The Problem with Facebook

Hello and welcome. Normally, what follows is a picture book of my latest craft project and/or my most recent listings I’ve added to my shop Old Raven on Etsy.

But today I’m doing something really different. I’m just going to talk friend to friend.

A couple of weeks ago I closed my two accounts on Facebook – permanently.

What was your first thought about that statement? Have you every considered it? Why?

For me, it’s been a long time coming. 2020, yeah, everybody feels this year sitting on their psyche like a pregnant elephant. We’re all going on eleven months of a few ups but mostly down, down, downs. And with our seclusions of greater or lesser degrees many of us find ourselves falling down the rabbit hole of Facebook more and more.

Instead of picking apart specific posts on Facebook that I found disturbing, I’m going to cover a few general aspects that I just could no longer get around as I signed in, turned on and dropped out.

The first real biggie for me is – holy crap! Here’s this dude who makes BILLIONS off of Facebook by selling our personal information gleaned by every post we make and read – but also has the pardon of no responsibility as to what occurs on his site. Damn – that must be nice.

Next, this ‘social media’ tool has opened the door to everyone’s ‘dark side’. I’m not saying every post is crafted in Hell and drips evil but come on folks…even the most innocuous comment can/will be pounced on and a posting war is ignited in a heartbeat. And it seems like a lot of folks have special posts already setup to add to the melee – a short vid of someone smiling and stuffing popcorn in their face – as though they found these person on person attacks to be amusing and entertaining – WTF. Somehow, this platform invites us to believe that we’re wrapped in a cloak of invisibility and the things we type out or text are just an ‘opinion’ and not necessarily something we actually believe especially if we were to say those things face to face. But they are! We do say those things and we should remember that we ARE responsible for them.

And lets look at this platform from another angle. All those pictures of our private lives that normally we would show to ‘real’ friends and family. You know, the ones of your darling eight year old (the pedophiles love those – post more of those, please). Or the shots of your newly remodeled house that, incidentally, also shows your new bazillion inch TV, your garage full of tools and cars, your alarm system control box location. Or, maybe a shot of you in that sexy new bikini as you romped on the beach at vacation (where you conveniently told EVERYONE when and where you were going). Yeah, there might be some hungry eyes out there ‘following’ your posts with interest.

The most damaging aspect I think, however, is when we look at Facebook as our News source. It isn’t – not even close. Of course, we all know that but who takes the time to fact check everything? Unfortunately, even the most studious Facebook reader will, after reading the same garbage presented a multitude of ways, begin to believe. Subliminal feeds are very effective and have been used since advertising was invented. But that’s kind of what this post is all about. I’m not saying we need to get rid of Facebook, I don’t think that genie would ever fit back in the bottle, but I DO think we need to make it much better – much safer. What if we turned it into a positive thing? What if we made Zuckerberg design something in the programming of the Facebook site that actually HAD to trace where the feed was coming from and WHO posted it and make that plain on every post?

What if WE had to be more responsible for OUR OWN individual posts?

We’ve been consistently victimized by Facebook for years now but, in all fairness, we were pretty willing victims. But it’s never too late to turn things around – really! Okay, there is a big but coming – BUT it’s going to take some action on your part. Quit posting without considering. What are you exposing about your private life? Are you having a bad day so you go to Facebook to vent your spleen? Quit believing everything you read, especially if it just so happens to fall into line with your own opinions of how the world should be turning. Open up to new ideas, try to see something from another persons point of view and then see if there’s a way to meet in the middle because YOU ARE NOT ANONYMOUS ON FACEBOOK. Everything about that site is all about finding out exactly who you really are and then spreading that information to anyone and everyone, for good or ill. Think total exposure.

So how do we make Mr. Z listen up? Well, this is a very deep hole we’ve dug and it’s not going to be easy. The real question is: How tired of this gerbil wheel are you?

  1. Take responsibility. Quit exposing every aspect of your life to the world. Yes, you have a right to your opinion but how many people out there really want to hear it? If you’ve just got to say it – then try to make it something positive for a change.
  2. Limit your time on Facebook – it’s not really a joke about being addicted folks and these Pandemic days are shaking our society to its very core. Try to find things that make you feel better – not worse – and ask yourself “Overall, how does an average session on Facebook make me feel?”
  3. Try giving it a rest. MAKE yourself stay off Facebook for (you fill in the time). See if you can survive, what did you get done instead of crawling through the worm hole and losing all that time to NOTHING.
  4. Close your Facebook account(s). Facebook is out of control. I’m not sorry that I closed my accounts but don’t think I did it with ease. I used Facebook to promote my shop and it may/will effect my future sales. I also tend to be a bit shy in building relationships with my neighbors and my second Facebook account kept me connected to my community, though only vicariously, and maybe this will encourage me to come out of my shell.

But I had to make a stand. It’s not right what is happening here. This year has really put us all through the wringer and we’re tired and vulnerable. We’re lonely and isolated from our friends and family and we’re ripe for the picking. Our world is connected now via these electronic networking systems. Many eyes and ears are focused on us individually and as a Nation. We cannot afford the luxury of ignorance. Please, let that little voice that tries to speak when it sees injustice, have the floor. Now is the time for you to know that you live in the greatest country in the world but that citizenship comes at a price. If you want our country to be good WE have to be good. Quit letting others tell you what is good and right – you know what good looks like – it’s treating others with respect and kindness – just like how you want to be treated. It’s just that simple.

Is that what you get from your Facebook experience? Is this mega site improving our world? When you look into the future, where do you see your actions taking you?

I know I made the right decision. As soon as I deleted my accounts I felt better. It really was like giving up something toxic. So consider this an intervention or challenge or whatever word might trigger you to consider your relationship to Facebook and make you think hard about whether what you get from it is worth what it’s taking from you.

So don’t “like” me on Facebook, just consider liking me as a fellow human being.

Stay well – Kriss

3 thoughts on “The Problem with Facebook

  1. Wow what a friend to friend post! I left Facebook last year and then came back during the pandemic but as the summer progressed I stopped looking at it less and less. I am only on to see family photos and life event postings of old friends but sometimes I make the mistake of reading the “rabbit hole” stuff and then I am upset. I agree with all your musing and sentiments. I’ve seen some people I like in person turn insane sounding on Facebook, full of hate. A couple of years ago I unfriends and old friend because he posted something so unbelievable hateful that I thought be must have been possessed. I saw the documentary the Social Dilemma on Netflix and it has stuck with me – scary stuff. It is not even people controlling it, it is programmed algorithms. Thanks for your thoughtful musings and insights.

    Liked by 1 person

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