Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Friend or Foe: The Pros and Cons of Social Media

For lack of anything better to watch on cable, I happened upon a show on MTV named, "Catfish, The TV Show." Here's a brief overview of the show according to Wikipedia: 
On the internet, a "catfish" is a person who creates fake personal profiles on social media sites—pretending to be someone more outwardly appealing than his/her true self, by using someone else's pictures and false biographical information. These "catfish" usually intend to trick an unsuspecting person or persons into falling in love with them. The term "catfish" is derived from the title of a 2010 documentary film, in which filmmaker Nev Schulman discovers that the 20-something woman he'd been carrying on an online relationship with had not been honest in describing herself.
So I watched the show and was amazed at how many people are easily fooled by a beautiful/handsome picture and lies. I decided that this blog is not so much about romantic relationships, but how we find "Friends and/or Foes" on social media.
I am an avid Facebook writer and I have 900+ Facebook friends since I joined in 2008. Six years of pictures, thoughts, frustrations and most importantly sharing with a lot of people. I have met many wonderful people and I have met people that were not so wonderful. Last I looked, I have 25 people on my "blocked" list because of either not so friendly exchanges or stalking. For the most part, I enjoy meeting new people and connecting with old friends. I also don't have to wait forever to view pictures of my children and grandchildren or other friends' pictures. I love reading the inspirations, meditations and Bible verses from various people and ministers. I have been honored to receive encouragement and friendship from people that live half way across the country and world! I have run across old friends from high school and family that I normally would not see often. Social Media, when used responsibly can be a great experience.
However, I have come across those people who come as a friend, but end up a foe. They challenge my religious views, argue, cuss, stalk and harass. Those people invade your wall with nonsense and you are wondering, "How did I become this person's 'friend' to begin with?" What can you do? All I can suggest is to hit the "Block" prompt and be more mindful of whose friend request you accept and the request that you send out. Google a friend request and see what you find.
I am still a champion of face to face interpersonal relationships, but the world has changed. I have changed with it. I have 900+ "friends" and they will remain "friends" as long as we can get along. This blog was inspired by a "friend" whose conversation has been nothing but stellar, polite and honest.
Social media is good when used responsibly. Don't expect the intangible from it. Have fun, but be respectful. Learn the difference between, "Friend or Foe."


  1. Amen! I am glad I'm one of the 900+. You may not remember but you were very encouraging to me when I was 1st starting in the Institute. I'll be finished In May. To God be the glory. Like you wrote, FB/social media is a good thing when used right. Good bless & Thanx for the friendship!