The Social Network
I can’t believe I did it. After telling people for months I never would, I set up a Facebook account yesterday. This has prompted one of my friends to say the end of the world must be near. What can I say?
My resistance to Facebook has been what I perceive to be its impersonal nature. There are still things I don’t like about it but I can’t deny that the social network of our society now includes things like Facebook. I’ve actually been in meetings of large groups and discovered that I was the only person there who didn’t have a Facebook account. I finally gave in and we’ll see what happens.
Most animals that God created are social by nature. I know there are some creatures that tend to like the solitary life but it is far more common to see animals in groups. This is important for survival and also so that important lessons can be passed down from one generation to the next.
Communication between species is quite fascinating. At various times I’ve read books on how whales, wolves, bears, ravens and a number of other creatures “talk” to one another. This communication is vital for the animals health, welfare, and general well-being. The ability to communicate with other members of one’s species can be a matter of life and death.
Of all God’s creatures humans may be the most social. Hermits are a rarity. Most of us live in a world filled with people; we have little choice but to interact with others. That does not necessarily imply, however, that there is always a good line of communication. Good communication skills must be worked on and developed. I don’t know if Facebook helps in this area but I hope that it does. Like other animals, our health, welfare and general well-being as a species is closely tied with our ability to communicate with others of our kind.
Since it is my belief that God placed humans on earth to be good stewards of Creation I will take all of this one step further and say that we must also learn to listen to what other species have to say as well. No, I’m not implying that we should all become Dr. Doolittles and talk to the animals. I just think we should pay more attention to the other species that share this planet with us. By watching and listening we may discover ways we can be better stewards of Creation. By watching and listening, we may even come to learn a thing or two from our “other neighbors” that will benefit our lives. Perhaps it’s time we expanded the social network to include all of God’s Creation.
(In the top image thousands of snow geese “flock” together at Bosque del Apache NWR. In the bottom image a group of bison cross a river in Yellowstone National Park.)