The Bishop Wants To Be My Friend

by mraynes

…Or at least he wants to be my facebook friend.  The request came through last night and it has left me rather conflicted.

On the one hand, I really like my bishop.  He hasn’t been bishop very long but he has always been friendly.  He often says nice things about my babies which is always a sure way into my good graces.  His family lives directly behind us and they have graciously put up with the lovely screaming phase my Monster is in right now.  That is, I’m almost positive it wasn’t them who called the police on us.  Also, his youngest daughter is my favorite babysitter.

On the other hand, by adding him as a facebook friend, I give him a direct link to my personal blog and then to this blog.  I have not written anything at either place that would get me in trouble but I wonder if giving him access would have a censoring effect.  I feel that I already self-censor a good deal but I would hate to shy away from writing about difficult topics for fear that I’ll get called into the Bishop’s office.

Now I may be humoring myself that he would even care.  Also, my bishop might already know about my personal blog as it seems to be a pretty open secret among the ward.  (Thank, Mom!)

So what would you do?  How do you deal with new technology changing your interpersonal relationships?

Mraynes

Mraynes lives in downtown Denver with her husband and four children. She spends her time lobbying at the Colorado Legislature, managing all the things and preparing Gospel Doctrine lessons.

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  1. makakona says:

    change your privacy settings so that he can only see a limited facebook profile!

  2. Jana says:

    You can “friend” people and limit what they can see on your FB profile. I’ve done that a few times with students or acquaintances.

    But I’m all for letting it all show to whoever wants to see my online presence. It’s probably been a bit of a shocker for my extended family to discover my rather extensive online life, but I’m not too worried about it.

  3. Caroline says:

    You can always accept him as a friend – so as to not hurt his feelings – and then quickly unfriend him. He may never even realize he’s been unfriended if he has lots of friends on facebook. (You can see the lengths I go to be non-confrontational at times…. probably not healthy.)

  4. Jana says:

    Ok Caroline, I just went and confirmed that you’re still my FB friend. I was feeling rather paranoid there for a minute… 🙂

  5. Jessawhy says:

    Mraynes,
    One of the issues here is privacy, another is integrity. Obviously we can’t be super-anonymous on the internet, especially here at Exponent with our faces on the sidebar! But, we also have to reconcile within ourselves what we believe in and stay true to that in all circumstances.

    My bishop (who is probably going to release me from cub scouts tonight, because I asked), has a lot of integrity. Every year he and his wife watch all of the movies nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture, even if they’re rated R. He was just called as bishop a few weeks ago and that hasn’t changed. I think that’s integrity. (Perhaps not as it’s taught in YW’s lessons).

    But, as for his desire to read your blog, or the amount of time he could actually spend doing it, I don’t know. I imagine bishops don’t have that kind of time, but maybe they do. We’ve had a few commenting around here.

  6. Anita says:

    we have a whole ward group on FB now, with about 50 members. provides TMI sometimes, but also a good way to keep in touch with everyone. the bishop hasn’t joined yet…

  7. Ann says:

    I’m married to our ward’s bishop, and we both have facebook friended many people in the ward and especially the youth. It provides a place for the hallway chitchat that we might have missed.
    As Bishop, you’re under such sucritiny that the worry is for the other way around: that you as a ward member, may see something on HIS profile or in HIS interactions w/people that you don’t like! And I agree with the comment that he probably doesn’t have time to do too much facebooking.
    Another bishop in our stake facebooks everyone in his ward a lot… it’s his way of staying in touch b/c he travels extensively.

  8. mraynes says:

    Thanks for the tips, guys! I had no idea that there was such a thing as limiting my profile; it’s good to have an in with technologically intelligent people. On further reflection, I don’t think I will limit my profile, I am who I am and I need to work on being more open with people. This will be a good exercise for me. Thanks for letting me have a momentary freakout.

  9. Katherine says:

    One of my friends was called into her bishop’s office because he was “concerned” about her after reading her blog. She was not happy about that.

  10. jks says:

    I’m just not comfortable opening the door to so many people to potentially stalk me. I’ll accept friendships of family or actual friends. Acquaintances?
    Maybe he feels like he “should” put all the ward people on his friends list so he doesn’t exclude people.
    Personally, I would turn it down. I think it is inapropriate to feel obligated to be facebook friends with someone.

  11. Kiri Close says:

    just don’t add him. period.

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