Facebook's Impact on Adult Couples Essay

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¶ … Adult Couples

Could Be True: Facebook and Infidelity

There are a number of literary devices used by the author of Facebook: Internet Highway to Hell, which was written by Anthea Butler and first appeared online in November of 2010 in Religion Dispatches. This article is largely an opinion-based editorial (which most people call blogs) about a Reverend who told members of his church to delete their Facebook accounts by the time of their next church gathering, or else they would have to be forced to leave the church. The reverend, Cedric A. Miller, claimed that frequent use of Facebook was causing problems with married couples staying faithful to one another. Butler uses a fair amount of wit and humor to mostly poke fun at Miller and what very well may be a serious situation. The author mostly utilizes sarcasm to show that she actually does not believe that this issue is a serious subject, and that she does not agree with the reverend's opinion that the use of this social networking site is causing commitments between married couples to fail.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Facebook's Impact on Adult Couples Assignment

Butler's intended audience is obviously liberal thinkers whose opinion on this subject matter would be extremely similar to hers. This point is made clear fairly early on, largely due to the fact that the author does not seem to be worried about offending others who may agree with the reverend or who believe in religious faith to the point that they would be offended by her making fun of this situation. This element of ethos is used by the author to not only align herself with other like-minded thinkers, but also to subtly tease those who may not be of the same opinion. The following quotation shows a strong element of ethos by using sarcasm to emphasize this point. "So I am not surprised that the pastor is demanding all of his leadership cease and desist from Facebook. After all, looking up an old flame or your teenage dream a la Katy Perry is just the first step down the road to perdition -- especially if your home life isn't exactly what it used to be. The fact that Butler is being extremely sarcastic in this quote is plainly evident. If she truly thought that finding a past crush or previous lover was the first step to hell ("perdition"), her tone of voice in writing this statement would not be as playful as it is. Her use of understatement in the final clause of the quotation, it which she sarcastically agrees with the reverend that going on Facebook will lead to hell -- emphasizes the sarcasm which appears throughout the entire article. Lastly, it should be realized that the reverend told his members to stop using Facebook because of its effect on their marriages. He never said anything about them going to hell. But Butler did, to use sarcasm in order to win readers to her side of the ethos involved in this argument.

In addition to a liberal supply of sarcasm and ethos in Facebook: Internet Highway to Hell, Butler also manages to add a healthy amount of logos to aid in her overall conviction about this particular topic. She provides some background information regarding the thoughts of church leaders (and of Christian churches, in particular, and various forms of media. By doing so, the author is able to cleverly reason with readers that this sort of situation -- in which church officials condemn some popular act enjoyed by the public, has actually occurred in the past over and over again. The following quotation shows how the author uses logos in another sarcastic sense to distance the reader from the reverend's side and to get him or her to side with Butler. "Miller's admonition may be surprising to some (he claims not to care what the public thinks) but this is actually an old theme in fundamentalist and conservative churches. Any sort of media, movies, television, radio, dancing was seen to be sinful, drawing Christians away from their fist love: Jesus. What Butler is implying with this quotation is the fact that the condemnation of Facebook (and social media in general) is just the latest in a long line of sources of church frenzy that church officials have stated is harmful to their followers. Readers who know eve a little bit of history should be aware that there is a lot of truth (and therefore logic) in this statement. However, the author is still sarcastic in the fact that she says such media separates Christians from their "first love" -- which is, of course, Christ. This touch of sarcasm at the end (since the term first love is typically used to refer to an elementary or teenage crush) helps to reinforce the logos used in this passage, all of which helps convince the reader the reverend may have been overly dramatic in his opinion of Facebook's effect on the fidelity of young married couples.

Butler is also able to utilize the element of pathos to convince the reader of her point that Facebook is not in fact a horrendous activity which will cause couples to separate. To do so, she references a number of occurrences that truly are negative, and which can produce reactions of sympathy in her readers. The following quotation shows how the author employs pathos, with just a tiny bit of sarcasm, to persuade readers to her subtly stated opinion on this subject. "What is interesting to me is that the conservative Christian cry used to be stop watching porn on the internet, or that your kids would be pimped out on the internet by perverts. Now, social media has become the latest "sinful" activity." In this quotation, the author mentions a couple of instances of truly bad uses of the internet. Virtually nobody would want their children to watch pornography on the internet; in fact, such an occurrence is a very actually, likely possibility of taking place with this technology. Similarly, the threat of children being seduced and sexually involved by people with suspect intentions, "pimped out" by "perverts," is another actual possibility. Yet she contrasts these very credible threats with the possibility that using Facebook could cause couples to become unfaithful. While the first two images of logos used are actually illegal activities, being unfaithful to one's spouse is not illegal. The fact that she describes the lack of faith in this passage as being "sinful," putting the word in quotations, shows her doubts as to how valid it is to categorize this activity with the two previous, which truly evoke sympathy in the reader. This touch of sarcasm, the putting of sinful in quotes, alerts the reader to the fact that the author does not believe being unfaithful to a spouse is as bad as children being sexually perverted, and that her opinon is not in agreement with the Reverend's.

In conclusion, Anthea Butler uses large amounts of sarcasm to influence the reader's opinion away from that of Reverend Miller and in agreement with her own regarding the issue of Facebook influencing young, married couple to be unfaithful with one another. The author uses ethos to align the reader's values with her own regarding the seriousness (which was greatly over exaggerated) with which she considers this matter. She also utilized logos to demonstrate that such occurrences of religious figures condemning popular media have been done before, and that the reverend's disapproval of Facebook is just continuing this trend. Lastly, she used pathos to persuade the reader that cheating on one's spouse with Facebook is not such a bad use of the internet when compared to child molestation. All of these arguments were fairly convincing, especially when one considers the witty, sarcastic tone in which Butler wrote Facebook: Internet Highway to Hell. The very title actually suggests that she is going to make fun of this topic, and that she does not agree with the Reverend's opinion or degree of seriousness with which he addresses this matter.

Facebook: Internet Highway to Hell

Post by ANTHEA BUTLER nov 17, 2010 12:34 P.M.

The Rev. Cedric A. Miller, Senior pastor at Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune NJ, has instructed his married church leaders to get off of Facebook by this coming Sunday.

Citing too many counseling sessions about marriage problems and infidelity, Rev Miller refers to many members "Christless past" as causing issues in their marriages as they peruse Facebook's greener pastures.

Miller's admonition may be surprising to some (he claims not to care what the public thinks) but this is actually an old theme in fundamentalist and conservative churches. Any sort of media, movies, television, radio, dancing was seen to be sinful, drawing Christians away from their first love: Jesus. So I am not surprised that the pastor is demanding all of his leadership cease and desist from Facebook. After all, looking up an old flame or your teenage dream a la Katy Perry is just the first step down the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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