Just De

Just De
Just De in Manhattan

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Social Networking: Good or Bad thing?

Facebook has been the "it" thing for a couple of years now, and I have to admit I am still on the fence whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I enjoy FB. I love to hear about people's lives via status updates. I love to hear about new romance, new jobs and new outlooks on life. But recently, a couple of friends have been subjected to malicious gossip and childish "he said/she said" nonsense. I too, have been subject to the occasional tasteless comment or off color joke. It leads me to this question: Should I stay on the largest social networking site in the world, or should I just bounce out of sight?

A good friend of mine said he left FB because he didn't like how a friend of his was vilified by a former girlfriend. This woman created a page that implied his friend was a woman beater. My friend left FB out of principle. Said he was over it and would not contribute to the immature bull-crap. Another friend asked whether should stay, saying that a relationship went sour after his girlfriend misunderstood “innocent posts” on his page. One of my friends was even suspended from her job because her employer noticed the time stamps on her post were during business hours proving she was “posting” on company time.

If you think about it, FB has the potential to destroy lives. No offense to Mark Zuckerberg , or his intention of the site, but like I said before, FB is the devil. If used improperly, FB can cause marriages to end, friendships to dissolve and employment to terminate. I read somewhere that lawyers are trying to use FB status and other post as evidence in divorce trials. Companies are also trying to use FB to screen out potential employees and “interview” them based on photos listed on their page. FB has become a tool for discrimination, for cheaters to cheat and a platform to flaunt a lifestyle that does not exist. FB is out of control.
And of course there are the annoying aspects to FB. For example, always being alerted when someone comments on someone’s status that you commented on. Having FB at your fingertips because you installed the App on your phone. Farmville. Need I say more? FB is simply getting out of control.

But as much as FB can be a very bad thing in personal and professional lives, there are some redeeming qualities to FB it if used properly. It has connected so many long lost “healthy” relationships and people for good. For example, a woman was reunited with her family after she was kidnapped in a New York hospital over 23 years ago. I heard stories of long lost loves finding each other again after years of being separated. I have found old grade school chums, teachers and co-workers since being a friend of FB. One of my friends put it best, “Like most things, I think people have to be responsible. Fire’s a great thing, it cooks your food. But it can burn down your house too.” Very good point.

I think if people were more aware of the consequences of a post or a picture tagged, then FB can be the social networking tool that it was intended for. In the age of the internet, I think many people have lost certain necessary social graces, like not sharing dirty laundry in public. Providing too much information (hello TMI) just to exploit or hurt someone in a previous relationship. Or, all too often, people feel the need to "keep up with the Joneses" creating a lifestyle that simply doesn't exist. Whatever happened to the notion "Everything that glitters, isn't always gold." It used to be that we would have to go on a diet in preparation of the big High School reunion, prepping our family members with inflammed details of our lives. Now with FB, some people have to constantly keep up the fairy tail with constant bogus status updates. It's absolutely exhausting! OMG!

Once people keep it real about themselves and their lives, then FB can be a happy place. I understand people don't want to talk about their bad days, but PLEASE just keep it real about the good ones. Just sayin.

FB can be an excellent tool if people would grow up. If people would just grow up, then we wouldn't have the fairy tale lifestyles and all the other high school behavior that should have left us in adolescence. Like my mother always says, "If the dirt doesn't come out in the wash cycle, it comes out in the rinse cycle." Meaning, the truth will always come out to put you on blast. And when it does, you will look foolish.

Will I leave FB? Maybe one day, when I am sick of all the drama. And I admit, today is not that day. It is a guilty pleasure. Man! LOL.