Choose Your [Facebook] Friends Wisely

Facebook

“Choose your friends wisely” I can still hear my mother’s voice saying this many years ago as I would head off to school each day. Her advice is similar to the words of Solomon, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20 ESV. Like Solomon, my mother knew that I would begin to look, act, and sound like the people who I spent the most time with.

My mother spoke these words to me long before the advent of social media… she was speaking of my ‘real’ friends in the ‘real’ world. But, what about today’s new ‘virtual’ world of Facebook and Twitter? Should we apply the same advice to our online activities? The answer, I think, is obvious.

The BreakingFree Blog has an excellent post today titled 5 Facebook Friends You Don’t Want. The temptation on social networking sites to accumulate as many friends as possible is very temping…. but is this wise?

As the title of the post suggests there are at least 5 types of Facebook friends you don’t (or shouldn’t) want:

  1. Former girlfriends
  2. Friends who like to excessively chat
  3. Friends with immodest pictures
  4. Friends who use profanity
  5. Friends who are flirty

Refusing a friend request may seem harsh. Unfriending someone may even seem downright ‘unchristian.’ However, when you consider the sage advice of Solomon “the companion of fools will suffer harm” Proverbs 13:20b ESV, choosing your Facebook friends wisely may save you from the painful ‘real’ world consequences of failing to tread wisely online.

You can read the entire article on the BreakingFree Blog here.

What do you think? Too draconian or good advice? Let us know in the comments.

4 comments

  1. I’ve had to unfriend a few longtime acquaintances for the some of the above reasons.

    On a side note, I’m careful accepting friend requests in general, especially if they are from someone I already thought was in my list. A stranger can create an account with the same name and picture as your friend and send you a request. Most people will automatically re-add someone they know, assuming that they never added the person or the person had to create a new account for some reason. It’s a quick way to give a stranger escalated access to your content.

    One more thing: Check out Facebook Purity, a plugin for Chome, Safari, Opera, and FF. It lets you customize what you see on FB, including removal of adds and the suggested friends list.

    • Very interesting… I will check out Facebook Purity. I use the AdBlock plugin for the Chrome browser… it blocks 99.9% of ads on the web including Facebook. It works great.

  2. If we’re not friending people who use profanity, our friend list will probably be limited to our grandparents. Rather, instead of taking drastic (and yes draconian–lol!) measures to keep our e-profile pure, use facebooks subscription feature and facebook’s privacy features to limit who gets to do what on your profile. Google plus does a better job doing this with circles, but until Facebook figures out a way to implement that, we just have to be in-the-know about those features. And instead of denying a friend who likes to chat, just avoid using the chat feature. You can easily sign out of it or install a helpful no-script plugin for your browser so that resources aren’t being used by that monster of a thing.

    I’ve found that some of the people who do the most damage on FB aren’t the cussers or the chatty, but the Christians who love to facebrag. ::shudder::

    • Rey: I do agree with you. The point of my post is really to get Christians to think about their online activities… and not to be afraid to take the steps that they need to take. Unfriending someone is clearly the most drastic step, but it is also the easiest step for most Facebook users (technically speaking, not emotionally). The vast majority of fb users have no clue how to install plugins (let alone find them) or how to set the various fb privacy features. Those ‘features’ are very confusing and constantly changing.

      You’re right the key is to be “in-the-know about those features” and then to use them! It is worth the time to figure it out. Sounds like a great idea for a series of posts on Digital Sojourner 🙂