At a dear friend’s house the other night, one of her teenager daughters was reading a ‘Girlfriend’ magazine. I haven’t read a Girlfriend or Dollly or whatever, in a long time, probably since I was a youth pastor and I was trying to keep up with the girls I worked with. And as a rule those magazine confuse me or bother me, so I’ve tended to avoid them (even when I was a teenager they confused and bothered me!)
Anyway, they had an article about Facebook which was quite interesting. My friend and I had just been talking about Facebook and how you are (often) exposed to information which is either unhelpful or unnecessary. It is a strange medium to use to communicate and relate. It is also difficult to know people’s motivations and intentions, like any medium that is not face to face (email and sms included) it can be difficult to ‘get’ the truth behind a comment or update.
The article was called ‘The Eleven Commandments of Facebook’ and it was mostly humorous sprinkled with some truth. I quite liked #’s 5 and 9.
# 5 Thou shall not list every single movie/book/album you’ve ever heard of in your likes and dislikes. We get it: you’re a well-rounded culture vulture, but a clever half-dozen picks showcasing the many sides of the wonderful you is a gazillion times better than an encyclopedic rant.
#9 Thou shall friend someone in order to snoop through their photos and defriend them 10 minutes later. Well, we’re not saying you SHOULD do that. We just know that you will, and there’s really nothing wrong with that…it’s Facebook – it’s designed for the stalker in us all.
I think #9’s declaration of ‘the stalker in us all’ sums up a great deal of people’s commitment to Facebook. And let’s be honest, probably my own too. It is a useful tool, particularly in light of many of my friends being overseas, but I think that, for me, less is more when it comes to Facebook. And really, if a relationship is based on snooping through Facebook I can probably live without it.