Why quit Facebook?

After much consideration and prayer on the positive and negative aspects of social networking the time has come to delete Facebook and similar sites from our lives for a number of reasons.

Profanity

As a parent who filters their family’s internet and discourages the use of foul language I find it very frustrating that Facebook does not provide a profanity filter for personal accounts. In fact they even prevent webpage filters from working on the wall posts and status updates. A profanity filter may render the F word to **** on any website, Youtube etc but on Facebook this does not work!! What programming have they used to in a way promote swearing! Anyone can say anything and all your “friends” will see it until you remove it. And yet they provide a profanity filter for Facebook Pages?? Why provide it for one but not the other?

Will a teen be exposed to foul language on Facebook? Everyone who uses it would say yes of course. Everyone will also say “But that’s life.” True it is unavoidable in conversation down the street, at a BBQ, at school, at work, in movies, so many places it would be hard to list them all. But we chose not speak this way to each other at home. None of our friends or family would come over and talk this way but when it comes to Facebook we HAVE to accept it because that is the way it is. It’s a reflection of real life. But then so is, lying, stealing and adultry. Will they find that on Facebook too?

Addiction

Is everyone addicted to Facebook? Try this, just ask someone to delete their account. Why has it become so precious to them? “Well I have just invested so much time in it, I have 600 friends and uploaded 500 photos…..”. When a person has been away from home the first thing they have to check is Facebook. They have to check it everyday because they might miss something.

Of course things can get really out of hand when a teen gets their iPhone. Is their first phone call to their best friend to say “Hey take down my new number”. No the first thing they do is connect it to Facebook. It has got to the point when people will go out and obsess about getting that group photo just to put it on Facebook as a way to brag to everyone about what a great time they were having.

Teens commonly sleep with their iPhones under their pillows. Why the compulsion? Is the compulsion itself a good thing? They play sport for a while, then give it up. They play an instrument for a while then lose interest. They might read a book and give up on it half way through, but give up Facebook, lol life as they know it would be over……………I guess that is the point.

Friends

They have to change the term Friends to “Connections”. No-one will ever have 100 friends, let alone 800. The definition of a friend is: a person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations. OR A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts. The average person would be lucky to have 5 real friends they could truly trust. How many of these friends chat online but do not speak to each other in person or over the phone?

What about the friend who plays the joke and posts on your wall that you are gay? 600 people can’t know you that well. Confusion would be rife. What do you do? Play along with the joke? This would increase the confusion as no one can see you and read your body language. Do you delete the post? Well that could be taken as a confirmation and you have something to hide. A reputation and friendship can be damaged so simply by a few thoughtless key strokes. This is the power of Facebook.

Maturity

Does a teenager need to be mature enough to use Facebook? Is there a problem when they bare their soul to 100 – 200 – even 50 people? To share something privately how many people would you be talking to in person? One maybe two people. If you say anything to 50 “Friends” sorry this is Public.

Facebook for so many teens is a public expression of every thought feeling and event in their lives, and yet we tell them they are not yet mature enough to drink, smoke, or drive a car? Is emotional maturity necessary for Facebook? We see so many status updates “I’m depressed”, then a few days later “I am so happy”. We have all read the stories in the news of the suicide that followed a post “I’m depressed”. If you see this on Facebook how should you react? What is the state of mind for a thirteen year old to talk this way to everyone but their real friends or parents?

Homeschool

It has become clear that to Homeschool & use Facebook does not make sense. We are a homeschooling family and know alot of other people who do the same. Many people will tell you that they Homeschool to try and provide a better education, limit negative influences, excessive peer pressure, immoral behaviour, foul language, etc which children can be exposed to in both Public and Private school. Why bother homeschooling for 13 years (13 is the minimum age to sign up) then allow your child/teen to access Facebook? All of this time, effort and hard work in providing them a safe and faith filled Christian environment that is free of secular society could then be circumnavigated by the 100-200-800 school going friends they amass. You are just setting your teens up to “Friend” all of the very same people that you would rather they didn’t socialise with, on Facebook. All of it beamed directly into your lounge room, or more likely their bedroom 24/7.

Time

How precious is time. Everyone I know is always saying how busy they are. And they can’t believe how fast their children are growing up. They will be leaving home soon. Time is flying by. But they always seem to find time for Facebook. They might say well I just wanted to see what my kids are up to.

How much time are they spending there when they should be talking to their own teen face to face or over the phone? Many parents are just on Facebook to keep in touch with their teens. That’s a joke. How does a parent really keep up with the information, updates & comments from their 300+ (average) friends? You can’t unless you check it everyday and know that you are only seeing what they allow you to see anyway. And you will have no idea of the private IM conversations they have with 3-4 people, while listening to music, watching TV, and surfing the net, ……..all at the same time.

Is this now the only way many parents can keep in touch with their teen? That is sad. Then they wonder why when they are old enough to leave home they go as far away as possible, and never want to come home to visit. Is it because they were allowed to sit in their bedroom from the age of 13 to 18 by themselves with their laptop on the net, watching any movie they wanted to download, listening to what ever the latest music was, living their lives on Facebook, a world their parents would never and could never understand, and slowly grew apart? It is a fact that the less time you spend with someone the more you grow apart. It’s a natural part of life.

We will never get this time back. Our children are children and teens only once and for such a very short time. Once they hit 13 Facebook becomes their virtual view of the world. Do we want Facebook to be more important to them than we are? Do we want them to share all of their highs and lows, successes and failures with Facebook first and just read about them as a status update?

Conclusion

As a Dad I am responsible for my children’s physical well being. As a Catholic Dad I believe I am responsible for my children’s spiritual well being. My goal is to get them to heaven. That is my job. That is what being Catholic is all about. Will Facebook get them there? Will it help? Or would they be better off without it?

We have decided that we are not going to have Facebook in our home, and I can hear the cries,

  •  “Oh you can’t deny them Facebook”. Why not? Do they have to have it? Can’t they live without it?
  •  “How will they keep in touch with their friends?” Is this now the only way teens can keep in touch today? Is it a concern that they would rather FB & IM their friends rather than talk to them on the phone.
  • “But everyone does it. It is the digital age”. Do we have to be part of the digital age that is rife with cyber bullying, foul language, and mindless rubbish? Teens with 600 friends who’s posts are “I’m F***ing bored” or “Inbox me”. The same teens who are so popular with so many people but always online!! Do they ever leave their bedroom? And by the way not everyone uses it.

The other one we hear is “Well you cannot restrict your kids because they will only rebel and go berserk once they leave home.” Does this mean you don’t restrict them from anything, ever?

So I guess we have to give them their freedom to do whatever they want, whenever they want, as often as they want, regardless of what it is and whether or not it offends their beliefs. This is what Facebook provides them in a virtual world that is finally free of Parents. But this is not real life. Once they are an adult they will be subject to all kinds of restrictions every day of their lives. In their workplace, in public, everywhere. Once they get their license they will not be able to choose which side of the road they want to drive on, to run red lights, and speed. They will be restricted by rules for their sake and the sake of others.

No one would allow a child to play on the train tracks would they? We impinge on their freedom by telling them you can’t do that, even physically removing them from the tracks because they “may” be hit by a train. Does the child see your point of view? No. They are having fun. They cannot see anything wrong with playing on these tracks. There are no trains. They have never even seen one. And yet you tell them they cannot do it because one “might” come along. They say you are stupid and that you don’t know what you are talking about. What do you do? Do you take them away kicking and screaming? Or leave them there? Anyone older than that child would if they understood the danger.Why then allow an impressionable teen free and unrestricted internet & Facebook access and wait for them to be hit by a moral or emotional train? Teenagers who are growing up through some very difficult and confusing years. Will Facebook help build their self esteem? Will it build their confidence? Will it enhance and deepen their Christian faith, or distract them from it?

You often hear people say “Well that is just not for me.” Is Facebook for everyone? Is it good for everyone? How can one thing suit everyone? It can’t and nothing does so what is the big deal if someone doesn’t use it. The Facebook peer pressure is enormous not just for teens but adults too. It takes a lot of guts to break the ties and Facebook makes it extremely hard to do so. It really doesn’t care about the person who admits they are addicted, or has decided they just don’t want to use it anymore. In fact they make it nearly impossible to escape.

If you want to know how to really DELETE your account and not just DEACTIVATE it Click Here

It is easy to deactivate your account but deactivating Your Facebook Account is not the same as Account Deletion. Users can deactivate their Facebook account from the user interface without too much trouble however it really doesn’t do anything and you can just log back in at any time and everything is exactly as it was as though you had never left. Why do they make it so hard? Because they know how hard it is for an addict to give up and they will try and hold onto you at any cost. It is desparate and sad, unfortunately so are a lot of Facebook users. Desperate for some real human contact and friendship.

Everyone does not use Facebook, infact many people are leaving it and I think the trend is growing http://sickfacebook.com/

I also think that Toyota got it right with this car commercial!

via A Catholic Dad Online.

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