The Death of Catholicism…

ponders the death of Facebook.

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  • John

    Here are my questions:

    1. Does this make him a better Catholic? If Christ walked among us today, don’t you think he would choose to communicate in the most efficient manor possible, to as many as possible? Isn’t it quite possible, that He would have a Facebook account or blog?
    2. Does it make him more real because he is off Facebook? Because the author chose to not be “real” on Facebook, is that Facebook’s fault? Or, is that the author’s fault?

    Facebook can be many things, to many different people. But, one thing it can’t do is decide how you represent yourself. It sounds like this author has his own issues.

    • Mike

      My wife and I got off FB more than 1 year ago and our relationship is stronger, our friends are closer and life seems more real somehow. I have nothing personal against FB but it is what it is: a poor sub. for the real thing.

  • Sean P. Dailey

    ” In real life, I actually do like Kelly Clarkson and The Zac Brown Band and the Harry Potter books, even though I would never ever ever put those things on my favorites on Facebook.”

    I’m sorry, but it’s hard for me to work up any sympathy for a guy who is this dishonest about himself online. Even his blog follows the same pattern because nowhere on it, that I could find, does he reveal his actual name. Maybe he shouldn’t be online at all.

    • Dustin

      It’s hardly dishonest. All of us curate our identities to some extent. All of us wonder, from time to time, how others might respond to way we publicly represent ourselves. We aren’t hiding ourselves when we think about how to put our ideal self forward. I, for instance, don’t pretend to like things that I really dislike, but I don’t display every single one of my interests either. It’s a balance between saying too much about ourselves (and thereby exposing the necessarily fragmented personae we really are) and fronting signifiers which best represent the person we believe ourselves to be.

      This may not be coherent. Sorry if that’s the case.

    • WhollyRoamin

      I don’t use my real name online either. It’s not just my name, it’s my wife’s and children’s name too. Not using your real name online isn’t a matter of hiding anything. It is sometimes the prudent thing to do.

      We live in a world that doesn’t respect truth, beauty, or goodness– and sometimes reacts very badly to encountering those things.

    • Irenist

      I work for the federal government. I’ve been advised by my employer that per the Hatch Act, the only way I’m allowed to sound off about politics online is in pseudonymous fora like this one. I use my real name on FB, and consequently rarely post much of anything there except photos. You shouldn’t assume that everyone has the luxury you enjoy of posting under your real name.

  • Bill

    I got a Facebook page in 2006 as a 27 year old when I went back to grad school, when it had, maybe, 20 million users. I dropped it a couple of months ago.

    It was a fun thing for undergrads and grad students. But today it’s the worst. My friend described it as subway graffiti, but less inspiring.

    I really like Twitter.

  • Rae Stabosz

    Why criticize the guy for avoiding what he discovered was an occasion of sin to him, and alerting other people to the same possibility in themselves? He’s saying, ” I discovered yet another way in which I was a sinner, did something about it, and it might be relevant to you.” To which John replies, “sounds like this author has his own issues ,” to which I reply, “Duh! And so he or she admits.” And Sean says, “it’s hard fro me to work up any sympathy for a guy who is this dishonest with himself online.” To which I say, “hard to work up sympathy for a sinner confessing his sin.?”
    What is this , have I landed in a blog peopled only by the righteous, or are these first two responses an anomaly, or am I just a cranky old woman?

    • Roberto

      I am with you, Rae. I am guilty myself of always looking for fault in someone else’s actions and I am watching for that, but I see that I am not alone. Each of us struggles with our own demons and we better be supportive of those who have courage enough to share and confess that. They need our prayers, not our criticisms.

    • John

      I am not judging the author, other than to say that the problem isn’t inherent in Facebook, it’s inherent in human nature. Facebook can be many things, but the one thing I’ve found is that it’s a communication tool. It’s all in how you decide you want to share yourself, and what you want to accept from others. The author says essentially, they are off Facebook, because of the authors own shortcomings. I would guess, based on what was written, that this person also has communication issues in person too.

  • Rae Stabosz

    And actually, the whole reason I read this entry was in the hopes of finding out what the new and trendy social media site might be. I keep hearing about the death of FB, but not because its an occasion of sin and brings out bad behavior. Which it is, and does. But I’m a follower of Blessed James Alberione, the social media guy, so my Pauline charism requires that I navigate the waters and avoid the alligators , where social media is concerned. But I totally get why this guy gave up FB.

  • Melissa Fry

    Even though my husband’s in IT, neither of us wants anything to do with that Facebook foolishness.

  • Beccolina

    I understand the authors reason. I stopped using FB for about two years because it was a time suck and certainly wasn’t helping me be at peace. I started up again when a family member started group for our family and extended family. I cut my friends list down and use it to keep in touch with cousins and friends who are far flung. With different schedules, time zones, etc., it can be hard to have a phone conversation, but on FB I can joke around with my brothers, I can discuss my younger brother’s agnosticism with him with time to think and pray between messages, I can see pictures of my friends’ grandchildren, and get gluten-free recipes in my newsfeed. It’s a tool, but I think it’s wise to recognize when that tool is working against you instead of for you.

  • Jude K

    I deleted my FB account a couple of months ago. I had only used it rarely over the last five years, and certainly didn’t have time to play the silly games. I found out a little about what friends from college were up to, but didn’t feel the need to keep in touch with so many people on a regular basis. I guess it started to seem creepy, realizing how teens are using it and how it is a factor in so many divorces. I don’t miss it a bit.

  • Irenist

    Spending time on Facebook looking at everyone’s carefully curated self-presentation and finding your own life wanting is indeed toxic. Don’t do that. Envy is a deadly sin, after all. Debate of any kind is also best avoided on Facebook; it’s a terrible forum for that.
    However, as a way to stay in touch with far-flung high school and college acquaintances and more distant family members beyond what was available in the pre-Facebook world of often little more than an annual Christmas card, it’s a great boon. Just having an account, even if you never post anything, gives people a way to message you if they want to get back in touch. It’s also been a really efficient way for my wife to share all our new baby pictures with all our friends and family at once.
    More: The steady “liking” of each other’s posts has brought me closer with some of my more distant cousins that I never got the chance to see much when we were kids; more of them, e.g., will be at my daughter’s upcoming baptism than if FB hadn’t been available. I got a message the other day from a college friend I haven’t spoken to in years–it was a thoughtful, delightful letter hoping to get back in touch. He didn’t have my postal address or email–FB was what made it possible for us to renew our friendship.
    Facebook is like alcohol: good in moderation. It’s like alcohol in other ways, too. If you’re treating Facebook as a drug (to boost your self-esteem), you need to get away. That seems to be the linked author’s situation, and if so he made the right choice. But if you’re treating FB as a useful and pleasant social lubricant and nothing more, you’re fine.

  • KML

    Good read. I gave up FB for Lent this year and last and it was incredibly cleansing and clarifying. Lately, it’s just seemed like a really terrible cocktail party where everyone yells at each other about politics and religion. As someone who struggles greatly with the sin of vanity, it played into a lot of things that were becoming unhealthy for me. I find I’m less and less interested in hopping on there these days.

    • Mark Shea

      Lately, it’s just seemed like a really terrible cocktail party where everyone yells at each other about politics and religion.

      That’s just what HITLER would say! Or the Antichrist Pope Francis the Destroyer!!!!!

      Would you like some brie?