Like/Dislike Relationship With Facebook

I know this seems a pretty random post, but it’s not.  I tend to vacillate back-and-forth on this subject, often. I’ve hesitated writing about it because I’m sure it will open a can of worms.

While I enjoy Facebook since it’s really the easiest way to keep track of family & friends who I might lose contact with otherwise, there’s a lot I don’t enjoy.

I don’t mean this to sound negative, just sounding off about this because every so often it irks me.  Yes, I realize it’s a free site & I can come & go as I please but every time I think of cutting the cord it’s losing touch with family & friends that keeps me from nipping it in the bud completely. Instead, I’ve gone to setting time limits. I find if I limit myself to an hour or two a day it doesn’t bother me as much & the negativity gets under my skin less.

My main pet peeve is certain discussions that keep coming up that essentially are used as bait for starting arguments. This can be on walls themselves or within support-oriented groups.  I have a few people that I’m sure are not trolls, but everything I read seems to come across that way.  I try & limit contact but in certain spheres like groups, it’s hard because if I block them then I am potentially cut off of half of a conversation.

For example, controversies like vaccination (& I don’t care if it’s autism oriented or when & where to get your flu shot) I find highly aggravating at times. Someone will start the conversation innocently enough with a question, but then there are people that always have to challenge what someone says & then put their own added 6 cents in. I try to not post medical advice & if I say something my doctor told me in regards to my situation, it’s always challenged. Even when I say it’s specifically what I was told for my situation & my situation only. Therefore, I’ve gone to not only posting those comments but following up with a source since I seemingly get some kind of troll-esque question about “Why did your doctor tell you that?”

Well, why don’t you ask him? I’m sure there’s a good reason for it.  Here’s your source to back him up if you want to get anal about it.

(Before anyone reads this & thinks it’s specifically about them & my relationship with them, it’s not. These are trends I tend to notice with my interactions & interactions between other people as well.  It’s not “targeting” or “addressing” any one person in particular. Also same gripes that others have shared with me that irk them just as much. This is one of the few times I am actually making a broad generalization to illustrate my points because I realize am not alone with a lot of this.)

Some people say “Consider the source & ignore it”.  Well, I’ve tried that. Part of me feels like doing that but I really can’t. I try to be balanced in my “arguments” (responses) but some people I guess tend to push my buttons even with the way they phrase things in text. I try to keep my cool since maybe it comes across a lot harsher since there’s no tone or context, but I’m human too.  I tend to find these are invariably the situations where I have to take a step back for awhile because I seriously just want to pull the plug completely. What I said was relatively benign; but then someone has to jump in with something negative or baiting.  This not only happens in groups but even on comments I make to random news stories.  These same people only seem to talk to me for those purposes & won’t give me the time of day otherwise. I often wonder why they are even friends (but I know some who aren’t but I guess through mutual friends act the same way & I find it just as irksome). Unlike real life, confronting the issue square on doesn’t seem to resolve it; it seemingly makes it worse.  So I’ve tried to adopt a “live & let live” philosophy which works most of the time.

I rather prefer Twitter over Facebook if I truly want to discuss something.  It’s seldom I get any “trolling” responses on Twitter & if I do it’s fewer & farther between.

On the other hand, some of the groups I find on Facebook are very helpful & supportive for certain situations so I try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater either. I have no such issues as the one outlined above.  Also there have been certain “hot-button subjects” or even political discussions that I can have with people I know without either one of us getting rubbed the wrong way, even when we differ on opinions.

The one recent change I’ve noticed that is super-annoying is limiting engagement or random un-friending of people because we follow each other but may not interact as often (which never used to happen).  My feed more often that not is littered with useless clickbait & ads rather than actual posts from people.  I’ve tried adjusting the settings but have since given up since it doesn’t seem to make that much of a difference & then I can avoid yet another time-suck.

That said, I have to say that Facebook is great for certain things.  It’s great for promoting events or fundraisers, as the sharing seems to take off decently & always have at least one friend who will forward on a post or share it to another friend which helps me get more reach.

The other is I will occasionally find interesting news articles that I might not come across otherwise, or may get lost in other feeds.

I also have to say (since I’m horrible with dates) the birthday feature is helpful, as are highlighting certain life events (weddings, job changes).

It’s also nice to have the ability to share an event to my calendar. I tend to not integrate it directly to my iPhone calendar anymore because it nets too many (even things I don’t attend) but it’s helpful for ones I do.  So there’s enough to keep me here using it & offset (at least for now) the rather irksome aspects.

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