Can too much connection be a bad thing?

There was a time when people connected on a more personal level.  If I wanted to talk to someone I called them, or went to see them.

I use to write letters, and look forward to hearing back.  To me there is something very special about holding a letter in your hands that someone else took the time to write and send.  I imagine that is why so many people hold on to letters for so long.

The connection was more intimate, and special.

Now I am on Facebook.  All my posts are seen by all in my very large circle.  I see everything that everyone posts and they see everything that I post.  In person I might not bring up my differences with someone, but on Facebook the differences are right there on the news feed.  This has fueled disputes between people, people with whom relationships may have been fine under the old standard.

The old flame who may have remained a memory is on Facebook.  Your crazy cousin, your pastor, your drinking buddies from college, and your boss all intermingling on your feed and your comments.  Throw in a few kids, and that is a pretty unique mix.

If you ask me, save new rules of etiquette, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

Facebook has been increasingly cited in divorces and breakups.  It is now cited in 20% of divorce cases, and I suspect the number where Facebook has had a negative impact could be far higher.  There are stories of its negative impact on employment, dating, families, marriage, college, background checks, and nothing online is ever really private.

While it has the power to connect people, it equally has the power to divide people.  It does divide people.  A large part of my return to blogging was the wish to speak my mid and connect without offending the Facebook crowd.  Yes, this blog is connected to my Facebook account, but you need to press the link to get here.

I don’t believe we should all suspend our Facebook accounts.  I do think it would be a great thing if we brought back some of those old intimacies that served so well to remind others that they are special.  Reading a script on an electronic screen is no substitute for hearing someones voice.  How many times have people taken that wrong?  Take time to actually see each other face to face.  We are not profiles, we are people.

Facebook is part of our lives, but it is an abstract.