There are a ton of write-ups on blogs about how not to Facebook. Oftentimes I find these amusing, and even nod my head in agreement. However, today I wish to present a counterpoint for how you should actually feel free to use your Facebook however you want (with rare exception).
To begin, consider a simple breathing exercise with me. I would like you to open your Facebook, take slow, calming breaths, and envision a world where people respect one another even as we disagree about certain issues or enjoy different things.
Okay, wait… Did I just hear you mutter that I sound like a damn hippie? Perhaps I brushed too broad of a stroke in my enthusiasm for a Utopian social environment, huh? My bad. How about we just call it a happy accident and move on.
People often complain about other’s posts on Facebook and when they do, they always do it on Facebook.
At the risk of sounding like Alanis Morissette, that’s the definition of irony.
The thing is, whatever someone posts will annoy someone somewhere. Here are just a few examples:
1. Those who post nothing but positive messages:
2. Others who provide nothing to the landscape but blistering tirades, incoherent complaints or other forms of pesky negativity:
3. Everyone is friends with a highly edumacated [sic] grammar scholar:
4. We must not forget those lovely gems who post quotes or “facts” without first verifying the source material:
5. Who here is without a friend that goes to great lengths to make sure we never forget what they look like:
6. There are those who really want us to care about their workouts:
7. And others who prefer to share their eat outs:
8. Some of us came into this world clutching a soap-box:
It’s not effing soap, Brad… it’s IDEALS!
9. Oh, and with that we must not forget those hot topic issues that everyone fears:
No, not that Hot Topic… these:
10. While others still prefer a passive approach to social media, just to keep us guessing:
My illustrations are a small sampling of what each of us see on Facebook and all are “guilty” of some. Facebook is a network designed for individuals to share their passions, ideas and lives. We are nothing if not a diverse community and this should be celebrated, not mocked or poo-poo’d. I often speak passionately about the things I care most about: those I love and care for, social issues of importance to me, and, well… Batman.
I also share certain aspects of my life, typically with humor and I hope authenticity. I enjoy the interaction with my friends, appreciate a great meme or snarky article, and sometimes engage in landmine filled discussions provided it is intelligently debated and doesn’t dip into bullying. Other times I just quietly observe.
It would please me greatly to see a moratorium of Facebook policing because, in most instances, people are simply promoting what they love and care about, even if that contradicts your views or doesn’t interest you.
Admittedly, we all have a certain threshold of tolerance, myself included, and I’m certain I have also reached that limit for some. But if we can figure out how to “agree to disagree agreeably” then, provided the statement is not full of vitriolic hate, does not infringe on another’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness or marginalize an individual’s life or choices, we should be able to express our views, lives and passions, and get through the day without resorting to Number Two.
If you cannot handle opposing views or pictures of cat memes, I have a solution!
No one can’t ruin my social media experience and I sincerely hope no one can ruin yours, because a day without Facebook is, well… Twitter. #aintnobodygottimeforthat