Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE Facebook and how easy it is for me to keep up with friends and I know my readership would lose a lot of numbers if I suddenly left Facebook. Because of it, I belong to a community of bloggers that I didn’t even know existed and have made some wonderful friends. Because of it, I have gotten great referrals, advice and a weight bench. There is no doubt of the benefits of Facebook. Between fixing Nico’s Facebook because someone hacked it and checking to make sure everything was on the up and up, it occurred to me that Facebook is kind of evil.
I know I have talked on here before of the things I think are wrong with it but it continues to amaze me how awful it can be.
I know so many of the kids in Nico’s grade that it was fun for me to browse through and look at how grown-up the kids looked. What was not fun was seeing the posts from the kids that didn’t go. If they didn’t care, their posts didn’t portray that. There were sad pictures with statuses that read, “All alone tonight” or “This is my homecoming date” and then it was accompanied by a picture of the kid’s dog or cat. If there were kids that wanted to go but didn’t how painful to be online and seeing all the fun that they weren’t a part of. That’s not to say that every kid that didn’t go feels bad that they didn’t but a lot of statuses made my heart hurt.
Kids are still being stupid with it. A neighboring high school’s athletes were all suspended for posting pictures of themselves drinking at a party. You can read the story here. Why? Why is it so hard for them to understand that they have no idea who is looking at what they put out there and even if they think they are having a private conversation, they aren’t? Not to mention that they friend everyone so half the people that they are showing their stuff to, they don’t even know. While some of that might be fine and the people might not really care, there is always the risk that someone out there that wasn’t invited to that party you are posting about, is going to get even by ratting you out.
Think about when you were a teenager and the stuff you and your friends talked about and how you talked. Now imagine it plastered all over the place for anyone to read. Something you might have said in the moment is now saved until someone deletes it but even then all that saw it still know. There are heated discussions after every football game…trash talking and sometimes it escalates and turns ugly with one team members threatening to “kill” the other team members. Remember when you were younger and someone would say that? “You guys are dead next time we see you.” Did they really mean we were dead? No, of course not but when you see that on Facebook, in writing, it has a whole different feel to it. Being a teen is sometimes depressing. The boy you like doesn’t like you, your classes are hard or you didn’t make a team you wanted to. Before Facebook, you shared that with your friends or maybe wrote in a journal. Now you write sad lyrics of songs as your status or tell the whole world how mad you are in cryptic messages so that you get 20 responses of “what’s going on?” It’s all so public.
Some say that the answer is that parents shouldn’t be on their kids’ Facebook pages. That too much knowledge isn’t always good. I don’t think that is the answer. There are times that Nico has posted things that he thinks are fine but I didn’t like the way it made him look. It was just him and his friends going back and forth teasing each other but they used phrases that are offensive (mostly to me…don’t call someone a woman because they didn’t accept a dare). Once, after he made a basketball team, he was so excited he started to post who made it. We stopped him and explained how much that would hurt a kid that didn’t make it that saw that. He got it and stopped but that didn’t stop another kid from doing it. Will I stop checking his Facebook? Not anytime soon.
I can’t help but think that as great as Facebook is for adults (and let’s face it, some adults have trouble with it), it is just something else that is making raising kids hard…as if it wasn’t hard enough. When are they going to come out with something that makes it easier? Wait…a shock collar that goes off when they are about to do something stupid isn’t humane, is it? Darn…that would be a good one.
What about you? What do you love about Facebook? What do you dislike? I’d love to know.