Facebook has its fans and its detractors. There are certainly times when you should ask before you post:
- Am I sharing personal information that needs to stay personal?
- Do I really think someone will be interested in such detail in my life?
- Have I put my identity or safety at risk by sharing too much information?
- Really? Did I just post that?
- Isn’t it time to turn off the device and find a real friend?
I love the fact that Facebook allows you to hook up with old friends, stay in touch with significant events in the lives of others, learn how to pray more intelligently for people close to you, and catch up with news and notes. At the same time, Facebook can be addictive, draining time and energy that could be invested elsewhere. It can be a poor substitute for authentic relationships.
There’s another side to this for one family. A woman in Tennessee posted a recent picture of her daughter. Nothing unusual about that, right? Several people noted something in the photo that seemed odd. There was an odd glow in the little girl’s left eye. One would naturally assume that the flash of the camera might have caused the light in the three year-old’s eye, but two friends saw something else. Replies to the mother urged her to have her daughter examined. As the New York Post reported, the mother took the girl to a doctor who diagnosed a rare condition that can cause blindness or significant loss of vision if not properly treated. Early treatment makes all the difference. In this case, a little girl named Rylee was successfully treated. Don’t tell that mother that Facebook is a bad thing!
Yes, we should be careful about posting. We should remember that something that belongs in a journal or diary doesn’t necessarily belong on a social network. For all of us who read and write on Facebook, it would certainly help to remember Matthew 7:12: “Treat others as you wish to be treated.”