What to Stop Doing on Facebook

Recently, social media, particularly Facebook, has devolved from its customary shallow, vapid self into a sewer of fake news, angry lies, and complaining. As a young friend of mine commented recently, “I hate how political it all is.”

Here, then, is a list of things I want to stop doing on Facebook

  • Getting involved in political discussions of any kind. No one is enlightened in any way by my opinion, so when I give it, I am either a sycophant or an idiot, but not a scholar.
  • Trying to be clever. As cute as I think I am sometimes with my “orange you glad it’s not a banana” quips, it just adds to the nuisance chatter, and gives me follow-up notifications I don’t particularly want to see.
  • “Liking” stuff I don’t like to show that I saw it. Yes, I know Facebook added some additional styles of acknowledgment, but they all say the same thing: I saw this. No one really cares if I saw it.
  • Caring too much about who reads my stuff. This closely parallels the whole industry’s craving for success and money through counting clicks. It’s a tail-chaser.
  • Clicking on click bate. As temping as it can be sometimes to read, “12 things that will make you smell better,” it is seldom useful, and wastes my time.
  • Being hesitant to delete items I don’t like because other people have liked and commented. I need to realize that Facebook is so transient and impermanent that no one will care or even notice when I delete stuff from my wall, and that it is their responsibility to preserve their digital lives, not mine.
  • Putting my pithier thoughts on my Facebook wall instead of here. I need to make better notes and write longer, better pieces for my blog.

What do I want to do instead? Write. This blog is ideal for my kind of expression, and since I moderate comments, I can stay out of the “yes, but don’t you think” banter that doesn’t go anywhere.

Yes, I want to write more here on The Giant Muh. I will still share it to social media, but even there I will try to be diligent at deleting combative comments. It is my hope to continue to be creative, inventive and positive.

This is the most dangerous trap social media sets for us.
This is the most dangerous trap social media sets for us.
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9 Comments

  1. I really don’t post anything new on FB unless it has strictly to do with some family activity or my wife tags me in something, which I will let stand as a post of my own. I do not allow myself to get involved in “debates” with people with intractable positions on Facebook. I once got into such a heated argument with a guy I hadn’t seen in 20 years of the movie “Watchmen” that I ended up defriending him. Stupid, right? Political arguments can become toxic. I don’t make statements or comments of a political nature because it’ll just never end.

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  2. Here’s something interesting that I just saw, just this minute, on FB. A relative of mine shared a link to a story that is very damaging, libelous, etc., to Bill Clinton (they are anti-Clinton, pro-Trump), and someone commented with a link to a site thoroughly debunking the “story.” My relative wrote back that she simply passed along information with no means of proving or disproving the information. My question is, why pass it along if you have no idea whether it is true? That’s Facebook for you.

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  3. Before the election n the earlys I wasted my time tearing Trump down. There are a bunch of us who would do it. This would get me down. So started to back off slowly. Now I do it about once every 5 days. And I still think I should quit altogether. I need to do more positive things some of which I can share on Facebook with friends (I already do).

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  4. ‘…a sewer of fake news, angry lies, and complaining. As a young friend of mine commented recently, “I hate how political it all is”.’

    It sounds like “fake news, angry lies, and complaining” equals “political” in this paragraph. I’m almost certain that’s not what you meant, so naturally I’m curious. Did you mean *And*? (As in, “this is another thing”?) I promise I’m not trying to be pedantic here; I just notice that many people mean different things by “Facebook is too political”.

    Personally, I would love it if Facebook was MORE political — if more users commented on elected representatives’ pages with their viewpoints, if more friends/family rationally discussed solutions for the greatest threats of our day, if more of the links we shared were meant to inform/educate (instead of “this grammar quiz said I’m smarter than Stephen Hawking!”, for example), and if more of us actually wrote posts (or linked to blog entries) that expressed reasoned and sourced positions. Because, to me, that’s what “political” means.

    Like you, I’m tired of the “fake news and angry lies”, but I certainly don’t put those in the “politics” camp. I’m also tired of the “Here’s my opinion, which I’ll never change, and I don’t know much about this topic” posts. I’m tired of “vaguebooking” (post a sentence that requires further explanation to mean anything or a photo that’s is *not* worth a thousand words), memes that misquote dead celebrities (and most other memes), and so on.

    Sorry. all of that was just about your first paragraph. Smile. I agree with the rest of your list, but want to quibble on one point:

    “No one is enlightened in any way by my opinion.”

    On multiple occasions, I am pretty certain I have been enlightened by your opinion.

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  5. On second thought, I’ll quibble with another of your statements:

    “No one really cares if I saw it.”

    Again, >>I<< care if you saw it. No, I'm not asking you to like every post, but I certainly do appreciate it when you do — because (1) it lets me know you saw it, (2) it makes it more likely to pop in others' feeds, and (3) if they're photos of my kids, well, my kids LOVE it when people "like" their photos. :-)

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  6. Wil, I very much equate the political nature of Facebook with fake news and angry lies. There has been an intense upsurge of it recently. Maybe it’s my friends list. I grew up in Lawton, Oklahoma, which is an intellectual vomitorium, and some of my friend are from my high school there.

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  7. Thanks for clarifying.

    I suppose I just categorize those posts as “fake news and angry lies”, even when their topic is purportedly something related to politics. I further suppose I’m thinking of an older and (wishful thinking, I know) more elevated definition of politics, as in “the dealings and machinations that govern our nations”.

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    All that being said, I know I spend too much time there lately. It’s mind-numbing, and I need to stop it. :-)

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  8. FB exists for profit, any other function serves its first function. Spending time on FB simply enables a bad product to continue.

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  9. Did ya know that you can comment on a post, then turn off further notifications? That way, you don’t have to see that 46 people *also* liked those red pants I was wearing in my sunbonnet photo.

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