March 14, 2011

Does Facebook make us miserable?

A couple more laments about social media popped up today. Sometimes I wonder if these are more than just coincidence.

Not many of you should presume to be bloggers:

On the whole a good article although it doesn't really go into any practical detail of how you ought to go about assessing whether you yourself should be out there publishing your thoughts on a blog. I'm not sure anyone would live up to the standard. Since it is not church, but effectively it is more like the 'media' or the 'press' toward the beginning of the country when people were publishing criticisms of King George under pseudonyms, it cannot possibly be as strict as the standards for teaching in church (which in all too many churches are pretty lax anyway).

So as a gentle reminder, the article is fine. I just don't know that it actually helps the real problem.

Tim Challies also has an interesting post out there. Facebook Makes Us Miserable

But does it really make us miserable or are we just miserable already and don't like to be reminded?

Actually it doesn’t make me miserable. As Challies also seemed to suggest at the end of his post, it makes me very thankful for my rather sane church. Facebook is the world. The world makes us miserable. Watching other Christians in their ininhibited thought life is a sight to behold, to be sure, but it is not even as bad as what God sees every day. Who among us thinks it is bad to understand more fully God's perspective on the human condition? I suppose you can avoid this stuff and remain in denial of human nature if you like.  Or you can get on board, and find out what people are really like inside, and see if you can still love them in spite of themselves.

Granted, everyone is going to be at different ability levels here - but I have found it that there is at least as much judgement and prideful intolerance going on by 'nice' people against the people who still have rough edges.  They just know how to say it more smoothly.

The fact is, we want to love real people and we want to be loved by real people. Facebook is fiction.

The thing is, they are real people, Tim. Just like you behind your computer screen and blog.

I always knew people really behave like high schoolers, as a rule. Having been on the bottom of the social totem pole then prepared me for understanding that. I guess if you weren’t, if you were popular and saw only the good side of people who were trying to get into your good graces, then yeah, facebook would be an unpleasant epiphany to you. For me, it’s just another day at the office.

Challies hit close when he said "What a ridiculous lot we are. What a sad, jealous, envious, idolatrous lot."

I agree. But why is this news to anyone?

In other words, it’s only going to make you miserable and depressed as long as you still harbor any bit of the illusion that people are supposed to be better than totally depraved.