I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook lately that seems to be swinging more and more to the hate side of things. I absolutely love Facebook for its ability to allow me to stay in touch with family and friends around the globe in a way that does not happening through regular correspondence. Yet, for the past year or so, I find myself more and more disgusted by what I see. The original users from when I first joined seem to have gone quiet as my news feed is now inundated with nothing but the sarcastic – but amusing – ecards, politics, those “I need 1 Million likes to get XX”, even more “like if you love XX, ignore if you hate XX” crap, and the like. Occasionally, there is a refreshing update or picture from someone, which keeps me from completely ignoring it.
In recent months, I’ve unfriended those who were truly upsetting me with their political rants and muted those who I probably shouldn’t unfriend. Perhaps I wasn’t ruthless enough because I still remain thoroughly unsatisfied and generally disgusted at how Facebook has become the online version of a soapbox. The latest issue was my sister-in-law getting into a jealous rage at Jim’s brother for friend requests from other females/former girlfriends. She even went so far as to write some nasty comments on these women’s pages spewing hate at them for daring to friend her man. Now, there are some underlying issues going on with that relationship which makes this an extreme example, but it is symptomatic of the entire issue with Facebook and social media in general.
There is a distancing effect with social media that causes people to behave in ways that they never would consider doing in real life. The vitriol which is flung at others with differing opinions every day is shocking in the complete lack of social grace such behavior embodies. It is as if computer screens have given people license to forget simple manners or has caused them to forget that other humans are reading the intolerance they are writing, humans with feelings who did nothing to deserve the nasty barbs written towards them other than put their thoughts out for public viewing.
I love the Interwebz and social media and will be the first ones to expound upon their benefits. There is nothing quite like carrying on a real-time conversation with someone on the other side of the world to make one realize how small the world has become. Yet, on Facebook at least, I see people’s willingness to listen to others’ opinions and experiences to have significantly diminished as the site’s popularity continues to grow. The truly interesting thing is that I do not see similar posts/hate/intolerance on Twitter, even though you have less control over who sees your updates and who can respond to them. Interesting observation, isn’t it? Perhaps it is the fast-paced nature of Twitter and the imposed character limit which causes people to think a bit more before posting? So why is Facebook, with its more personal connections, turning into nothing but rants?
As much as I am beginning to truly hate Facebook, I feel somewhat trapped to remain there. Jim’s and my families are all over the country, and we see certain family members once a year if we are lucky. Also, the marketer in me realizes how important all social media is to a website. Even though I might not care about comments and stats, I still want my stuff to be read, and I know that I have several friends from high school who only read my posts through links via Facebook. So, I’m torn between recognizing the importance of Facebook for marketing purposes and for general familial connections and wanting to delete my account immediately and divorce myself completely from the site.
Right. My husband uses it fairly often, so I feel like I need to maintain a presence just to see what he shares with others and see what he is doing when he is away on business trips. I'll probably delete my account eventually but definitely after my 20-year reunion next year.
Right. I'm just severely curtailing how often and how long I look at the site and interact with others.
I hear you! I think about quitting Facebook often. I barely post on it and there is hardly anything I want to see on it anymore. But my husband loves posting on it and I have to monitor what he is saying about me and what unflattering pictures he's posted. : )
Well in that case I would wait until after the reunion. There is one friend from HS that I see and I told her she was the only friend I was going to keep to stay in touch for the next reunion on FB. She laughed and said I wasn't the only who said that. And she didn't mind either. FB does come in handy for reunions.
I want FB to be fun again too, but I fear it has evolved into this giant thing and will never be able to go back to the way it once was. It's sad because it really was a great way to reconnect with people. Now, it has become everyone's soap box.
I know exactly what you are saying, but something has prevented me from unfriending everyone yet. There is always that fear that I would miss something big, and since my 20-year reunion is in 2014 and a large number of my FB friends are from high school, I am feel like I should keep up-to-date until the reunion. I can at least cut down on how often I scroll through my feed though, and having done so, I feel so much better.
Thanks, Tif! It seems that many of us are fed up with Facebook. It will be interesting to see if it goes the way of MySpace.
It's so sad, isn't it? It's like it has morphed into the social media hybrid but in doing so has completely missed what made it so much fun in the first place.
I am thankful my immediate family tends to be very quiet on FB. My in-laws though are another story. I did unfriend two of my brothers-in-law because I cannot stand their politics and their outspokenness. I've definitely gotten better about hiding people, and it has definitely helped somewhat. I'm still miss FB and the way it used to be.
I am ambivalent about Facebook too. There are people there with whom I wouldn't stay in touch any other way, and I do want to see pictures of a new grandchild or hear about a child's soccer goal or excellent report card. But my feed is always so cluttered up with political and religious rants and parenting advice that I can't keep up with all the news. Good post!
Wow! I can relate to this post in so many ways!! I don't even really know what else to add here in the comments because I just kept nodding my head as I was reading what you wrote!
I started on FB because it was neat to see people I haven't seen since grade school, but then FB exploded, and now I can't it. I've yet to go on there and unfriend everybody, because I don't even feel like doing that. I will though, because FB is great for keeping in touch with family that is spread out.
The people that say things on FB, most likely wouldn't say them to a person's face. So having this privacy or wall is what makes people even more mean than they normally would. I can't stand that.
You're not the only one complaining about FB. People I come into contact with in real life say the same, and many have stopped going there.
I say cut out everyone but family and your few closest friends. If they get mad, screw them. They were prob not your "friend" anyway. Real friends would understand.
I feel your pain Michelle. Lately it's gotten YUCKY on Facebook. I don't mind a good political debate now and then. I love a decent conversation. But when "friends" start posting wild conspiracy theories…oh boy. Recently I've seen a lot of "Obama is just like Hitler!" posts. Seriously? First of all, comparing someone to Hitler is a last ditch effort by ignorant boobs. Bah..see here I go on a tangent of my own. 😉
I really need to go delete some people. I want FB to be fun again!
I know what you mean. Sometimes it's really bad. I have some very conservative friends from high school and some of them got pretty nasty during the election. I had to mute them and even had to mute my own dad. I love him so, of course, but we totally differ on politics so I muted him to keep the peace. 😉
I don't think we have ever been friends on Facebook (not sure why?), but I just added you. If I do anything to annoy you, please feel free to mute me. 🙂
I've definitely started hiding people and muting them. I like regular status updates. To me, that's what Facebook is supposed to be. It's all the political/religious crap that really gets to me. Perhaps I just need to start hiding more people.
I find Facebook more user-friendly than Google Plus and use an application called SocialFixer on my laptop to help weed out the crap. Plus I've learned to mute posts and also hide certain people from my newsfeed. I'm still "friends" with them, but I don't see their rhetoric or constant posting of LOLCatz photos or other photos all the time. I've always wanted a goal for myself of only posting once a day, but it just doesn't happen. I'm like my father in that I'm loquacious. I can't help myself ;).
I try to block all game requests, but it seems like it is a losing battle. I'm also very careful about permission I give for groups. It makes me a bit of a curmudgeon but it at least keeps my feed somewhat uncluttered with that junk. It never goes away entirely though, does it?
Thanks, Carrie. It's a double-edged sword, I find. I know I've been lurking a lot more than posting lately just because I just want to get on and off as quickly as possible.
I have ALWAYS had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. The game requests drive me nuts. And how you can get added to groups without giving permission. I can understand what you are saying, though!
Amen, sister! I haven't been on FB much lately – haven't wanted to be – and i think you've hit the nail on the head as to the reason why.
I've been very careful to keep my work life and my personal life completely separate on Facebook. My privacy settings are as high as they can go, and I definitely do not befriend coworkers. I look at some of the pictures my nieces and nephews post and absolutely cringe for their future employment chances.
There are times I'm tempted to vent on Facebook about family members but then always remember what type of maelstrom that would cause if I did. Unfortunately, people can no longer differentiate between things said in a fit of pique on social media and actually working on relationships in person. I know I am guilty of this at times, but I'm quickly reaching the point where it sickens me that so many people are falling back on social media as a relationship-builder.
That's a great idea. I wish I had done that earlier, but when I first joined, it really wasn't like this. It was actually fun, and I chatted with so many people I knew from high school. Now, I'm lucky if even one of my friends posts an honest-to-goodness status update these days.
Lisa – I actually unfriended two of Jim's brothers because I couldn't stand their rhetoric anymore. I was hiding their posts, but too many snuck through the block. One day, I couldn't stand it anymore. I don't know if they've noticed, nor do I really care. If they can't write about anything other than politics or religion, then I am not interested.
I have a confession: I have a small private account for close friends and family only. It helps keep the madness at bay.
Jeff's brother just got on Facebook and almost immediately I was reminded of why I had stopped reading his emails. I'm already tempted to hide his posts which is a shame but I don't need to read his hatred. I'm with you about this 100%!
I can only shed light on the subject in a limited way because I never have belonged to Facebook. I think it is a mean place and I don't do mean. Not only that but from the HR perspective (a subject dear to your heart ;-)) I've seen people not get and lose jobs over postings on FB. It's just not for me.
Most recently, I've seen a whole family broken up over a simple comment about a vacation and a daycare situation on FB. The whole family is now choosing up sides – yuck.
My whole family is on FB and I definitely miss out because I'm not there. I've become almost an outcast or a has been because I don't keep up with their day to day lives that they post on FB. It doesn't seem like any of them are interested in growing relationships past social media these days.
So – no – not a big fan. I would like to see the day that it fades out all together.