The topic began as a discussion on Facebook. Yay or nay? Does it connect us to friends or disconnect us from society? Is it only a waste of time and energy or can it speed up communication? People fell on both sides. There were some who had deleted their accounts, others who had deleted and then reinstated them, and others who had used them often and well since signing up.
Personally I use it. I use it first and foremost to communicate to local friends in a quick and easy way. "Heading to the park. Anyone want to join?" In less than 10 seconds I can send out a mass invite and connect with a couple of friends, without spending long times making phone calls looking for someone both home and free. Secondly I use it to keep up with the goings on of friends and family who live far away. I love to rejoice with them in their triumphs and encourage them in their trials. Beyond that, I just ignore the rest.
But one friend's comment has been sitting with me strongly. She said that she loves Facebook because her news feed is filled with positive and uplifting messages from people she loves and admires. When she does log on, she is sure to be greeted with thought-provoking ideas that inspire her. She explained her method: Facebook allows you to be "friends" with a person (allowing them to contact you, and see what you post) but lets you "unfollow" them which means their posts don't show up in your news feed. She said that if friends or family members or acquaintances post negative things, or inane videos, or time-wasting quizzes, she "unfollows" that person to remove the posts from her feed.
As soon as she explained all this, I knew in my heart I would go home and do likewise. While I have friends and people I want to be able to keep in contact with, I don't always love what they post. I have a weakness for controversy, which never leaves a good taste in my mouth. Now I can remove the temptation to click on controversial and negative things.
I wonder if someone might think that this is sterilizing my world a little too much. Do I need to be confronted by things with which I do not agree, so that I don't remove myself too much from the world at large? Sure, to some extent. But not on Facebook. I keep up with the real news for that. From now on, my Facebook will be a lovely place, filled with positive things that inspire and uplift me.