Is Facebook really ripping families apart?
Sunday, 29 January 2012
"Social media site Facebook is wrecking marriages and harming family life". That is the first line. There are all sorts of wrong with it in my opinion. Let's see... Facebook isn't wrecking marriages. If your marriage/ relationship is rock solid no amount of social media site browsing is going to wreck it. However, if there is something missing in your relationship and its always been a bit rocky but you just won't admit it then Facebook and other social media/networking sites will make it easier for you to have that much sought after get out clause. They themselves will not wreck your relationship, you will. YOU WILL. You will go on there searching for something because of that missing piece in your life. You might see an old school boyfriend/girlfriend and start the "innocent flirting" thing. But that is you, not Facebook. "..harming family life". Hhmmm let me see. I've always thought 13 was too young for anyone to be on Facebook. For all sorts of reasons. Safety, loss of innocence, not savvy enough, loads more. But here parents should be more aware on behalf of their kids. Learn more about the security features in Facebook. Make sure they're set to the highest level, insist on having the password to the account (too far?), heck even friend your own son/daughter so as to keep an eye on them. Limit their time spent online even! That is a parents responsibility is it not. I think so, at least until the child is 16.
I think social networking sites get a hard time in stories produced with headlines like that. They are the facility but they are not the cause or reason for your failed marriage/relationship or your wrecked home life. Don't get me wrong, there are some people who openly flirt online, you see it LOTS on Twitter. They may label it "innocent flirting" but is flirting ever really that innocent? Think about the other person in that relationship... Maybe they have no idea that their other half is engaging online in the so called innocent flirting. I wouldn't like that, would you? There are some people who just do it for attention and have no intention of backing it up with any kind of action (for want of a better word). I have one particular person in timeline who is an outrageous flirt. Sends provocative tweets that are begging for a flirty response, then acts all innocent. The thing I can't get over is that the responses come in, lots, from people who we know are married! I mean, come on. That is not Twitter / Facebook making them do that, it's just making it easier for them to do it. They'd probably find another way to do it in an all-offline world too.
It's about time people took responsibility for their actions. Its all too easy to blame outside factors on our own faults and misdemeanors. If you meet an old school boyfriend/girlfriend on Facebook and start something and end up divorced, that's YOU. If you're openly innocently flirting and cause some strife in relationships, that's you. If you're spending all you're waking hours scouring Facebook, online etc, that's you and you need to stop, think, take ownership and do something about it. Don't blame everything else.
I should probably add that this story is in today's Sunday Post newspaper. It doesn't really matter because there's probably another story in another paper along the same lines somewhere else.