Take your pick. either one used improperly can kill ya (metaphorically, of course, regarding the former). Both of my son’s can handle, load, and discharge my Remington 11-87 safely and accurately, but not without first having received instruction, safety training and coaching. Guns can be used safely and so can Facebook. Facebook doesn’t kill people, people kill people. I love technology – i wish Mobil still had the drive-up device that simply debited my bank account via an electronic gizmo secured in my back window! If I have any issue with technology, its this: its rise is simultaneous with the moral decline of our culture. In an age where morality is considered relative, contexts like Facebook and Myspace that require a moral code to be used responsibly, become accidents waiting to happen. Although some accidents make for good learning experiences, my goal with my 11-87 is zero accidents. I think we should have the same goal with Facebook.
Admitting, in advance, that my handling of the subject is doomed for a certain degree of superficiality here…let me offer two pieces of advice based on the first two rules of gun safety. Numero uno: Assume the gun is always loaded. An alarming percentage of accidental gun mishaps are accompanied by a statement like this, “I didn’t think it was loaded!” E.G. Bulwer-Lytton, in his play, Richilieu (1839) wrote, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Maybe the most important thing is to remember that our words have an enormous potential. Scripture says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” (Proverbs 18:21, NLT). Our Facebook pages are loaded. We can do great things or we can hurt people…including ourselves. When you load up your page remember, it’s loaded.
Gun rule numero dos: Always point a gun in a safe direction. For gun enthusiasts that means one of only three directions…at the ground, down-range, or at the target. For Facebook enthusiasts I think it’s slightly more complicated. It’s not as easy to know precisely where you are aiming. And in some cases (maybe many cases) someone else can aim your gun, or worse, redirect your bullet. Yikes. (and to further exhaust an already tired metaphor…once the bullet leaves the gun, you cannot get it back) When you joke, gossip (a character issue, not a Facebook issue), judge, wax eloquent, correct, divulge, inquire, admit, etc, etc…don’t assume, even if it is your intention, that it is a private matter. Your words/bullet will more than likely find it’s way to your target, but also beyond. And although it may harmlessly pass beyond your intended recipient it could actually pick up momentum and ultimately and devastatingly lodge in the flesh of someone you didn’t even realize was within range.
So, it boils down to this: Facebook is a loaded gun and deceptively difficult to aim. Fire when, and only when, ready. Next week on Gun Tips With Mike we’ll talk about Ammo. What are you puttin’ in that gun?
FYI: Justin found this article.