It seems that there is starting to be a groundswell of, shall we say, “concern” around the use of Facebook. Most of this has to do with the privacy issues, but I think some of it also has to do with the independent spirit of those on the front edge of the Internet. Just as a backlash against Microsoft has led to the Linux/Firefox/OpenOffice user, I think we are starting to see a Facebook backlash. No one likes to be told what to do – the Internet was built on open standards and Facebook (just as Microsoft did) is trying to become the standard.
There are a range of reactions to the current situation from the “digital elite”. Some are canceling their accounts. Others giving up and opening up their privacy settings to be as public as possible. I personally have not taken any action – yet – but I am starting to understand the concerns.
We all will have to make our decisions about what we will do with our personal Facebook accounts. But a bigger question that concerns me much more is how churches and ministries respond. Many ministries (such as Lifechurch) have begun to heavily commit to using Facebook. I am working with two organizations right now who are considering heavy work inside of Facebook. I, myself, keep this blog as a page on Facebook. But if you do heavily use Facebook, what does that imply? If the “medium is the message”, are we then giving implicit approval to the use of Facebook and its terms of service? And if our use of Facebook encourages people to create accounts and/or begin using Facebook more, should that concern us?
So, will this all blow over? Just as Facebook was starting to be seen as more important than Google, will its decline begin? What do you think? What will your church or ministry do?