I’ve taken a little break from Facebook lately. I’ll pop on two or three times a week to check my notifications, upload pictures or check out funny links my friends have posted. But I stay well away from the “News Feed.” Why you may ask? Because it makes my blood boil.
Since I first joined Facebook years ago I’ve always wondered what the point of a status update was. I like it for spreading news like “Omg, I’m preggers! Super excited” or “I just got a sweet promotion at work help me celebrate this evening, text me!” Things like that made sense to me. But then it started getting ridiculous. “I just ate a sandwich! Go me! Lol!” or “I’m going to the bathroom! Here’s a pic!” That’s when I started to wonder what the hell was happening. I don’t care that you just had lunch and are now going to take a crap. What alarmed me more was the pictures of people on the toilet…and them actually posting the picture. I love my friends but I sure don’t need to see them in the bathroom. Now status updates have gone from ridiculous to politically charged. I expected that during elections and what not, but it’s sort of seemed to stay the same since elections are over. Everyone has made Facebook their own personal soapbox.
I get it, it’s your Facebook page, post what you want. I’ve posted political stuff and I post links to my blog there, which can ruffle feathers sometimes. But you can’t get mad if what you post causes people to challenge you because it’s a pretty public forum now and most of the people who are liable to comment are your friends. And aren’t the friends commenting on your stuff ones you’ve approved or “friended” anyway, shouldn’t they be allowed to voice their opinion even if it differs from yours?
I got into a conversation with my dad about intent on Facebook. He was objecting to some things he saw on Facebook because he felt the intent of them was hostile or attempting to rub an opinion in someone’s face. I had to question that, because unless you tag someone specifically you can’t say who it was truly meant for. What’s more you can’t read someones intent simply because they hit the Post button. Especially if you haven’t had an actual conversation with them in many years, which is often the case with Facebook friends.
Maybe they’re trying to enlighten people, maybe they enjoyed a quote, maybe they liked the picture and decided to share it with the people they care about. I can honestly say that most of the stuff I posted on Facebook that had the potential to get under people’s skin was not to intended to piss them off or rub anything in their face it was to make them think. I don’t have some sort of agenda. I just want everyone to be nice and treat each other with respect and that’s not happening. So when I see something that might make people think twice about their words and actions I’ll post it. But after getting trolled by a friend (why would a friend troll another friend I ask you?) it makes me wonder how many people look at what I post on Facebook and make assumptions about my intent.
So that’s why I’ve stayed away from Facebook. Because it’s turned into something mean spirited where we say whatever we want and then turn around and do our best to make others feel bad about their opinions. Which is really too bad. What used to be a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family now it seems to be transforming into a place where we call our friends stupid and make assumptions about them when they post one quote. It’s also slowly taking over our lives, but that’s a whole other post.