A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Five Rules for Facebook

While I’ve never been reluctant to use the Interwebs for everything from employment to entertainment to education, I’ll admit that I was initially very slow when it came to adopting the use of social networking. I had a bunch of excuses, but the fact was that it just another area in my life where I was resisting being open and sharing. Once I pulled my head out of my a…the sand and realized that I was missing a huge opportunity because of fear, I took the plunge and joined facebook.

Y'know, I think a more honest name for the site would be 'postblahblahblah' right?

Try not to judge too harshly, but I found those first few months of poking and posting to be kind of stupid. After sharing my pictures, playing the games, and trying the features, I realized that in order to use facebook in a way that would be representative of my life and values, while still being an effective tool for connecting and communicating with friends near and far, I was going to have to set a few ground-rules.

Now, obviously, these are my rules for using facebook. This is what I’ve come up with so far based on my experiences with social networking in general and facebook in specific. I’m not expecting everyone to adopt, or even respect them, but they work for me.

  • Rule #1 – Friend People You’ve Actually Met. Currently, around 98% of the people I’ve friended on facebook are individuals that I have spent face-to-face time with. Usually, that means more than 24 cumulative hours together at one time or another. If the current trend continues, that percentage will only go up, because exceptions to this rule are very rare and special, or they’ve been grandfathered in since it’s been enacted. Before I call you friend online, I want you to be one in real life.
  • Rule #2 – Don’t Friend the Opposite Sex Lightly. As a general rule, I don’t initiate online connections with single women or the wives of other men. If I do, I’m being intentional as to why I’m making the connection, and my wife knows about it ahead of time. If a woman  tries to friend me on facebook, I make my wife aware of it and she has veto power over my friend list (which she hardly ever uses). Giving my wife that much access has built trust, and helped me to avoid future issues with impropriety.
  • Rule #3 – Don’t Play Games. Facebook is already a drain on my productivity. I will not make it worse by farming for virtual crops or building virtual homes. Apart from an occasional evening on an MMO, playing games is something I do face-to-face with my family or with friends. Note: When I receive a game request on facebook, I actually do click it. Once I can navigate to the game’s application page, I can block it, and I never have to see it again. So, keep sending those requests.
  • Rule #4 – Ignore Chain Posts. At least twice a day, some picture or post will pop up in my facebook feed that all but commands me to like it or share it if I agree with the sentiment (i.e. “Share this if you have the best daughter in the world!”, or whatever.). No, thank you. I think my faith, ideology, family and life all deserve more thought and depth, and if I share something about any of those it will be crafted by me. (Unless I find it incredibly inspiring…or very, very clever and funny. Anyway, moving on…)
  • Rule #5 – Share With Care. I always try to be honest and real when I write something on the Interwebs, whether it’s here at ABiM for the entire world to see, or if it’s just to my friends on facebook. However, my good judgement only extends so far. So, I try to run everything I post or share through a few extra filters before it goes public.
    – Would I hang this on my office wall at home? Where the kids can see or read it?
    – Could I hang it at work? Would it reflect well on my career?
    – Would my wife approve of it? (I’ve asked her directly, at times.)
    – Would my Mom approve of it? (That’s actually a really bad filter, though.)
    There have been times each of those filters have kept me from posting something questionable. Especially my wife. (She kept me from goring a particular sacred cow on facebook last year, and I thank her for it.)  Of course, there have also been times when all of those filters have said “Don’t!” and I decided I needed to do it anyway.

And those are my core rules when it comes to facebook. (There are one or two other cursory rules that I use, but they’re conditional and not important here.) Obviously, each social networking option has different hurdles and struggles. Some of these rules aren’t applicable to twitter, for example, and even Google+ doesn’t quite work the same. It’s important, though, to always set some guidelines. You have a family, career and future to watch over.

What rules do you follow when you’re online? Which social networks do you use, and how do you use them? 

[Image Credit, slightly modified]

December 3, 2012 Posted by | Marriage and Family, Past and Future | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Quick Hits of the Week

  • Comfort is a big idol in our home. A lot of the decisions I’ve made have been swayed by how uncomfortable the choices were going to be. That meant our home was uninviting for a long time, because I don’t like to be surrounded with a lot of people or noise. It also meant that I avoided opportunities to lead others, because I’m uncomfortable being responsible for anyone other than myself. Of course, that meant that I missed out on a number of chances to grow and learn and find purpose in my life, because the really important things in life all happen when you’re outside of your comfort zone, and Michael Hyatt wants to encourage all of us to visit there more frequently. So next time a tough decision comes up, I need to be willing to choose the option that makes me the least comfortable. You should, too.
  • We only have a television to watch an occasional movie or to play the Wii, so we don’t have cable and we don’t use an antenna. (An antenna? Really? Are we back in the 80’s?) That means we haven’t watched any of this year’s  Olympic games. Even so, there is no way I could have missed Michael Phelps huge achievement. Fact: He’s earned one medal more than Argentina has in its 112-year Olympic history. Want to know more? Here are 21 other astonishing facts about this astonishing young man and his 22 medals.
  • Based on what I’ve read so far, I find myself liking Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. He seems like a stand-up guy who is actually working to change the culture of the Anaheim city government in such a way that encourages kindness, service and freedom. He and Newark Mayor Cory Booker should get together and create a how-to series on city leadership. Unfortunately, Mayor Tait’s efforts don’t appear to have filtered down to the Anaheim PD quickly enough. It will be interesting to see his short-term and long-term responses to the situation surrounding the protests. I pray that he finds the wisdom and courage he needs as he goes forward.
  • Allow me to be mean for a few seconds here. I want you to take a few moments and really evaluate the friends that you spend the most time with. Are they the kind of people that you want to be like, or are they just a bunch of losers that are fun to be around? You will be the average of your five closest friends, so it’s important that you’re spending time with the right people. Think about your life as an exclusive club. The people and activities you let past the red velvet rope at the door need to be helping you set the atmosphere you want inside. Keep the negative influences out, and implement strategies to bounce them out when they sneak in. Kick the losers out like Dalton at the Double Deuce.

Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up. First person to identify the movie reference above will receive an official Bodey-Bonus-Buck worth absolutely nothing, and my gratitude for actually paying attention. Thanks.

August 9, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Quick Hits of the Week

Quick Hits of the Week

  • It’s Summer, which means that our kids have spent a week or two at Vacation Bible School of one type or another. Churches will usually sponsor a VBS as a safe and feel good option for parents to deposit their children while school is out. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I wonder if something more community focused would be better. Over at Lenore Skenazy’s Free-Range Kids, she shares the story about a couple of moms that created a successful camp in the streets and homes of their neighborhood. It’s a great idea, and I hope to see more people (including churches) organize similar events. Also, let me just say, if you’re a pastor to children or young adults, you should be reading and incorporating the ideas introduced at Free-Range Kids. We need to take the fear out of  our parenting.
  • Short-term mission trips have exploded in the US, but that has meant a steep learning curve for the organizations who coordinate them. Dan King covers all of this ground extremely well as he explains why you shouldn’t build a house (or a well) on your next mission trip. The bottom line is that missionaries need to be improving lives in every way, but handouts seldom lead to long term improvement. A well is of no use to their community if no one knows how to fix it when it breaks.

Is there something valuable or important or cool or funny or weird or awesome out there I missed this week? I can’t hit it all, but you should let me know about it by dropping me a line or sharing it in the comments below! I’d appreciate the heads up.

July 5, 2012 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments