I’m not sure how long it will last, but I’ve left Facebook. At the end of the day, what I could say was time well spent versus what I knew was wasted time was exceedingly lopsided. What bothers me the most, I think, is it’s a platform that has no ethics when it comes to misinformation. For those of us who at least make an attempt to be as factual as possible, those out there who are spreading manure faster than the cows can make it, have us outnumbered and outgunned.
I belong to, or I belonged to, a group dedicated to reviewing the food, prices, and service at restaurants found in the Valdosta Georgia area. The Admin, and I as a moderator, decided never to allow bullying or cussing, or rude behavior. That was a fight, but after we started blocking people, things stabilized. However, the behavioral issues never truly went away. People like abusing other people online.
Then there was the “roach in the food” photos. There was a period of time where random members of the group started showing photos of roaches in food at local restaurants. The problem was that in one photo, the table setting wasn’t the same as that found in the restaurant in question, and the plates were different, too. The person who posted the photo, when confronted with the evidence, then admitted they had seen the photo on someone else’s page and reposted it. That happened three or four times. And there was at least one stock photo that wasn’t even in Valdosta.
There were managers who were telling their employees to join the group to both promote their business and to defend it from bad reviews. That got weird, too.
But you see where all this is leading, don’t you? Integrity is hard to find. It’s nearly impossible to police. And FB isn’t trying at all to even remotely make sure that people don’t ruin other people’s lives with smear campaigns.
Worse, if you aren’t careful, you can find yourself scrolling down, hitting one of the emoji buttons, scrolling down, hitting the button, scrolling down . . . and suddenly you’re little more than a chicken trained to peck a button for a treat. You aren’t really investing in what you’ve seen, you’re not even going to remember it in fifteen minutes or so, but there you are, liking, or loving, or caring, or being sad, or laughing. Or are you?
At least here, at Friday Firesmith, we have Jon, who isn’t going to let things get out of hand, and he’s going to make sure no one gets too mouthy, too. (Even if it’s me) You have two choices, like it or not like it, and you can even choose to scroll on past to look at the photo of some guy nearly killing himself on a skateboard while trying to fly. But the difference is not only how the site is managed, but how people react to what they find here. Generally speaking, with a few notable exceptions, people have been pretty decent about how they disagree with me. FB doesn’t cull the stupid or the violent.
Dog Rescue and Snake Identification are the only two reasons for me to be on Facebook. Lives are saved and families reunited because of the Dog Rescue Groups that camp out on FB, and it is an incredible thing. At any given moment, someone out there is posting a photo of a snake, and discovering what it is, nearly instantly. That also saves lives, and that is a wonderful thing.
But I am worn down, and I am worn out by all the negativity on social media.
I need a break.
I need to reconnect with my life.