…Marduk-Baladan son of …king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, ... Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.
Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, …“What did [the Babylonians] see in your palace?”
“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. 2 Kings 20:12, et seq.
V’s last post was about Facebook. Stickhorse Cowgirls has a page as do I, personally. Still, it is a source of irritation for me, unlike V, who finds it relaxing (?) or in some way enjoys it enough to use it a bunch. I have family members who do the same. I do well to check one of the pages in a week. Usually it is longer; I have gone months without checking them. Maybe it’s a function of time…
I love the way V advocates for homeless animals and for Alzheimer's Disease on Facebook, and it is the (I guess) equivalent of announcements for accomplishments and other posts that may traditionally have been done by notecards or other written and mailed correspondence. “See our new house,” or “Yea! Jimmy graduated!” for example.
But there is a darker side, having to do with revealing oneself too much—unbidden—to the world; to people who have no connection with the writer (and don’t be fooled by the privacy “guards”). It seems to me that we, like Hezekiah, are opening up our “treasures” to the world in many instances. We seem to keep nothing back any more. I think, just as in the Old Testament times, this can lead to disaster.
I have already written my privacy concerns in an earlier post, but those were concerns about others in essence spying on us. What I am talking about here is when we, like Hezekiah, throw wide the doors to our lives, allowing anyone—even those we don’t know—peeks inside. We don’t even force them to look through the keyholes anymore.
I am not going to point out too many specifics, but folks share things about their feelings and about their family that in times past would have been considered “over the top” for publication. There are some things that are best said directly and only to the object of your affection or your scorn rather than use of the worldwide web. Facebook seems to have softened our sensibilities in this regard.
As a family law attorney, one of the very first things I tell my clients who are embroiled in a nasty fight is “get off Facebook!” They recoil—“Off!!??” Many apparently cannot live without that artificial connection Facebook offers. Sighing, I relent, knowing they are going to use it anyway, and I try to lay down ground rules:
- No posting of your marijuana plants. (Yes, I have had to deal with this).
- No posting of pictures of your illegitimate child from someone other than your wife. (Yes, this, too, comes from my real-life experience on more than one occasion).
- If you have a paramour, tell him/her to leave you out of his/her facebook page. I have found that it is hard to explain to a judge how pictures of you on the beach with your honey mesh with your marital vows.
- Don’t “unfriend” someone because he/she is connected with your soon-t0-be-ex…I have found that “unfriending” someone is some form of cyber revenge or insult "(“She ticked me off, so by golly I’ll fix her—I’ll unfriend her!). So strange, this cyber world… In legal cases, the “unfriending” itself can be a sign that you have something to hide, and your opposition will just redouble efforts to find out. And he/she will be successful. Trust me, there is always someone you did not “unfriend” who will rat you out. Better to just clean it all up.
While we’re talking insults, you have heard that words cannot be retrieved once spoken—think how much more lasting are written words of scorn that are posted for anyone and everyone to see? Yet I see this on Facebook sometimes.
I think that knowing the whole world may have seen an insult makes it hard to forgive and impossible to forget. You need to think long about posting something nasty about your family. I doubt it is ever advisable or appropriate. Better to keep your squabbles to yourselves, don’t you think?
The point is that Facebook seems to inspire in folks a compulsion to share—and share, and share and share ad nauseum. They share stuff that is just remarkably irrelevant to the rest of us (and spend quite a lot of time doing it) and they share stuff (as in the cases cited above) that can do themselves damage. Why? No one asks for it, but, like Hezekiah’s folly, the sharing is extensive.
I submit we are becoming a society where we hold back no treasures. We seem compelled to shout from the rooftops such formerly-private sentiments as how much we love our husbands (Why does anyone need to tell me that? Who is this kind of post really for?) or other things that in the past would never have been shared publicly. Is it good?
As I write this, I know I have to examine myself. I mean, here I am writing to the worldwide web, for crying out loud. I suppose it takes a bit of narcissism to do that to begin with. I mean, it takes a bit of that twist to think anyone out there cares about my opinion, right? So, I want to let you know that I am examining that angle—that I know I run the risk of pointing out specks in the eyes of others while there is a plank in my own. I defend myself by saying that I give a lot of thought to what I write here and it usually has some sort of point to make…is that justification enough? Jury’s out on that one.
I think the real crux is that I am disturbed by the lack of boundaries in our society, and what boundaries that remain are weakening.
We don’t seem to care what we share with others, and we don’t seem to care all that much about what others (Retailers, Government, etc.). know about us through information gathered by myriad cyber-means.
It is a trend I do not think bodes well. But, then, I am an old fogey…C
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. Proverbs 13:3