I don’t generally posts discussions on my blog because I’m more of a relaxed individual. I don’t mind conflict and will obviously defend a point I believe in. However, I don’t normally try to argue every single thing because it’s stinkin’ exhausting. BUT my husband Damian posted a lovely little rant on Facebook yesterday that really got me thinking.
I have enjoyed Facebook a lot less as time goes by. I like Facebook because I get to see what my friends are up to and comment/discuss. However, my Facebook feed has evolved to the point where it is about 95% reshares of other pages’ content. Half of these are silly pictures or videos and/or memes and/or image macros.
The other half are essentially foot-stomping shares of whatever the outrage of the week is (Cecil the lion, and whatever the hell Kanye is doing now) or half-baked, biased activist/political statements.
I come here to socialize, but it’s mostly either stupid jokes or political propaganda, or both which is the worst.
Note, I’m referring to shares (X person shared Y page’s photo), not original posts or commentary by friends.
So friends, please. If you think Trump is stupid or great, if you’re outraged about Ahmed’s story, if you do/don’t want to increase gun control, just write about it in your own words, maybe share an interesting article and add your two cents. It’s a lot more interesting than sharing some bigoted meme about it.
A lot of the responses to his post have been in agreement with his stance while others like to point out the ability we all have to hide content people share from our feeds. My main problem is that many of us, maybe not all of us, signed up for social media in order to socialize with friends and family. That’s the whole point, right? You want these people on your page. You want to interact with them. Why would unfollowing their content or removing them from your feed be any different from unfriending or blocking them? If you consider social online interaction as similar to physical social interaction, you wouldn’t be able to stop someone mid story and say “This all sounds like something I don’t like or can’t bother with so could you just stop?”. That’s not how building connections work. Communication is key. Speaking to the people you want to interact with and finding things you like or dislike will build or break a possible friendship. If you don’t like someone and do not want to see their content then why even add them on social media? I can understand the argument in blocking or unfollowing a content site that spreads content you do not want to see. This isn’t the same as unfollowing or blocking a family member or friend. So maybe they shared something you don’t agree with. Who agrees with their friends and family 100% of the time? Not a lot of people.
Lately, social media has become this constant reblog or reshare of content people relate to but don’t provide much context on and you know, sometimes context isn’t entirely required. Still, it’s nice to express why and how you like whatever it is you shared and let your friends know a little bit about yourself. I for one really care about my friends’ opinions. I like learning about their likes and dislikes because they matter and I’d like to know more about them in order to establish a better relationship.
There’s also the argument of keeping people you don’t generally like on your social media in order to avoid family or work conflicts. That’s understandable. Sometimes our obligations trump our personal feelings. Sometimes we have to be civil. Socializing is complicated on or offline. But when you choose to end a conversation before it’s actually even started, then what does socializing become?
Did you know?
Everyone has the ability to choose who they want to speak to and get to know. We can share and speak to whoever we’d like to. The ability to choose is fantastic and that’s exactly what it comes down to. You can choose to socialize or you could choose to not. I’d like to know more about my friends and I would like to see less propaganda/memes and more individual posts written by a particular friend or even a reshare with some context about how this particular meme resonates with that individual.