Let me preface what I’m about to say by assuring you that I’m not anti-Facebook. I have several friends I keep up with (one who lives in the Philippines) that I would probably lose touch with if it weren’t for Facebook. I’ve also met and communicated with quite a few of my readers through Facebook. So I am not one of those people who believes Facebook is a harbinger of civilization’s impending doom.
That said, there are a lot of people who ought to avoid Facebook. They ought to shut down their accounts and never touch it again. Why? Because they are apparently unable to use the medium without making themselves look like fools.
I’m not going to name names, but there are people I have lost all respect for because of the asinine things they post on Facebook. People that I once thought were pretty cool have convinced me that they have rocks for brains.
Proverbs 18:7 says, “The mouths of fools are their ruin.” In the age of social media, it’s not just our mouths, but our Facebook (and Twitter) posts that can be our ruin.
Try Googling the words, “Fired because of Facebook.” I did and got over 200 million hits. Proofpoint, an Internet security firm, did a study that said 8% of U.S. companies have fired an employee because of something he or she said on Facebook.*
But even that’s not my primary concern. My primary concern is that a lot of the people who are making fools of themselves on Facebook are Christians! Honestly, I cringe at some of the things I see posted in my News Feed by people who I know claim to love the Lord. Sometimes it’s due to the fact that humor often falls flat in print. A comment that sounds hilarious in context and with the right voice inflection and facial expression can look stupid sitting alone on the printed page.
Then again, if failed humor were the only problem, I could live with it. A bigger problem is that Facebook seems to erode our sense of decorum. People say things on Facebook that they would never say in public, like the pastor I know who recently posted about his flatulence problem.
You read that last sentence correctly. I said a pastor posted about his flatulence problem. He really did.
Come on, people. We can do better.
For further reflection read Proverbs 4:7 and 18:2.
*Reported by Mashable.com