Saturday, September 16, 2017

Opinions on Facebook

Photograph from SWNE Archives
A Reader Question for the Community:
I have a question for the community.  It is a bit off topic, but I value the unique SWNE perspective.  I have been personally wrestling with the issue of Facebook and social media in general, so I wondered, what are people's opinions of Facebook? 
Note: Due to some technical difficulties with voting, the poll has been removed.  

Recent articles cited and related:

44 comments:

  1. I think the poll might be missing a choice. I have no idea about Facebook, because I do not use Facebook (or any other "social media"). We do talk in person with many of our neighbors, often during our after dinner walk around the neighborhood, or at the periodic neighborhood picnics.

    Romans 12:2 does come to mind as a yardstick each could use for herself/himself to answer the poll.

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    1. Agreed. From the choices offered, I add "Facebook has more hurt culture and society than helped it", primarily from its dubious original purpose and opportunistic organic growth since that time. It has grown too large without an appropriate amount of proven responsibility "designed in".

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    2. I think these comments are a form of social media.

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    3. I like your Romans 12:2 reference Anon@9:43am. While there are no boundaries on social media, for those that trust the wisdom of the Bible, there are plenty of guidelines for living life.

      Blue Train, you are so right, this is a form of social media. The only difference is that we have a host who manages her site, sets forth the topics, approves our comments and reserves the veto vote, and it makes all the difference for a satisfying and inspiring venue.

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    4. This is the perfect scripture reference. Personally I subscribe to Facebook but am measured in what I share. Personal page is used to connect with groups of likeminded Christian women where we share scripture, concerns and pray for each other and each other's families. I share a few poctures with family in Canada and refuse to share or follow anything/anyone remotely negative or what pulls my mood down. I would prefer not to be on there but have to use it for professional purposes (ironically to share an alternative Godly feminine lifestyle with young women). I must go where they dwell in order to share the message. Much like the message of Romans 12:2. Facebook and all forms of social media is what you make of it. A useful tool or an idol. Something to uplift, or depress. The choice is up to the individual.

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  2. Neither my husband nor I have ever been on Facebook or any other kind of social media. I don't like to criticize it since I don't use it, but for us, it's just not something we're interested in. Now, if social media includes responding to blogs like I'm doing now, then that is all I do. And there are only three blogs I participate in, including this one. I'm pretty selective about what I watch or read; my husband does none of it. He prefers to work and keep busy with projects. But, if want me to choose, and from what I've heard about it, I would choose Option #3, with #4 a very close second.

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  3. Facebook has significantly hurt culture and society.

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  4. My response is similar to the first two, especially the second one. No FB at all, mainly because, I see my sister spending hours and hours on it, just eating up time she'll never get back. (This is one of two blogs I read, the only one I read regularly and have ever participated in. And, honestly, it does enhance my life! Viva SWNE!) --Suzanne

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  5. I created a Facebook account for myself when my first daughter wanted one, she was 12 at the time. I montitored my children's social media and cell phone use, and I'm very glad I did. My daughters account was private but almost from the beginning there were kids who figured out how to harass, and manipulate one another as the mood struck them. Being one of the parents who monitored their child's account, I was fortunately able to help my daughter through it by preventing her from stooping to the level of the rude, sometimes cruel kids, and teaching her to ignore them or report anything serious. It was more trouble than it was worth. She stopped using it and was much happier. Some of my adult friends became almost addicted to it. I would definitely say it has hurt, more than helped society.

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  6. I reluctantly opened a Facebook account because people I knew who were organizing a 40th class reunion said it would be very helpful to them in finding people and connecting. It did accomplish that. I played around with it and would occasionally post some non-political, non-personal images that I thought were cheerful. The best thing I can say is that when I had a problem with a company's product and could get no satisfaction, I posted on their page and received instant results. I rarely check in now (less than once a month, if that). I did witness something very personally damaging to a few people after the class reunion. I suppose I am naive in some ways, but I was shocked and horrified that a 60-something woman posted some photos and "captions" that destroyed some relationships. I guess they were acting as though they were still in high school. The more innocent but silly photos of where-I-am-right-now and this-is-what-I-ate posts were tiresome. I decided that I didn't need to waste my time with that. I prefer looking at just a few pleasant blogs with the hopes that people are kind, civilized, and not political. I do appreciate Muffy's exquisite photos.

    Jacqueline

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  7. Always a pleasure to read something by sensible people.

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  8. I am going to go with Facebook is a very mixed bag. On the one hand, I know several friends who found lost dogs via Facebook with the assistance of strangers who came together with its help. We used it to help an Afghan Hound that was dumped on the university campus adjacent to our neighborhood. It is nice to view the babies and grand babies of old school friends.

    It has, however, been taken over by ads and click-bait that has enabled those of dubious motives to target our values and culture by appealing to the basest feelings of some in our society. I used to work, as a programmer, in hospital with a psych unit. The paranoia patients would talk about various ways the government tracked us most of which could be solved by putting tin foil in one's hat. Facebook legitimizes this type of thinking much to the detriment of our country.

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  9. I like Facebook, it has its personal uses for me. I wish their privacy features were more robust, but I use it very prudently; have read up on SEOs and other internet phenomena - avoided some of the privacy snafus, at least for the time being. My children have advised too; they are into techie things and know the 'hacks'. I know marketers, programmers, etc. are constantly on the march, so again, prudent use. I remember life without Facebook and it was so difficult to stay in touch with people you genuinely liked - remember the photocopied family update letter sent out with Christmas cards? I used to receive those (never sent) - and while I appreciated the effort and enjoyed the information, I always felt as if I was on the mailing list for supermarket circulars. When Facebook stops fulfilling its objectives for me, I will close my account. One thing that is a big plus worth mentioning is corporate reputation and accountability. For the first time, consumers can have their voices heard quantitatively - enough so that powers-that-be sit up. E.g., Equifax. This kind of transparency is needed.

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  10. Cancelled Face Book, I can be reached by phone, email, post. Am not interested in daily updates of people's lives, or being added to someone's friends pages which would add all my friends except for money or "like" them which enhances their status but does zero for me. Facebook has eliminated eye to eye conversations where it is not just the words but the gestures made by a speaker that tells the story. Plus you may be communicating with someone who just makes everything up. Life is short, busy enough living mine. PBH

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  11. It has hurt society and culture greatly.

    Dozens of friends going through divorces because of partners hooking up with old flames. Girls and women becoming insane with trying to keep up with other people's fake lives. Lots of the wrong kind of social pressure in my opinion.

    Friends who have quit are much happier.

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  12. It has hurt culture and society more than helped. I have no desire to follow fake, perfect lives or hear about every wakng moment in the lives of people I find tiresome. This is the only blog I follow and rarely miss viewing. cheers!

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  13. I think the poll needs another selection, that is, "none of the above." The question assumes that FB is more of a cultural driver than I believe is the case. I think FB, however, is a symptom or indicator of something that was already in the culture before FB was even conceived. For example, I was just now going through some old files and documents that I am archiving and came across a WSJ opinion piece from January 2003 entitled "Curse of the Foul Mouth" that was decrying the vulgarity in speech that had already entered popular culture then (the article was written soon after Bono dropped the F-bomb at the Golden Globe Awards). Anger and vulgarity, shallowness and flippancy, self-promotion and aggrandizement - all these were already well embedded before FB came along in 2004. FB may have made the expression of such things easier, but really, isn't the internet as a whole responsible for that, not just FB?
    FB and the internet is also an effective way to communicate and promote good things too, like authenticity, stewardship and graciousness (wink to the editor). My daughter just became engaged this morning and more people have sent well wishes in a shorter amount of time than was ever possible pre-FB.
    Really, FB is just the messenger or the conduit, and for all its banality, I would not trade it for telegraph or pony express.

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    1. Agreed, like blaming cars for car accidents.

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  14. I will not begin to name all the reasons I will NOT use Facebook. It has caused so much harm in various ways. Makes me tense up to even think about it. Sorry. No Facebook for me!

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  15. Agree that another selection is needed. Perhaps "does not apply " for those of us who are not part of Facebook. Interesting to note how many of this community are not on it. I always thought I was weird.

    By the way, I only read 2 blogs, this being one of them

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  16. Andy Worhol once claimed that everyone will get their 15 minutes of fame and I believe that is what has been realized through social media and specifically Facebook. When I first joined in 2007, FB seemed benign as I enjoyed connecting to lost friends, distant family members and classmates. As time went on and FB went public and then opened itself to advertisers, the experience became less personal and more exacerbating. Enter the election of '16 and FB turned into a monster in my opinion. I've been turned off by the self promotion, bloviating, bullying, and lack of self restraint. People are insensitive and often rude, tend to overshare, and provide too much information. All in all, FB cluttered up my life, created too many social demands and stimulated unhealthy competition. I am much happier without its invasion, and I would rather live in the real world than one that is virtual. Too, I don't think we've realized the far-reaching effects of social media, especially on our youth, but I do know it's changed the way in which the world communicates, for the better or for the worse.

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    1. Very well said. I couldn't agree with you more.

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    2. Interestingly, I just read an article in the New York Times today titled, In Amish Country, The Future is Calling. It talks about how computers and smartphones have invaded their communities and threatens their way of life, if not careful. Apparently, they have a keener sense of it's destructiveness than we do even though they realize how efficient it can be for business. The problem with all technology is that there are no boundaries. It will be interesting to see how the Amish will maintain control, or not, moving forward.

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    3. Agree, well said.

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  17. When it comes to FB and other social media applications, such as Twitter, I don't know which is worse: those who feel compelled to tell everyone what they are doing at every waking moment, or those who want to know what everyone else is doing at every waking moment . . .

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  18. Personally, no FB, very little social media participation and I comment on two blogs (I only read two blogs!). That said, it is a free country and I do know a number of colleagues and friends/family who have, use and love their FB. I will not join a group if FB is the only contact and, if my HS classmates wish to let me know they are in town, I can be contacted in any number of less public ways. Depending on mass invitations via FB for communication is, well, it's just not done in our family. Fine for others if they wish, just not something we use. And I haven't even touched on privacy, self-centeredness and having my photos out on the internet for anyone to see. Ugh!

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  19. I just cringe when I see parents paying attention to their iPhones instead of their little ones.

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  20. Compared to the original 'face book', the annual Harvard College publication of all freshman with their required application photos, I think the current FB has uses that far outstrip the way the book was often used: to identify which Radcliffe women were attractive and to be sought out. I'm less concerned about how society uses FB now than how individuals can use it... or not. It's an anlog for family Skypes (awkward to organize) and we have private groups for all kinds of topics from serious to silly. It's also a place I like to share photos of something I'm very passionate about. I've had useful and delightful exchanges and conversations (Yes! Conversations!) with people worldwide who i will likely never meet in person.

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  21. I started using face book to see my nieces' and nephews' babies pictures. It serves that purpose. Sadly, I've seen more pictures of my neighbor's dog and other "really cute" posters and sayings than I want. It rather like texting. It has a useful purpose. Showing me a picture of your dinner, or even dessert, falls into the dog picture category. I assume that anything I post could wind up on the 6 o'clock news, so I am very discrete.

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  22. Echoing @DT above me in line here. FB is a wonderful resource - across all cultures and all communities - to have available at your fingertips. Through their system of choices and settings, one may make a big display of themselves, or not; one may acquire a massive list of "friends," or not; one may be an introvert or an extrovert, your choice. An offhand example of FB's usefulness in our lives was over this past week and a half as we were forced out of our Atlantic coast-front home via mandatory evacuation orders, loss of power everywhere, closure of all bridges, trying to get safely away from Hurricane Irma. We were kept informed throughout by our local emergency management operations HQ by officers/crew via their expertly run Facebook page. Being able to charge our phones in our car, and log back onto central command via their Facebook presence was nothing but a convenience for us.

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  23. Given that the owner of Facebook is now actively censoring conservative viewpoints, to the point of hiring people to go and harass them, and being a person that has suffered harassment to the point of not being allowed to post on my own timeline because my content upsets too many people (I'm Julia Littleton Marks), my opinion is that Facebook is actually a dangerous, fascist-leaning propaganda tool. I am only on there to promote my blog (The Value of Sparrows) and my website (Finding Solace). And, in truth, it does a great job of bringing people to my sites. But the personal element, being lectured at length for unfriending some people, for example, is beyond ridiculous.

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    1. I've found that many equipment-forums delete my posts . I can't even say something trueful about a Range-Rover/Land-Rover problem on some sites without it been pulled by a admin-zealot who doesn't want a sponsorship to be upset by a genuine event ............. I don't post anywhere but here anymore . Muffy rules ! ( as we Brits say ) :-)

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    2. I need to agree with the utility of some social media to convey information in time of emergency. We are property owners in SWFL, and relied on the local sheriff's dept. and emergency operations center's FB postings, this past week, as the sources of fact-based and timely information.
      The many shortcomings of social media were made quite evident during the last general election cycle. The prominence of self-anointed gurus and those who raptured after their posts was extremely off-putting, across the political spectrum.
      As long as readers are willing, and able, to differentiate between and among points of view and the authenticity of sources, social media do have some usefulness.
      But only some...

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  24. I have a Facebook acct. for the international school I went to in new dehli 63-69 for a while it was refreshing until I realized that my classmates were putting anything and everything in social, media I stopped viewing years ago, it gas become an excuse not to venture out and confront and explore life as it is meant to be lived face to face even if it makes us uncomfortable

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  25. I have a Facebook page but it get's little use; it has all the privacy security settings enabled. My wife uses hers often to communicate with friends and family across the country, even locally since she's become less mobile. I've found it useful for a narrow purpose: I'm a member of two closed groups I've been admitted to-one for our small 25 or so person neighborhood for neighborhood news, household questions and even security issues which my wife/I both find useful and the other is my grandmother's family group in North Carolina. I've found the family group very helpful in reconnecting with the bulk of my grandmother's sister's family; they're mostly all in the group and either write or read the posts for family news. For my grandfather's family, seven times larger, in the same area, by contrast, many of them don't have computers and reconnecting with them as been a real challenge this two years I've been doing so. I'm glad the SWNE poll was removed; the specific uses we make of Facebook didn't really fit in any of the categories.

    jrandyv
    Vancouver Washington

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  26. I don't communicate on Facebook , but I do read . I've found maybe a dozen or so people from High School/Junior School . It's interesting to see where they've go to in 40 or so years , but beyond that I let sleeping dog lie ...............

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  27. I use Facebook but I don't have "Friends". Rather, I have numerous feeds from publications and groups devoted to topics and activities I like, e.g. sailing, paddling, skiing, other outdoor pursuits, Maine, etc.

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  28. I had a Facebook account, mainly to keep in touch with people I didn't see very often. You soon realise there's a reason for that, you don't really want to see them very often! I had numerous Facebook 'friends' from my school days who I rarely had a conversation with at school, what were we going to chat about 10 or 15 years later? Anyone I value as a close friend is already on my favourites list on my mobile messaging app. I have no need or desire to see the ramblings of people I haven't seen or heard from for over a decade. The other thing which turned me off was the glut of intrusive news feeds, games, surveys and the creepily tailored adverts which follow me round the internet. Facebook has been well and truly hijacked by corporations wanting to sell you their wares and influence your decisions and they can do it via your desktop computer, your tablet and even your mobile phone. I deleted my account circa 2013 after a couple of years of inactivity and have no regrets. I'd never go back to being a Facebooker.

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  29. I love social media! I'm so sorry that folks here have been upset and bullied. I've made good use of the unfollow and hide options so I mostly see back to school photos, new babies/grandchildren/puppies, fabulous travel pictures, community events and sad losses (I guess I'm at that age). I wish I had the time to keep in touch with all those folks through email or snail mail, but there is no way in hell that's happening - LOL

    I'm truly baffled, though, by friends who fall for every click bait trick in the book.

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  30. I use Facebook, but purposely don't have "Friends." I utilize it more like a blog, to share my areas of interests. I also use its' photo albums as a backup.

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  31. Facebook and Twitter are now unsocial media. I deleted my accounts six years ago and do not miss them. It appears that, during that period, that they have joined Google as corporate "Big Brothers" who spy on their members. In the new Orwellian era, the enemy is not the one that George wrote about in "1984".

    In addition to censoring posts, senior executives in those companies (the new oligarchy) are bullying account holders who hold political or cultural opinions that are hostile to their own narrow world view. Those huge, powerful companies are colluding with big government in a fascist alliance to silence free thinkers and dissenting voices. Frankly, only the naive would allow those malignant forces to monitor and control them.

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  32. An article caught my eye yesterday in the Wall Street Journal suggesting it is a good time to re-examine our relationship with Facebook, saying, "Increased scrutiny with FB is healthy." What started out as a friendly place of sharing has morphed into a network of influencers who are determined to manipulate what we know and how we think. The article warns that no one has really begun to understand how this massive social network is shaping our world and even FB is mystified. Of course, there's more, but this article confirmed my suspicions and I am more now than ever perfectly satisfied not participating in that arena.

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