Living abroad, I will proudly say that Facebook is a crucial part of my life. If by some weird way, it suddenly shuts down, I will probably feel sad and panic for about a moment. It helps me stay in touch, both with people I hold dear and in matters that affect the world. I think it’s brilliant that I am able to get a glimpse of what someone I know is going through, whether it be a big event like a wedding, or how proud they are of what they are eating at that very moment. It keeps me connected and for that I will always be thankful to Zuckerberg for creating this platform.
But I agree with a friend who once posted, that just because such a place exists doesn’t mean we can post anything.
Like everything else, we should always consider that Facebook works in a way that almost anyone, can view, intentionally or not, what you are saying or putting out there. That is the main phrase for me, “putting it out there”. If you do not get that, think about this, it’s the same as considering what clothes we hang outside to dry. I do not know about you, but I do not put out my underwear for all the world to see. Now one might say that their underwear is nice, it’s expensive, it’s harmless, it’s clean, but it’s still your underwear. Operative word “under” as in hidden, as in private.
That example best fits some of the married lady folks I am “friends with” in Facebook, who posts their marital struggles on-line. Lambasting their spouse’s mistresses or suspected mistresses, or those who are not actually but seem to show extra-closeness with their respective partners. Just because Facebook is a way to get your message across to that person, doesn’t mean it is okay to use it. If you care less what others think, then consider your family, your husband’s parents, brothers, and sisters. Consider your children if you have one or several. How would you feel if your parent’s post about things like that online? Ask yourself whether that is good example to set for them. Facebook is not somewhere you can slug it out with somebody, any public area isn’t for that matter, for that you need a boxing ring or something. Problems in life are best kept in the confidence of people we trust. If you are like me who highly relies on FB to talk to friends, I think that is what the Message button is for. PM as in Private Message.
Also business transactions is not for Facebook, with this I mean that although someone posts about a job opening you really cannot enter your application simply by commenting on it. I cannot even believe that I have to write about this, any adult who has applied for a job should know the proper means in applying for one. One should also not use Facebook to air out their complaints about their boss or employer nor do I think it is right to talk about your colleague on how noisy he or she chews their lunch at work. That is simply unprofessional, no matter how good you try to make it anonymous, careful not to mention any names.
Opinions, we are all entitled to them, but in Facebook, as well as in life, as long as nobody really asks, nobody really cares. I am guilty of this often times, anyone who knows me well, knows how talkative I am, which is why believe me when I say that it is really embarrassing when someone corrects you for something you say that isn’t true or accurate. Recent events in the political arena back home directs me to point this out, everybody had something to say, but most obviously did not truly understand what was happening, or what that whole process was for and why.
I guess we often say things out loud that are brought about by an emotional reaction? Which is okay, we are human after all. But in Facebook, we have time to think about what we write, ten seconds to type something should be enough to make us pause and ponder about the repercussions of what we are about, once again, “to put out there”.
Finally, using Facebook to create awareness is also something we should consider carefully. I think it’s a great idea share some useful information like that girl who was missing. For me things like that you share because logically there is a chance someone has seen her, and thru Facebook someone lost in the big world was actually found. Meaning a problem was solved, information was passed on, as it was needed to be. But I hardly think that ruining someone’s appetite by posting a child’s severed body’s photo on Facebook, will make that poor child’s situation any better. You, telling me to share such pictures, if I feel for that baby or little boy/girl will not make things better for them. Unlike in newspapers where pictures can be blurred or covered, unlike on the news where announcers can forewarn the viewers of disturbing footages; in Facebook, I see the picture first before I understand why it’s there. You know what comes to mind when I come across something like that? I think about the cursed video in the Ring movie. So as to be sparred by Sadako, you have to have someone else see the video, you get to live but they in turn are cursed, which is the beginning of a vicious cycle. In the case of the such posts on FB; in order for you to be saved from the guilt that you really can’t do anything, you pass it on to someone else so that may take the burden from you.
And don’t even get me started on those who posts and shares jokes about impending natural disasters, epidemics, and threats of war and violence… also those who spread rumors before they actually check the source of such posts, whether it was an accurate and credible information.
A Filipino network, has launched a campaign about responsible social media posting; their slogan simply points out, that you “think before you click”; which basically sums up everything. Social Network Sites like Facebook, has changed the way we live, information is a vital part of our life today, whether it be personal or for everybody. But that doesn’t mean all of it should be posted without proper consideration and thought, or even just a bit of responsible sharing.