Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg may have envisioned an innocuous platform for keeping friends in touch with other friends. He may have predicted good-natured ribbing and commenting on hilarious photos. Maybe he imagined unrequited love between two people becoming a solid relationship. But he couldn’t have fathomed some of the ugliness that appears almost daily in any given newsfeed.
Facebook has become a platform for political agendas
which lead to overwhelming arguments, offensive missives, and overuse of the
“block”and “unfriend” feature. It has become a place where people feel comfortable insulting another’s beliefs whether religious, political or sexual. It’s become a place where people feel righteous stating “this is my page, I’ll say what I want” with no regard for other people’s beliefs or lifestyles and whether they are offending a friend’s choice. It’s become a place of bitterness, self-righteousness, offensiveness and entitlement.
There have always been arguments and disagreements regarding the big two – politics and religion. Inasmuch that it was considered tasteless to discuss either in a large
group setting. Still is as a matter of fact. However, isn’t Facebook a large group setting?
Has anyone ever stopped to consider this before posting an insult or
belittling another person?
Facebook was designed to keep people connected, feed others alerts on your goings on, create a page for your art or your goods, and generally be a happy place to visit. But I’m thinking not so much anymore. Yes, you can block offensive people and filter the good from the bad or the “with whom I agree” from the ones that you don’t. But I need to put some effort into that and I’m not sure it’s worth it. It’s become a troubling place that I need to take a break from quite often.
The comments I’ve read on a number of social media sites flabbergasts me. The insensitivity and cruel nature of comments when it comes to a person’s photo or a story is just astounding. It is hard for me to believe that people in this world can be so brutal, so vicious. Yet it’s all there in black and white. People’s true colors are surfacing in ways that they might be able to hide in a face-to-face conversation.
I wouldn’t venture out into a dark alley in a bad neighborhood intentionally. Yet some days, when I log in to Facebook, it seems that I am doing just that. Going out into a littered, dirty pathway, anxious as to what I will encounter and fearful I will involve myself in something unwholesome.
I still like to keep touch with old friends and former colleagues on Facebook. I like the silly banter, inspirational posts and motivating stories I can count on some friends to post. But these days I visit Facebook with my armor intact and my mouse hovering over the hide feature as I know I’ll use it before too long.
And I wonder when it all changed.