Ok, I’ve finally given in to the pressures of joining Facebook. For a long time I have been not too sure about such social networking sites – too many people revealing too much sensitive information about themselves, accepting random strangers as friends, its all a bit bizarre.
Dont get me wrong – i am no stranger to online communities or online social networks – I do have a group of people I would regard as friends although many of us have never met face to face. But these are people I have come to know through a common shared interest, have completed tasks together, and as a relationship of trust has been built we have laughed and cried together, and I have ministered to and been ministered to by these people.
In a life of transient accomodation – where children move far away from parents, siblings & friends scatter around the world, move from city to city following careers or educational possibilities, making new friends in new places – the ways in which we make friendships and offer each other support, care and love have had to evolve. From being in touch by phone, then text and email, now VOIP, online gaming and social network sites give us ways in which we can stay in touch and introduce our new friends to our old friends.
But the trend for giving away our complete identity online, of befriending fictional characters and giving complete strangers imediate and often intimate access to our lives, leaves me cold.