Facebook is all the rage these days, although it was not the first "social networking" entity on the Internet. What Facebook did was to conglomerate a number of aspects into a comprehensive package. Even the name was genius! So direct. So clear. I have often thought that Facebook owed a significant part of the success to the name "Facebook." Being able to say, "I'm on Facebook." or "Look me up on Facebook sometimes...Ciao!"... was just the "cool" thing to do.
All that is well and good, or maybe not, but exploring the success of Facebook is beyond the scope of this narrative. What is in the scope, is the problems of the paradigm. Namely, anonymity. "Anonymity! How can you be anonymous on Facebook?" Well, think about it. The only persons you would not be anonymous to would be the ones that know the real you. When I had my Facebook account I discovered and became "friends" with a good number of people I was acquainted with for quite a while, but I couldn't tell you anything about them. I did not really know them.
If you were able to establish an identity on Facebook (which I don't recommend) how many people could really call you on the carpet about anything you might post? Of that number (if any), how many would even comment if you were to "s-t-r-e-t-c-h" the truth? Human nature will feel no restraint if there is no accountability. Unfortunately, this will breed "images."
"Images?" What are those? For our purposes "images" are the caricature of what people want others to see and not what they really are in real life. "Images" are the pseudo-reality people use to hide weaknesses and inadequacies to protect the fragile essence within. This defense mechanism is set in place because people get hurt deep, deep, deep down by some careless words or action from a trusted person. Vulnerability in one will always demand careful responsibility in the other. When responsible care is not taken, frivolity, casual banter or down right meanness will inevitably inflict an injury. Given it doesn't take too many marks on the hand before one decides it is not a good idea to take one's hands out of one's pockets, you can see how careless injuries distort a person's outlook. Our "images" allow us to not expose our real selves. We learn that "no exposure" = "no hurts." The greatest tragedy in this is it destroys the channels that true relationships are to flow through.
Relationships are living organisms. If you don't believe me, just watch the next time you see one neglected and/or poisoned. If the neglect or poisoning is severe enough or of long enough duration the relationship will die. Given that "images" are essentially poison or at best, starvation of a relationship, what can be the inevitable outcome except weakness, sickness, deformity and death? It is imperative if a relationship is to live it must be nurtured. "Images," by their definition cut off the flow of nurturing elements because the very umbilical connection comes from nowhere?!? It can provide no nourishment. Nourishment has to come from a source that is vital and living. "Images" have no life except the life that all parasites enjoy, but eventually the parasite is doomed to die because it is stealing the life that is sustaining its own existence. "Images" can provide no life. "Images" can only take life. Any relationship connected to an "image" will die of starvation.
Facebook and other public (and therefore, anonymous) social networks are a breeding ground for the "images" discussed above and the casualties they produce. I made a decision to nurture and assist in the healthy development of every relationship I have the privilege to be involved with in my life. If you are or were a Facebook member, the good news for you and others is there are good alternatives in the form of private family social networks and private family heritage networks. The key word here is "private."
Facebook and others purporting it have knowingly or unknowingly supported a tool of relational destruction that has rung up a price tag of human hearts that won't be known until it is far too late.
You may not agree, but this is why I have a problem with Facebook.