Of the many social media options available, Facebook reigns king. What started out as a solution to a student directory at Harvard University now has more than 900 million active users, and has become what some refer to as a national obsession that results in a vast amount of lost time. For many, Facebook has become a tool to network with others who have common interests and mutual friends, or just want to stay in touch.
What’s concerning about Facebook is the potential impact it has on people learning to effectively communicate with each other. For the most part, gone are the days when someone picks up the phone or goes to see somebody to discuss a disagreement.
While many prefer this approach to settling conflict, it’s counter-productive, promotes passive-aggressive behavior and is unhealthy for our society.
What impact will this have on teaching people how to handle conflict? We feel it’s significant, and is essentially making cowards out of many people.
Just like so many things that have come before it, the original carefree, fun-loving intent with which Facebook was created has evolved into a tool that people use to air dirty laundry and spread negativity about others — whether it’s justified or not.
Don’t hide behind a computer when resolving your differences. Try settling it the old-fashion way — talking with someone in person, privately.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.