Facebook’s Lost Opportunity

nohTonight on Facebook, I’ve seen several people post that they’ve had enough of political posts. Some have said they’re sticking to cute animal videos. Some have said they’ll unfriend anyone who posts anything political. Some have said they’ll unfriend anyone who goes ugly or negative. Some have said they’ve had it all together and plan to get off of Facebook.

I’ve felt all of these things, not only since the election, but even before, as we became more and more divisive, and here’s why for me:

  • More and more comments on Facebook lead me to believe people don’t think it’s okay to disagree. If you think differently, you’re WRONG and it seems to give permission to tease or call names.
  • Facebook used to be a place where people shared photographs and commentary about their families, their lives, where they were traveling and even  what they were having for dinner–remember when we complained about that? But it’s been taken over by political commentary, memes and fake news posted by people who apparently think they’re going to “sway” our opinions.
  • I’m interested in what’s going on in our political world, and I have lots of opinions. But I don’t feel comfortable posting an article or opinion about something because I have family and friends on both “sides of the fence” and I don’t want to offend anyone. The thing is, my OPINION should not offend anyone. Yet, it does.
  • Finally, if I can’t be honest without offending, what’s the use of being on Facebook? What started out as a wonderful way to get to know people has devolved into a political battlefield.

So, some say the compromise is to drop the politics. I get that. I enjoy looking at the “lightness” as much as anyone and I often do. But I like knowing what other people think. And then there’s the problem that not everybody will drop the politics, so what we’ll be left with is people on both sides who feel it’s their mission to change our minds.

So, what am I going to do? I, too, have been tempted to leave Facebook all together. But it’s a great way for me to stay in touch with a lot of people at once, so leaving all together thought doesn’t appeal to me.

As best I can, I’m going to stay away from politics on Facebook. I can’t promise how successful I’ll be, but I’m going to try to keep my virtual mouth shut when it comes to politics.

That may feel like a “win” for those that will continue to post their nasty stories, memes and comments, but it’s not. My silence does not mean you’ve changed my mind.

a-silence

I’ll continue to post my thoughts on this blog and simply won’t share political posts on Facebook. (I welcome anyone interested to follow my blog so you won’t miss a single political episode.)

smiley-face

And if you disagree with me? All the better. Leave me a comment. I like nothing more than discussing politics respectfully with someone with whom I disagree. I do it all the time with Steve, my daughter and some of my best friends. It’s how I was brought to the center from the right.

We could all learn something from each other, if we’d only listen. But we don’t seem to be able to do that on Facebook. And what a lost opportunity.

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6 Responses to Facebook’s Lost Opportunity

  1. erinleary says:

    I gave up FB years ago before the political minefield. I use Twitter to deal with news and politics. And Instagram is my happy place to share art, family, and happy thoughts. We are all in this together and we are better for trying to work together. Great post – I’m glad I follow you!

    • Jan Morrill says:

      Thanks, Erin! I’ve begun to use Twitter more to express my political views, and will continue to post some of my views on my blog. And you’re right–Instagram is a happy place. I’ve recently become more active on Instagram–I’m there as JanMarlerMorrill. 🙂

  2. Joyce says:

    I agree. It has become a political wasteland of the kind of stuff that attempts to sway or feed the minds of those posting ugly, negative fodder. I think it has only made the division in our nation worse, rather than help unite us by expressing what others are tired of hearing and seeing.

    • Jan Morrill says:

      I wholeheartedly agree, Joyce. So much negativity there. I believe it’s important for all of us to stand up for our beliefs, but sadly, Facebook isn’t the place to do it. Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good article, Jan. Recently, I haven’t had or made the time to get on social media much. What are friends who can’t discuss religion or politics? I really try to keep an open mind and enjoy listening to other’s point of view. I do not have an agenda nor do I identify with any political party. It is my opinion that much of the political rabble rousing is a smokescreen for something much larger going on.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Nicely said

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