February 2, 2017

Rant: They're Leaving Facebook

Facebook used to be a place where your feed was filled with cute animal videos, amazing recipes, annoying game requests and the selfie hall of fame.  We were able to connect with long lost friends, school alumni and Great Aunt Sue.  In the past few weeks I've received notices that at least 8 people are closing their Facebook accounts, and not just for Lent.
Facebook, this forum for sharing fun, finding new friends and on the rare occasion even learning something has become a breeding ground for divisive politics.  Multiple news agencies including NPR, Chicago Tribune, New York Post, Washington Post ran articles shortly after election on the FaceBook trend of unfriending people who voted differently than you did.   The New York Post article cites people who believe they were dropped by friends on the same political side because they didn't hate the opponent enough.
I know the American Election season was long and divisive; sadly it seems things haven't gotten much better. Facebook has became a virtual war zone. Do people really believe posting their angry meme is actually participating in the political process?  Instead of posting support for your candidate it seemed you had to demonize every person who disagreed with you.  The idea that we could possibly find a middle ground was as improbable as your discovering oil in your backyard.

I understand being behind your candidate, but to use a favorite (albeit possibly unacceptable) phrase it seemed people "drank the juice" of their party and refused to see anything but salvation for our country instead of flawed human beings.  That's right I said it, I'll say it again 
What I truly struggle with even now is this simple thought:
If you believe my politics are wrong wouldn't you rather try to find a narrative where we could discuss your point of view and possibly sway my opinion?  Do you really believe calling me names, questioning my patriotism, faith and morals is going to endear your candidate to me in anyway? 

Do we not understand that by not engaging (key word here engaging; not just posting and running) with those whose opinions differ from ours we're not reinforcing our beliefs but rather isolating ourselves. The only time that isolation really worked was back with Noah.  The simple reality is that when it comes to being Blue or Red, with the exception of extremists on the fringe, we are all a different shade of purple.  

The ugliness on Facebook has just gotten to be too much.  It's not worth scrolling through your News Feed just to get bombarded by angry, senseless posts.  Not to mention the amount of Fake News people are determined to share without checking.  

If you're like me you've Muted/Unfollowed those who are extreme.  That just doesn't seem to be enough anymore though does it? I stopped scrolling through my News Feed on any kind of regular basis back in October. It absolutely blew my mind the see friendships, I'm talking real life not simply virtual ones, get torn apart online! A family member was called racist by a childhood friend because a popular, positive story he shared, came from a website that had links to a website that was believed to be attached to the wrong publication. Many people were sharing this same story but from different news sources. It wasn't that he shared an improper story, rather it was the news organization that the web site's parent company also owned that was the problem.  I don't know about you but usually when I share a news story, all I do is make sure it is real.  I do not make it a habit to not only check back 3 sources, but check out each of those sources as well to make sure none of those could possibly offend someone.  I fail that accountability test and let's be honest you probably do too.

I found that the times I did spend on FB I was walking away feeling a bit drained.  Not that FB is an energy source but the frustration I felt just wasn't work the time I was giving it.  I won't even waste your time on those who feel the need to share every private family matter, then post in the comments "I don't want to discuss it here send me a PM".  UGGHH it's Junior High forever!

It seems the current trends on Facebook are Drama or Politics. No wonder people are leaving!
 Don't you miss the days when getting FarmVille requests were the most annoying part!

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