Facebook, You Ruin Lives, But That’s Alright
It’s not that I don’t like Facebook — I just don’t like using Facebook. Obviously, plenty of people do. That’s cool. My Tweets and Instagrams post to my Facebook wall, and I throw up a “Like” from time to time. That’s usually the extent of my Facebook interaction. I don’t want to share every detail of my life, and I don’t really care to get all-up in everybody’s bizzness. I’ve seen Facebook do much more damage to relationships and friendships than good. It’s mostly a tool for gossip.
That being said, I think it is important to have an active Facebook account. In my opinion, Facebook is the future of our identity. It’s already used for background checks by employers, love interests and new friends. It holds precious memories, strong opinions and worthless rants. It’s how we will remember somebody when they pass away. It will likely become a serious form of identification — used for purchasing, traveling, working, driving, etc. If you believe in the Age of Spiritual Machines, it could potentially be a form of afterlife — or it could be the mark of the beast.
I have friends and family that have let Facebook consume them. Once they realize its destructive potential, they freak out and delete their whole account. It’s like killing off a part of themselves, so they’re usually back online within a few months. Deleting your account isn’t necessary in my opinion, and it’s probably a mistake. Like anything else, too much Facebook is unhealthy.
However, using Facebook in moderation can be healthy. It can be an outlet for our thoughts, a way of promoting positive energy and good karma. Facebook can be a networking tool, or used for maintaining friendships at long distance. It’s only when people forget the respect, refrain and common courtesy they use IRL (that’s internet code for “In Real Life”), that Facebook becomes a tool of evil!
Something I’ve learned from owning an online business is that the internet is very personal. A bad email from a customer can ruin my day, a negative comment on my blog — well that just makes me happy people are reading, but bad social press can ruin a business, and dangerous rumors can ruin lives. We need to lose the mentality that people on the other end of the computer are somehow less real. When we use the same respect for people online as in person, Facebook and the internet will be a better place — maybe the world.