When I first joined facebook, I was really excited at this new opportunity to connect with friends who lived great distances away. I liked the simplistic approach that facebook took. It was much more appealing to me than MySpace, which seemed to be all about how your page appeared and all of neat features that you can add to your page. Facebook seemed to be more about the relationships and staying in touch with those whom you don’t have close contact with.
But, two years and 211 friends later, I am beginning to think that facebook isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Now, as I said before, the positive aspects of facebook are the relationships that are rekindled and maintained that normally would have fallen by the wayside. Friends that I haven’t seen in years have contacted me and have been put on my friends lists.
I also like the feature of creating events that people can be invited to. You can create a barbecue party and invite people from your list. If you have a concert or something that you want to promote, the same feature can be used.
I also like the idea of supporting specific causes that spark your interest. If this is used correctly it can gain awareness for certain things that you believe in and help support worth while things that can make a difference in the world.
But Facebook can be polarizing. It can be place where people let others know about their opinions without much concern about anybodys feelings. You can join groups that want President Obama dead. You can also join groups that think that Bush was a child killer. Not only that people like to put comments on their profile that are not so vague attempts at slamming something one of their other friends said. On top of that, when you respond to a post somebody but on their profile, all it does is agitate the situation. There is no legitimate debate that happens on facebook, it’s just little quips that each person feels the need to post to uphold their position. Nobody wins, and everybody loses.
When your miles away from the person that your are responding to, you can say anything you want with no consequence. You don’t have to look them in the eye. And as long as you have the last comment on the page, you have “won” the argument. I had one friend tell me recently that because of a comment I had left on his post, that I am a prime example of why he doesn’t consider himself a Christian anymore. This hurt me more deeply than the post I left on his page probably did. But, even after an apology sent to his email, he has seen fit not to respond.
This is why I am changing my use of facebook. I refuse from this point on to be sucked into these petty arguments. I refuse to join or like stupid groups that separate me from my other friends. I refuse to post stupid comments that tell other people (no matter how vaguely) I don’t appreciate what they said, did, or supported. From this point on, I will post only neutral comments and keep my opinions, and ideology to myself. I have decided that facebook is not the place to share my political or religious views and should be just a place to get together and say hi to friends that I haven’t seen in a while. If you feel the need to argue with me, than find someone else. I will not humor you.
If I have opinions, I will share them on my blog. ;0)
What do you think?