Facebook Frustration


Facebook Frustration

Dear Ask Micah,

I don’t know if this counts as a question or if I am just making general statements. I’d like to know how you feel about it, though. I have had enough with Facebook and tweeting. Seems like I get into it with someone at least once a month over something they’ve posted or I’ve posted. All of my friends and co-workers and much of my family are all connected now via Twitter or Facebook.  They say to me that if I withdraw from communication, I’ll never hear from anyone. I still don’t see why a phone call or an email cannot work just as well. Do you get frustrated with the social medias? I sure do. If it’s not some kind of game request or silly e-card, then it’s a political post that infuriates me. People say anything they feel, but when I do there’s a firing squad coming at me. I am just sick of it.

Corrinne

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Dear Corinne,

If it bothers you that much, by all means I think you should quit it, too, but the bigger question is why is it bothering you that much? I know a few people have to withdraw from Facebook for a while because it’s caused them too much anxiety. They always come back to it though in time. Facebook and Twitter are fantastic tools for communication. I get a little defensive of Facebook when I hear people slam it. Facebook has reconnected me with dozens of old high school classmates, many of whom I wasn’t even friends with in school but who have become friends now.

And I don’t mean “we just post on each other’s wall” friends. I mean the kind of friends that you go to dinner with and call to talk to. If it weren’t for Facebook, I’d have never gotten to know these wonderful people and they’d never have gotten to know me. I wasn’t popular in school. So if anyone ever thought of me in the years after high school, their thought of me probably wouldn’t have amounted to much. However, now most everyone from high school is a Facebook friend and has communicated with me at some time or another, or seen me socially, or has caught up on my life and I have caught up with theirs, and I think I’m well liked. That’s a nice feeling to be able to undo bad school experiences and relationships and connect with people you never had anything in common with before.  Facebook does that.

I also have a large and extensive family. We all sort of splintered off after the core of our family (our grandparents) died. Facebook has reunited all of us. Facebook connects people. I really don’t think that you should withdraw from that. It’s highly unlikely that your friends have the time or inclination to sit and write out an email to you personally just so that you can feel connected to them.  Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all make it so quick and easy to stay in each other’s lives.

It sounds like the real problem here is the content that you are responding to. You can ignore some things.  If I made a remark about everything I saw on Facebook, I’d have no friends at all. There is always a political post that makes me frustrated because I don’t agree. So I try to navigate past those and move on to something else.  On occasion, I have posted a political comment or observation of my own only to get a few responses from people who didn’t agree with me. Nobody has ever been rude about it. The world is full of differing views. If you can’t look through Facebook without getting into a fight with someone, then that doesn’t speak well of your social skills.

Think of these social media channels as one giant party that’s going on 24/7. I really doubt that you’d stand in the center of a party and start shouting out controversial beliefs or opinions with everyone standing around you — so don’t do it on Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook can be covered up with cliché quotes and silly e-cards (although I love reading those e–cards) and endless game, birthday, and prayer requests. But sandwiched in there between the picture of the cat telling you to “hang in there,” the friend who needs help getting more supplies to their virtual farm, and the e-card telling you “I AM crazy, I just have episodes of going normal,” there are messages of friendship and love and encouragement. There are funny stories and proud recollections. You get to be part of the big events of the lives of people you care about. Who was born? Who died? Who’s very sick? Who needs help? Who just has a proud moment to share? I’d learn how to navigate through to get to the good stuff and not become one of the crazies the rest of us send each other private messages about

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