Friday, June 17, 2011

I love to hate you

I love Facebook.

I hate Facebook!!

I love to hate Facebook.

Tell me that Facebook is not a love-hate relationship for you too. Seriously. It is the coolest and stupidest thing our culture has right now. It's like you can't help looking at all these mundane status updates, and at the same time I'd rather have a bear gnaw my face off because it's banal.

But rather than
get all huffy about it, I decided that this blog will be a list of pros and cons. It would fun to analyze every aspect of FB (because I really think it's such a fascinating and discouraging summation of our culture all at once) that I love and hate, but that would be time-consuming and ranty. So I'll just make a fun little list. Sometimes what's NOT said speaks volumes. Feel free to add what you would like to it.

Why I love Facebook
by Jenny Gouveia

I think Facebook is pretty neat for the following reasons...

1. Getting back in touch with people with whom you'd never otherwise be in touch.
2. Seeing pictures of other people's kids (though this can slide over to the 'con' list too if ya know what I mean)
3. Finding out someone's pregnant, when you wouldn't otherwise find out (see #1)
4. A quick way to find a babysitter, recommendation, tips and advice, etc.
5. Not having to memorize or otherwise cache everyone's email address
6. Networking
7. Families who live far from each other can kinda feel like they're a part of everyday life.

Well then. That was quite excellent.

And now for....

Why I Hate Facebook
by Jenny Gouveia

Facebook makes me want to chew broken glass for the following reasons...

1. Bragbooking.
2. Vaguebooking.
3. Lacking discretion (WTMI about....everything....)
4. Still lacking discretion (husbands, brothers, pastors, etc are friends with you too...think hard before you post your teeny bikini shots)
5. Bragbooking
6. Updates on the very, very mundane
7. The drama
8. Our new cultural definition of "friends"
9. Bragbooking
10. Toeing confidentiality lines
11. Posting song lyrics that make zero sense to anyone but you

Let me tell you, this isn't *nearly* as fun as saying exactly what I think about each thing. This is an exercise in restraint.

I think FB dismays me more than anything. It's a sad testimony to what our world is becoming. The saddest status update a couple of weeks ago (I won't even share what it was, it's just too sick and sad) confirmed it: we're zoning out on how to appropriately relate to people. You have 400, 600, 1200 "friends" but when one person drops off for good, it doesn't even flash a blip on your radar. We want the world to know we finished three loads of laundry before 8am and already have a roast in the oven for dinner, but are blunted at our ability to just have a good and honest and open and real conversation with each other. We walk around fashionably aloof with iPod buds in our ears, but are screaming for attention on social media. Please see me! Hear me! I'm cool and witty and important! Do you ever have days where you think in terms of potential status updates? I do. Ugh.

Now's the part where I'm supposed to declare a Facebook fast or I'm closing my account. But I'm not. Facebook (Twitter, blogs, all of it) is a part of world that we need to learn to live with. It's something that can become just as tempting of an addiction as anything else that's addictive, and I continually have to practice taming the desires of the flesh and bring them under Christ's authority. And there are some really fun people whose status updates never fail to make my day. Whose kids' pictures I gobble up. That I want to keep track of because FB is a good finger on the pulse of their life at the moment and I want to know they're not spinning out of control. I want to know when my friend in California has her baby, want to see wedding pictures, scroll thru vacation pictures and laugh about how much someone's kids look JUST like they did in high school. I like the connection, don't get me wrong. But anything can be sooooo good one second and soooooo volatile the next. A "quick" check can become an abysmal waste of half a day.

There are households to manage, relationships to tend, and hedges of protection that have to be guarded. Facebook can make a fool of anyone.

So my love/hate relationship will continue, and I'm sure this isn't the last time I'll talk about it. And I feel stupid now because I'll link this blog post on FB!! but again, that's a whole lot easier than someone trying to remember what the web address is. *sigh*

I want to be a part of the culture...but I don't want it to be a part of me. Does that make sense? I want to influence but not be wholly influenced. In the world but not of it. Such a fine line to walk.

Is FB a struggle for you? Am I the only one who wants to throw my computer at the same time I want to look at it???


Carolyn said...

You're SO not the only one who wants to destroy the computer! I echo so many things on your list, as I too have a love/hate relationship with FB. Especially song lyrics that make no sense to anyone else and updates on what your online farm is doing. Sigh. I love your ability to speak truth about things in my daily life that are real issues with such humor and wisdom. Blessed to have you and your sense of humor in my life! :-)

Nicole said...

"Do you ever have days where you think in terms of potential status updates? I do. Ugh."

Yes. Double ugh.

Sometimes I want to close my account for good and just focus on blogs - but for almost all the pro reasons you listed, I don't. I think it's a matter of taking it in moderation, an idea that I'm trying to implement these days!

CA Mommy said...

I love it b/c it is a connection to you, Matt and that precious Levi that I would not have due to the many miles between us. Ditto my other children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I can keep a connection to you all wherever you are at the moment. But, I could be..washing windows, cleaning out drawers, planning meals, grocery shopping, or just reading a good book. As usual, your blog is thought provoking. I love you.

Ash said...

so... you probably don't know me... but as i was searching through a few friends blogs i happened upon yours. i have enjoyed several of your posts, but haven't wanted to post any comments (cuz its just kinda weird that i don't REALLY know you)... anyway, more joys of networking, right? :) BUT... i just had to post on this blog entry BECAUSE i feel the exact same way about facebook!!! ah! its such a love/hate relationship!! thankful for it, but could totally do without it at the same time! thanks for being real and reminding us to search our hearts before the Lord on this issue... because it is just part of our culture.

and p.s. the bragbooking thing REALLY gets me too!!!! :) (even thought i am totally guilty of it at the same time!!)