Take Facebook, for instance. For many it is strictly recreational and a way to have fun with family and friends. For others, it is a way to network with those who share beliefs, causes, or professions. We need to remember that some people's Facebook pages are more or less public places. Even if we regard the person as a close friend, sometimes it is wise not to share private jokes and engage in teasing which may be misunderstood by those who are mere acquaintances. It depends on the situation and so discernment must be exercised. I have a friend who was sharing a fact about her dead father on Facebook. Another "friend," being unaware the father was dead, turned the anecdote into a joke, which did not go over well with my friend's family, since it gave the impression that the dead father was being ridiculed.
Facebook has to be used with prudence and discretion, not to mention wisdom and kindness. Facebook is a place for being especially polite, to make certain that our intentions are not misunderstood. Those who are willing to invite us into their lives do so with a certain degree of trust that should not be abused by making intrusive and presumptuous remarks, just because we have the ability to write on someone's wall. It can become a form of harassment and even of cyberbullying. I found an article on cyberbullying which expresses some of the problems and their causes. Here is an excerpt:
It is human nature that if we think we can get away with something, we probably will go ahead with it. And, if we don’t get caught, chances are we will do it again. With young and old alike, behaviors rarely change on their own...Perhaps, we can begin to fill the vacuum of morality left behind by technology with an awareness and understanding of the impact our behaviors have on another living soul....
Most of us desire a life in which we feel valued. Our self-worth and esteem are integral pieces of our personas. We each have a need to feel acceptance, significance, and successful. At different stages in our lives and to varying degrees, much of that value is attached to our reputations (ie. how other perceive us and how we perceive ourselves) as well as our various roles.Share
One of the most toxic trends that has been exacerbated by the advancements in technology is the emergence of the highly narcissistic persona behind technology. It is one that carries with it an inflated sense of self, a false but bigger-than-life sense of worth, and the delusion of an expert voice on matters from the weather to nuclear disarmament. We can be whoever and whatever we want – because we matter. And we can do whatever to whomever we want – because we can. We are entitled.
And in a society where it is so important to belong, if it means that we need to create a mean, tough, or cruel reputation in order to get the worth we so desperately crave, then we do so. Unfortunately, the internet and social networks have made it so much easier for us. We can hide behind the computer screen with an alias while randomly posting violations of one another. With the stroke of a key or the press of a button, we have the ability to rob others of their dignity and grace, to redefine their worth and reputation, and relinquish them to foreign places and positions. We can seek out and strike whenever, wherever we want, and then we can run and hide.