November 20, 2013

Rant: What I Do Not Post on FaceBook

I've been holding this post, or at the least the concept of writing this post, back for a while.  It is a rant, which I know you love.  But it is one of those rants that will certainly have you falling into one of two distinct categories. You will either strongly agree with me (as well you should)  or think I am not only wrong but mean, cruel, stupid and judgemental.  Here's hoping you're in the first category.
FaceBook. When introduced in 2004 it was a year behind MySpace and the idea of social media being an imposing presence in our lives seemed limited to teens and young adults. (FYI did you know Justin Timberlake owns MySpace) The idea was to connect friends and have fun.
Forward almost 10 years.  Facebook is an essential tool not only socially but in the business and even academic world.  Want great coupons ~ like the store on FaceBook and they'll hook you up.  Need study partners ~ most colleges have pages set up for that.  From Church Youth Groups to Senior Centers, it seems everyone can find their niche on FaceBook.
But when did we decide that FaceBook announcements or likes or shares would have an impact on our lives.  In the Dark Ages (before every home glowed with a computer screen) the only time you learned about a family's activities without personal contact was the annual Christmas Newsletter, and be honest, we thought that was sufficient. 
It seems that FaceBook has become the place to announce personal, intimate information.  Recently a friend's mother passed and he wrote a lovely post on our hometown page about it, that's not what I'm talking about.  In fact for this rant I'm going to use his post as the shining example.  Before my friend posted the tribute to his Mom on FaceBook family and close friends were already contacted.  In this past year I've seen more than a couple of people choose to share a medical diagnosis on FB before telling their family, usually followed by a plea for support and prayers.  I completely understand how rough sharing news can be however using your FaceBook status to tell your family, both immediate and extended, along with your Farmville friends is simply bad form.  If talking to your family one on one is too much then use the Message option.
Then there's those who feel the need to remind their friends on an almost daily basis of their loved ones no longer with us.  I understand there are certain days when it is harder than others, heck I'm in one of those phases right now.  But do they really think their "angels" have FaceBook access and are keeping score on how many times a rose is being passed?
If you are a parent I am going to go out on a limb and believe that in 99 out of 100 cases you love your kids. You believe your son and/or daughter is strong, sensitive, smart. They are the light of your life, beautiful both inside and out. I guarantee you they would rather hear it from you then have you tag them in sappy posts, which happens to show up in their friends' feeds as well.  This also goes for those who are parents of the furred, feathered and finned, though thankfully their friends don't have to read about them every day.  If your kid did something amazing please share it as I love reading about it but have no worries I know you love them.
Did you know that Oxford Dictionaries has chosen Selfie as the word of 2013?  We're not narcissistic are we?  If you have anyone living in your house under the age of 25 chances are they've taken more picture of themselves this past year then you had accumulated by the time you turned 25.  To be honest I hardly ever post pictures and when I do they're on a time limit (seriously I pull them down within a week and make them private to my family).  I don't need to see you at various times of the day EVERY DAY.  You haven't changed that much.  I enjoy the picture a day for a year but as far as I know there isn't a picture an hour for a year and if there is that person needs to be found and hurt.
 There are a lot of tremendous causes out there from Autism to Pet Rescues and everything in between and FaceBook can be used as a powerful tool for connecting and informing people about them.  I personally share information regularly on Stroke Awareness and Eating Disorders.  I know my friends on FaceBook are aware of not only my personal experience with these issues but how I support them as well.  I do not care whether or not they change their status to show their support.  I also hope that they know that I support their causes in more ways then simply changing my status.  Let's be honest here unless you are trolling FaceBook hourly are you really going to see whether or not someone has changed their status for an hour? I'd rather you share a great article that I can pass along than post a ribbon to my wall for an hour.
FaceBook has completely replaced chain letters, which may be a contributing factor in the post office demise.  Remember getting a hand written envelope expecting a letter only to find that you have to copy a poorly copied note and send it to 12 people in the next 48 hours or you risk St Jude not blessing you,  facing financial ruin, or never finding love?  Well all those annoying empty threats have found their way onto Face Book.  I promise you Jesus doesn't care if you share a post about Him, you won't get a financial win by sharing that a month has 5 full weekends and if someone chooses to love you ONLY because of what you share on FaceBook I guarantee you you deserve better.
So to review, you will not find any of the following posts on my FaceBook
Announcements of personal information before my family's awareness
Daily reminders of how much I miss my deceased Dad
Testimonials of my love and pride for my children
Selfies (and you should be very thankful)
Hourly Statuses for causes
Digital Chain Letters
Please be sure to share this to your FaceBook status so gnomes won't steal your sweetheart's fortune.

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