Facebook – Friend or Foe Posted on December 31st, 2010
Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook has been named the Time Magazine 2010 “Person of The Year.” Do you have a Facebook presence? If so, you are one in twelve people around the world who do. There are 2,915,000 in Russia, 8,176,820 in Brazil and 145,331,660 users in the US. That’s a big deal – for good and bad. For some, Facebook is an inordinate time waster, for others it’s an important way to connect. The seduction of social networking allows people to leave the real world behind, offering the anonymity to reveal their real selves – not always their best selves. Privacy is a big issue and Facebook almost forces one to share too willingly and too compulsively thus violating one’s own privacy. Relationships on Facebook have a seductive, addictive quality that can erode real-life relationships. Friendships multiply at lightning speed and just like a giant pyramid scheme, the amount of energy invested is returned in spades but the outcome is often “empty” and meaningless. In the wake of a Facebook addiction, people have lost jobs, relationships and valuable time. The publication “European Psychiatry” suggests that a Facebook addiction could actually be a diagnosable ailment. Since the year 2000, Americans have scored higher and higher on psychological tests to detect narcissism (abnormal self-involved behavior) which suggests a link to social networking. According to the Society of Matrimonial Lawyers, 81% of its members have seen a rise in the numbers of divorce cases involving social networking. And Facebook is cited by 66% of these lawyers as the primary source of online divorce evidence. Facebook is a painfully blunt instrument for doing the work required in a human relationship. One of my client’s husbands got so caught up in Facebook that he made plans to meet a woman in another state. When he arrived at her home, after a few cocktails, she tied him to the bed and threatened to kill him unless he stayed with her. Another client’s wife carried on with a male Facebook friend for 7 months before announcing to her husband that she wanted a divorce. She found out that the grass was decidedly not green on the other side. According to Edward Pearson M.D., founder of New Medicine Foundation, and an expert in hormone balancing for men and women, addictions of all kinds have their root in hormone imbalance. Testosterone for men, like progesterone for women, can be calming and relaxing. It will be interesting to see how social networking plays out over time. If your family members have Facebook accounts, I suggest you take a look at what they are posting.
Arkansas School Board Official Fesses Up On CNN Posted on October 29th, 2010
Eating crow is the only phrase to describe Clint McCance’s recent confession on CNN. “I am reaping what I have sowed.” These are the words of the contrite school board vice-president in the state of Arkansas who got caught defaming homosexuals and minorities on his Facebook page. But, McCance had the guts to apologize to the nation and the world in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, for his anti-gay comments. Fie and for shame on someone who is an elected school board official and a representative of the community and the children and families he serves. These anti-gay comments have enraged parents, celebrities and other school officials. With the current focus on bullying it is little wonder. McCance like a lot of other people think that Facebook is a great format to air their seedy views without getting caught. Facebook and other internet addictions are apparently surpassing alcohol and drug use in terms of pervasive, galloping popularity. If you think your spouse or family member is making inappropriate postings or spending an inordinate amount of time on Facebook, check it out. Trust is a pivotal component in a relationship and in any family. Find out what your significant other is doing. Check out their Facebook postings and cell phone records. Imagine, as a result of Clint McCance’s ranting, his family is now in jeopardy. Security measures are now in place to protect his wife. No wonder – saying and doing inappropriate things on the internet reaps results – which are not always pretty but are important life lessons for all.