Facebook Frustrations

Facebook: it’s great. You can get back in touch with your best friend from third grade, who you’d lost track of. You can reunite with a long-lost college buddy. You can find a dinner recipe, catch up on the news, and grin at the funny animal pictures. Yep, Facebook sure is wonderful.

Except for when it’s not.

A recent article describes some of the darker side of Facebook interactions.

It seems that a significant portion of people have been hurt by rude “virtual exchanges” and other Facebook frustrations. Many have hidden or unfriended others over it.

I can understand this totally. Remember back during election season? I saw so many political posts. Many I agreed with. That was okay — those made me feel good! Other people had the wisdom to support my candidate! But then there were the posts for the other guy. I found myself shaking my head. How can he/she support that guy? Why am I even friends with this person? I don’t need that kind of negativity. And before you knew it — poof! That person was no longer my Facebook friend.

I’ve seen many Facebook conversations that are positive and encouraging. But then there are those that’ve devolved into name-calling and nastiness. Often these revolve around politics, but not always. It’s funny how I (and I’m sure you, too) can almost predict which friends will be attracting the drama. It’s always the same people calling others names, and calling attention to themselves, whether it’s of the “hey, look how great I am!” variety, or the “poor me” type. Either way — it does get old. Poof! I’ve “hidden” some of these folks because they sap my mental energy.

Have you witnessed any rifts caused by Facebook? I have — feelings hurt over friends and relatives who have unfriended others — or refused to ‘friend’ to begin with. Posts hidden from others (folks, don’t feel that you can post something and truly ‘hide’ it forever – people do talk and they will likely find out).

On Facebook, but also just online in general, I’ve noticed that people are more blunt than they’d be in real life. Most of you know that I write for the Yahoo! site omg. I usually write about the British royals, but also I’ll occasionally write about other celebrities. I can’t believe many of the comments my articles get. These people don’t know me at all, yet I’ve been called an idiot and worse by them. Some even assume that I am Kate Middleton or whomever I’m writing about, and they tell me how beautiful I am. Ha! People are so … unusual.

So, as I’ve been from the outset, I’m still on the fence regarding Facebook. I see its potential in connecting people. As a writer, I pretty much have to stay active there (curses!). But there are definite downsides.

What’s your opinion? Have you experienced any Facebook frustrations?

6 thoughts on “Facebook Frustrations

  1. To participate on Facebook you need very thick skin. I personally have been hurt to the core with Facebook happenings.
    Yesterday I learned about the Boston tragedy while reading Facebook. The more I read about Boston, the less enthused I was to even turn on the news. I’d gotten the picture already from Facebook.

  2. For the most part, my experiences regarding Facebook have been positive. I do have one friend who is rabidly in favor of the current administration and gun control. I can’t understand how someone raised in a similar environment as mine could be poles apart from me on these issues. Because of her, I’ve pretty much withdrawn from political postings on FB. I’ve been hurt when family members have either refused to “friend” me or have “unfriended” me later on. That is also something I don’t understand. But reconnecting with friends from high school and nursing school, making friends with people I’d probably never know otherwise, and knowing that there is a huge crowd of people who will pray for me when I need it, keeps me returning to Facebook.

  3. My kids are now teens and wow, some of the things that their friends post. By seeing some of these posts, we are having open conversations with our kids and we tackle a lot of topics that probably would not otherwise come up. We also use this to decide who our kids “hang out” with and the ones to avoid at all costs. We have a saying in our home: If you really want to know someone, just look at their facebook page.

  4. I love Facebook. Except for when I hate it. And I lost a friend of 40 years duration because of something on facebook. But I’ve also reconnected with family and friends, and gotten a lot of encouragement and prayers from a lot of people. It is the best of things, it is the worst of things…

  5. Attic Chick, yes, FB has also become such a quick way to learn of news events. It’s amazing.
    Elaine, that’s kind of sad though — one friend has influenced you to cut down on political posts 🙁 Has SHE reduced her postings? I hope so! If not, I say post away 🙂
    Regina, yes, that’s another good point. It’s certainly — um — interesting to see the things teens post. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to be so “open” as many of them are!
    Tracie, I’m really surprised that you would lose a friend on FB. You seem so sweet and non-controversial! However, I’m very aware that all kinds of odd dynamics can pop up on FB. Your last line sums it up perfectly!

  6. Mostly Facebook seems to give me an opportunity to say things I’ll later regret. :-/ Sadly, I’m not the only person who seems to have this problem!

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing your thoughts.