Lately I’ve been thinking about family and about Facebook. I don’t like Facebook a lot. I won’t tell you my name as I wish to remain anonymous on this site, and I can tell you that you will not find my site on Facebook, but I will tell you that Facebook is very public. Though you can control privacy settings, the site by and large encourages publicity where possible. Also, when you join Facebook, your family invariably gets in involved and nags you into adding them as friends by virtue of being family, and I don’t like family being involved in social life.
Family to me means you get nurtured for about 20 years (maybe more, maybe less), but you have to live with to live with the invasive and coercive tendencies of family members, and for a lot of your life in family, unless you’re lucky or resistant enough, your family imposes its ways on you and there’s little you can do until you finally leave the nest. And I have little faith in my family accepting me for all that I am just because I’m in it, but that’s probably just my family. Also, family has often been very much an excuse for people in family members to be completely crappy to other family members, get away with doing stupid shit, and generally bypassing right and wrong, and then afterwards the family acts like nothing ever happened. I guess is what happens when we allow family as an ideal to come before morality, ethics, or character. Maybe this isn’t true when you’re a kid, because as a kid obedience is encouraged, but when you’re older you get away with being a complete asshole.
Family to me is almost meaningless next to right and wrong, which I have always place above family, not below. If a someone related to me is a total douchebag, then the fact that we share genes or blood is worthless to me. And you’ll be amazed how I can morally hold a grudge against someone even though the someone is family. The only reason I would ever take family seriously is if either my basic self-interest is fulfilled through it or if we’re doing anything special that I’d want to be a part of (usually involving food).
To be honest, Facebook is of little interest to me because I can’t really express myself much worrying about it being noticed by family members and other people I remember as authority figures, and some of these family members (like my sister) act like I shouldn’t have a life outside of family and they obviously don’t understand my interests that well (which is often the reason I almost never talk about my interests with them). If only there was an alternative that was like Facebook, but not nearly as public and you can’t add family members, that way you’re free to be yourself without family in a social networking medium (I know there’s Twitter bit let’s face it, it’s basically microblogging, and lots of us like more than that).