Home > Christianity, Culture and Society, current events > Facebook’s sordid history shows the dangers of indiscriminate social networking

Facebook’s sordid history shows the dangers of indiscriminate social networking

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7127721.ece (link is now behind a paywall – Jan, 12)

From the London Times there comes more insight into the mindset that drives Facebook, in its coverage of a bio-pic on FB’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg. I’m gratified that the story behind Facebook’s privacy incursions is getting an airing, as it’s important and long overdue. Unbridled greed has driven FB, while its client base, like sitting ducks, carries on, blissfully unaware of the damage this assault on privacy will do to individuals and society. If people knew they were being exploited for profit and exposed to dangers both online and in real life, they wouldn’t stand for it. Would they…?

It’s hard to disagree with Mark’s former girlfriend’s evaluation of him. More evidence, were any required, that money can’t buy everything, least of all, character. Far beyond the frustrations of its miserable interface, it turns out that Facebook has been disrespectful to others from its very inception, and has left a bloody trail of personal betrayal along its entire way.

Like many others, I also found the only Facebook opt-out button that really works – leaving Facebook via account deactivation. It’s too bad, because FB actually is a good way to follow thought-leaders and interact with likeminded people on various topics. But the signal to noise ratio was becoming worse and worse, as people would inform me of the most trivial aspects of their lives or inundate me with with dozens of updates each day.

I can see why Jesus needed to get apart each day to renew and affirm clarity, peace and perspective. And I can understand why He maintained layers of friendships. Not everyone was a disciple, fewer were apostles, and His inner circle consisted of just three. We need to exercise similar discrimination and order our relationships according to our calling in God. Unless we approach social networking with discipline, and until Facebook acknowledges its sins, using these sites can not only be a huge waste of precious time and energy, it can be dangerous.

Be careful, and be blessed.


  1. Karen
    May 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Well, the article says that this is Hollywood’s version of the story. And perhaps his former girlfriend’s. Which says to me that we do not know that any of it, beyond publicly verifiable facts, is true.

    I am no friend of facebook but the Times article sounds like gossip to me.

    • May 16, 2010 at 10:44 pm

      True that the love angle is often deep waters, but there is enough reported that should be verifiable, such as the lawsuits, the betrayals, and certainly the abominable privacy policy, that I will assume is true unless countered. That makes me suspect that the girlfriend turned out to be a good judge of character – if it took her a while.

  2. May 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    How to delete (not just deactivate) your Facebook account http://post.ly/h1D5

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