Sunday, November 21, 2010

Facebook Update

It has been an interesting week for me and Facebook.  It turned out that I was a part of that bug that Facebook had on Tuesday that deleted many, many people.  But, it really made me pause.

My Bible study that morning was on "The One Thing".  The one thing being God.  When we spread ourselves out in so many directions and give so many pieces of ourselves away, we can't focus on what really matters.  Facebook can be like that sometimes for me.  It draws my attention away from what really matters in my day.

I went through a bit of withdrawal on Tuesday.  It felt like the teacher was saying "You can't play with everyone else".  But, it also felt good to reset my brain and how often I gravitated to the computer.  I genuinely prefer email to Facebook.

This morning I went back to Facebook and deleted a lot of friends that are people I have "known" but were never really friends with.  In fact, when I knew them a lot of them didn't like me!  So, why was I friends with them now?  That's a funny thing to think about.  I think I wanted to feel connected to the kids I went to school with--though I can't articulate why.  But, I have realized over the past few days that I rarely checked their pages and simply don't know them.  I use Facebook to keep in touch with the people I know and am friends with.

Facebook has its own culture.  If someone sends you a friend invite, you can feel obligated to "friend" them because you should be nice.  Or you just want a lot of friends.  One teenage I know has 1300 friends.  I can't imagine that they're all really his "friends" and that he knows all of them well.  He isn't even 20 years old yet!

As for Facebook's practices, I never did get a message it had been deactivated, but I eventually did get one that it had been reactivated (as they said in news reports they had done).  One of my friends contacted me and let me know I was back on her friend list.  It makes me very uneasy the way it was all done and I am going to begin shifting my communication and friendships away from facebook for this reason.

Someone commented to me that it was good to know that there was security out there for everyone else.  In reality, what happened to me showed that it could happen to anyone and if anyone had opened an account in her name before or after her with her birthdate--she would be the one to have to show she was really her by uploading her id.  I think most of the safeguards in place are to protect Facebook, not the users.

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