These days many people have hundreds of “friends” on Facebook, Snap Chat, Instagram and other forms of social media. I’m not on Facebook, but I understand how it can, in certain instances be useful and even good. When you want to publicize something (like this blog), it gets the word out quickly to many people. When you want to check out the latest pictures of babies and children in the family, you can do that. Want to find a long lost classmate? Facebook will help you.
However, social media has some drawbacks.
- It’s easy to lie, or at least distort the truth. You can post only the pictures and experiences that make you look good. Did you know that you can even hire a company to post for you? This happens in cases when the person is busy, but wants to maintain an internet “presence” to advertise their business. They want to look like “your friend” who is posting favorite recipes, when in actuality they are trolling for customers.
- It’s easy to be rude. The internet seems to be the place to “sound off” about politics, sports or employers. People say mean things to others, things they would never say to someone in person. They “unfriend” or block family members who don’t agree with them. They forget that their words are directed to an actual person, a person with feelings.
- It’s easy to forget your posts are public. Some people post damaging information about their spouses, employers and others. Or they post information that is potentially dangerous — letting people know when they’re away from home, or where they are every minute of the day. They’re surprised by being reprimanded, fired, losing friends, or even being robbed!
What’s my point? Use these forms of communication wisely and see them for what they are: tools to put out information you want others to access in a public venue. Don’t fool yourself into thinking they substitute for real relationships.
“He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20