With respect you are wrong; these guidelines are for Clergy - Clergy like it or not have a tremendous influence and have guidliness is a correct action, however I think these guidlines a little extreme
Anonymous #1 clearly has no respect for elders. We have an aging presbyterate and episcopate, so yes, as you put it, some of them -have- been 'under a rock' since the internet age. The attempt to bring in some guidelines is a sign that they are attempting to grapple with some of the issues in the rapidly changing online world. And if you think only old fogies need such 'absurd dictates' to assist them in their online activities, have a look at the wild indiscretions (to put it euphemistically) chronicled on Failbook-- I think you'll find the vast majority of those are committed by younger people who've been online since grade school.
How I wish it were as simple as saying "everybody use common sense"! That doesn't seem to have been enough for some of our clergy to set good offline boundaries, so there's no reason it should be any different for the online world.
These guidelines have some good points and have identified some of the problem areas. As they stand, they do seem overly detailed, perhaps impractical, and likely to be quickly outdated. But the attempt is laudable and can hopefully be fine-tuned in time to come.
We see here a sign of the crisis of identity in Orthodox clergy: are they "above" as in Latin Papal polity? Are they set apart for service as in our Apostles' guidelines being those who serve and are not "served"? Let us
return to the Lord's "guidelines": serve as the least of those whom you serve, yet do not disdain (or let anyone else) the gifts given for that service. Christ is after all, the Chief Shepherd of His Church.
Presbytera Irene (Anonymust)
It would be good for the guidelines to be "generalized" and some of the issues to be clarified to allow for new media to develop; as pointed out elsewhere, "friending" is not as black and white as it once was especially with the advent of Google+ and the features Facebook introduced to respond.
However, it seems absolutely essential to have guidelines. Best practice requires every school, non-profit, corporation, etc. to have policies related to these social media.
There is a disingenuous quality to this priest's commentary in that I could easily argue, history such as it is, that when an "incident" occurs, and Lord knows it will, Orthodox Christians feel no obligation to "settle differences" (Matt. 2:25), but rush to the "Narcississtic Orthodox American" translation of Acts 19:38, "Lawyer up." This, then, leads to those I-live-my-life-for-these-moments shout, "J'accuse!" commencing the "collateral" litigation of "It's the 21st century and you don't have a policy?"
The internet poses a form of "communication" without precedent; near instantaneous exchanges with as much or as little social constraint as you alone choose. Absurd, offensive, "passion-driven" thoughts pass through our minds constantly, driven by a fractured world that renounces peace, but where face-to-face communication invokes innate "filters" which (should) constrain impulse from ever reaching action. But the internet provides an impenetrable cover of "anonymity" (the new "darkness over the surface of the deep") that, supposedly is motivated by a righteous "fear of reprisal," in reality is anything but. Darkness emboldens false "standing" and authority based on "half the story" or the lack impunity which suggest that the "whole story" is none of my business. This is the old hacker ethic that maintains "if the information exists, and you don't prevent me, I "deserve" it." And should you not encrypt everything, somebody, somehow will post it as fodder for those who savor the finding, "Aha!. Vladyka has the money to by "aged" cheddar cheese!" Such is cowardice born, and sadly it erodes a threshold where "audacity," "shame," and "outrageousness" are no longer useful measures of conduct. Worst of all to me is that even death has transformed "your blessed memory" into your most vulnerable moment; a time for de rigueur "forensic autoposy," where the scurrilous shamelessly dine on your guts.
Is the policy naive, "post fact," outdated? Sure. It needs help. But it is a start, and it is a statement that - if it does noting else - might give one pause. There is a reason that the most frequent searches of Google include, "How do I recall an email?" and "How do I erase a post I made to a blog."
Where is it required that an Orthodox priest, monk or not, must look like some Russian DP from the century before personal hygiene was invented? If the guy is dropping big bucks on monthly spa treatments and hairstylists to the stars, maybe he should discuss the difference between good grooming and vanity with his spiritual father. Otherwise, what's the big deal? Maybe he got tired of finding dried humus berries and spinach leaves in there. Maybe he wants to show people they CAN be part of this world while not being of it.
When Orthodox men start worrying about imitating Jesus' heart and mind (HARD work!) instead of his hair and beard styles (NO work), maybe something good will happen.....
BTW, I don't have a Facebook account,so I can't see who or what you're talking about. I can imagine a dozen things or more that would make a Facebook picture disgraceful.. a trimmed beard isn't one of them.
This is a man who for most the 20 years I have known him has been more fringe Synod than Synod so perhaps he's just covering all his bases or perhaps that's what works since unification yes, truth sadly be told we are talking about an American "priest monk".