Do Not Blog While Grumpy

This is probably sound advice.

I think I’ve been on Facebook too much lately.

I’m realizing that I am not getting any more used to all the profanity, homosexual banter, and angry rantings. Rather, I am finding that I feel like I am taking a bath in very dirty water. Now, what to do with this dilemma. I actually care about the people I am friends with on Facebook. Want to be a warm and accepting person in re other people. Just wondering how it came to be that unwholesome (now there’s an old-fashioned word) communication is apparently not only acceptable but even preferable.

When I think of parents that I have looked up to, I know they would not want their children to be using profanity regularly and lightly, joking in relatively graphic terms about homosexual topics, and dismissing the world or parts thereof with acerbic, bitter, or caustic comments. Of course, most of the parents I look up to were heavy into parenting BEFORE the Facebook era. (BFE)

I want my children and other young adults i love to care about protecting the sensibilities of others by caring about what they are posting. The ocean comes to mind, since i am on the beach. i stood in the waves yesterday and felt their strong pull — both shoreward and out to sea. I could no more stop those waves than I could create the ocean. So, digging my heels in to stop the waves wouldn’t have the desired outcome. I do get weary of “going with the flow” all the time, but there must be a sense in which taking a stand for a minute, to at least stand strong against the waves, can have an affect on me, even if the waves do not stop. The whole analogy, for those who cannot read my mind, is about the tidal wave of language on Facebook, both word choice and usage.

Do other parents intentionally steer clear of their kids’ Facebook pages so as not to know, keeping their head in the sand, as it were? I hate the feeling of sand in my ears, eyes, mouth and nose, so that doesn’t really work for me. Do other parents steer clear of their kids’ Facebook pages because they believe “kids will be kids” and the kind of communication happening on Facebook is just fine?

So what do I want? I want to be in communication with my own kids and their friends. And I’m realizing that just reading status updates is not being in communication, even if it may be what passes for communication these days. I suppose it’s up to me what I read on Facebook, as I do have options to hide and de-friend people. And I want to be an actor, an originator, not just a receptor and reactor.

As usual, this blog entry helped me think through what it is I want, and I just shared it with those few people who also read this blog. Never a dull moment for those who are simply trying to live life as people who love and care about others.

1 thought on “Do Not Blog While Grumpy

  1. Dear Susan,
    I think what you wrote about the difference in facebook relationships with “real” ones gets to the heart of the matter. If I may, I'd like to quote Malcolm Gladwell on this:

    “Twitter is a way of following (or being followed by) people you may never have met. Facebook is a tool for efficiently managing your acquaintances, for keeping up with the people you would not otherwise be able to stay in touch with. That’s why you can have a thousand “friends” on Facebook, as you never could in real life…

    But how [does one enlist such large numbers of people]? By not asking too much of them.

    A Facebook friend isn't the same as a real friend and that signing up for a donor registry in Silicon Valley today isn't activism in the same sense as sitting at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro in 1960…”

    Being clear about what Facebook can and cannot do and knowing what specific benefits you expect from its use will help you decide what to do about the scum in which you're wading.

    Something happens when your kids get older. Their Facebook pages reflect the prudence of young adults who are about to go out and look for a job. Frankly, this is a relief.

    Hope you are having a wonderful vaca.


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