you get caught cheating on Facebook then you wanted to get caught!
When it comes to the old girlfriend friend thing...who cares. I guess I am a prick but if my wife had a problem with a Facebook friend I would tell her to eat a fat one. But I am not a jealous guy at all.
I love Facebook for spying on my kids! It's AMAZING what they it.

Andrew said...

I like Facebook, but then again I hate it....
I guess it depends on the day.

Good analysis, though.

The Songer said...

Will... I concur! with everything!

I'll say it again, FB is only evil if you use it for Evil!

Purple Cow said...

Good post.

I agree. About FB, not guns.

Oh, and another issue that's not been tackled. I don't think kids should be allowed on it. Many of my daughters friends have been on it since the age of 10 by stating different birth ages WITH the consent of their parents. Furthermore, many of these kids are FB friends with their teachers.


The Bare Essentials Today said...

I absolutely agree with your post. FB is not the cause of infidelity, if you're that kind of person you were going to do it anyway, not just because of FB.

GoodWill said...

I've been trying to comment back on this post since it went up but have been having troubles! So, sorry for my lack of interaction here.

First, thanks for the comments. I really enjoyed writing it, and have really enjoyed this site - so it's a bit of an honor to have something that I've written up here. (BTW, the 2nd to last sentence should say "too" not "to." That's driving me nuts right now...oops!)

@PurpleCow - I sort of agree about kids on FB. It would worry me, and I have certain thoughts about it. But I'm not a parent, so I try to abstain from commenting too much on stuff that I have no real perspective on. That being said - it would be a great topic to have someone comment on here at RW.