Facebook Counseling

“school or sleep?…tough call…”

“3 beers too many”

“da da da da da…another one bites the dust! seriously. no more engagements!”

“mom keeps riding my tail…how do you get her off your back?”

“alone. lost and alone.”

“how could a good God let Haiti happen? doubts abound…”

Just a cursory glance through your Facebook newsfeed will reveal a cacophony of teenage-angst emotions, regardless of if the average age of your Facebook friends is 15 or 57. In addition to fulfilling the role of stalker, friend-finder, time-suck and photo album, it seems like Facebook has increasingly become a counseling service.

It is now common to solicit personal and sometimes life-changing advice from an essentially random group of acquaintances, comprised of coworkers, classmates, travel buddies, family members, and that-guy-that-you-met-that-one-time. In earlier generations, this sort of advice was sought from a few trusted confidants who knew not only you but also the surrounding situation and could provide counsel based on that knowledge. Now, these decisions are influenced if not wholly made by those who routinely check their newsfeed. (read: those with menial jobs, too much free time, or an iPhone)

This semblance of sharing life with others is little more than a front for authenticity. Posting a series of bad decisions or soliciting advice about the coming series of bad decisions does not make you transparent, or vulnerable, but rather leaves people grasping for true genuine community that can only be found in honest face-to-face or at least voice-to-voice relationships.

Have we so forgotten how to engage with others that a status message in a newsfeed consists of relationship?

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