We all know what I am talking about. It’s flooded once every year with identical (with slight variations in use of emoticons and punctuation) messages from hundreds of people, some of which you can’t even remember when the last time you talked to them was. It’s used to share links of interest and I guess, ultimately, to connect.
I have been thinking about how the Facebook wall has changed the way we do birthday wishes and ultimately, the way we communicate. All of us have seen (and continue to see) Facebook wall post content which would be much better off confined to a private message. Pointless arguments (some really ridiculous ones in 50 or more comments) and sappy couple conversations littered with ♥s. Personally, I am very picky about the things I choose to write on a person’s wall. We do that in complete awareness that it is visible to all of my friends and that person’s friends. Some things are completely harmless if done that way, but some aren’t. Should questions such as “How are you?” or “What time are we meeting?” be posted on someone’s wall or sent directly to their private messages? Isn’t it silly how we have so much to take into consideration when communicating these days?
Before the advent of social media, there were rarely means of everyday interaction between personal friends that are made open to the public (I use this word in the sense of one’s social circle, not the real public). Phone calls, e-mails, letters, and text messages are means of communication which are exclusive between two people. In some situations, it may be between more than two people, but in such cases, the “audience” is specifically picked out for a reason.
Social media has become a means of “publicity” of our personal lives and I think that more often that not, people do not think twice before they post a status or something on someone’s wall. These public forms of communication are such convenient ways to gain attention and can be done with the click of a mouse, so why not? I understand that we like to share sites, articles and web content that we find to be cool and worth sharing and I am not opposed to that. I think it’s wonderful and a lot of fun. In fact, that is exactly what I am doing right now and I don’t deny that I write to gain attention too. However, I think that every one should take a moment to pause and ponder – what kind of message am I sending out by posting this? – before hitting that blue rectangular “Post” button. If you believe it to be content that will be beneficial to people and that will glorify God’s name, then go ahead. If not, then you know what to do.
How do you distinguish between content that should be posted on someone’s wall (or comments) and content that is private message “worthy”? Does it really matter to you?