OUR VIEWS: Facebook has created monsters

Jun 14, 2012


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 news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



You are absolutely right about Facebook being used as a forum for dirty laundry and negative comments. Our simple solution is to block these users. We have worldwide contact with friends and relatives and very much enjoy the contact and pictures that we share.


This article touches many aspects of this new generation....
What was outlined here as a Facebook issue, actually has a more broaden problem this world of electronic techno marvels has created. Rightfully said are gone of the days of pen and pencil and effective ways of handling problems in a personal and direct manner, in are the times of punching a keyboard, hit "enter" and the self satisfaction of making your peace.

It seems many of these electronic marvels start so well intended, but like so much of this world, the well intended are quickly absorbed by the melevalent and dastardly minded.

If we in this new society could but see through the eye's of the worlds populace, that does not have the means or resources to live in the way our society does, can you imagine the look on faces when they see such foolishness from a people who could be so much more than they portray.

I still have hope that one day we can regain our once set of self values as a society, I just hope as history has taught us so many times, that "we are only at our best, when things are at their worst"


Well, from what I have seen this is what the majority of society is heading to like it or not. I personally have seen several people go as far out of their way as possible to avoid conflict in a face to face conversation. Even people who should be speaking from a position of power like a boss just cannot effectively deal with personnel on a face to face level becuase they are scared of conflict. I think this is the way people must be taught in schools now days is to avoid conflict and hide behind screen names vs. connecting with people and having genuine conversations like we used to when I was growning up. Oh well, I guess we always have our memories until we get alheizmers!


Could not agree more. WELL SAID.


I'd argue that Facebook hasn't change me, but I've always been shy and a bit afraid of conflict since I genuinely hate to make people upset. So does that mean I'm just naturally a "monster"? I feel that Facebook (and other sites, such as this one) helps me to get more of a voice, although I do acknowledge the lack of responsibility my generation tends to display on Facebook.

But the reality is that the internet is never going away. What needs to happen is have kids taught early on how to behave online, like how even your digital words can affect others and when it's not appropriate to communicate certain things over the web. Maybe that sounds like an unlikely class subject, but that's how we learn. I'm not sure what it is that separates those who understand rational use of this powerful world of technology and those who don't, but it's unfortunate.


What sort of "friends" are these. My experience with FB, as a tool and an occasional timewaster, has been overwhelmingly positive. I cannot cite one negative dirty laundry forum, rude comment or whatever. Friends recommend interesting articles, offer prayers, upbeat messages, stupid yet funny jokes, and many happy photos from proud parents and grands; I've found many long-lost acquaintances from all over the place. I would never consider settling a conflict on FB. What I find to be troublesome is the constant pull of smart phones and texting that occurs in the midst of what was supposed to be a friendly conversation face to face. BBBBRRRNNNGGG! "i'll need to take this..." This is rude. FB has not created monsters, you're just sharing with the wrong crowd.


Facebook has some real positives however - i.e.finding old friends (or sometimes their finding us) and reconnecting with them when all other searches have failed, keeping up with their lives to some degree through their generic postings which may tell us more than they do, we don't have to respond or interfere, just observe - at a distance...Plus from a time standpoint, we can communicate with many people at once which might be virtually impossible if one-to-one contact was required and we'll know that generally only those who care will be reading our posts...and we have the choice to read/respond or not, we can delete and/or ignore what we don't want to read. And at any time we can deactivate our account if we so choose so that no one can learn anything about us unless they contact us personally or maybe go to the gossip columns elsewhere...


I agree with this!! All these deranged kids get on the facebook spreading negitivity!! We as a community need to come together, face to face and stop the facebook bug from spreading further negitives into our great community!! Come on people, what happened to communicating to each other in a non-passive aggressive way!!


NO......facebook has not created 'monsters'. Facebook users are normal every day people. If someone is a 'monster' because of facebook, I'm betting they would be a 'monster' regardless.....and really, 'monsters'?? Good grief!!


MOMsters is more like it. I would guess it is 85% women on it more than an hour a day. Like they need a free therapist, they air all their dirty laundry (or someone else's) fishing for opinions. If you don't have friends sharing curse words, you really have no friends on FB. The younger generation under the age 35 use curse words almost exclusively. And talk in public about things our parents never did in private- "just have to get this outt there, maybe I can move on"- miscarriage, another miscarriage, no sex for last 6 years, boyfriend is a loser I hate him never want to see him (back w/him in 1 week). Seriously, no one cares. Well, maybe that one BFF.


I MeanSmith, agree with this 100%!!!


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