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?