Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Facebook as a safe haven.

Like many of you (all 15 readers), I spend a bit of time on Facebook. My main goal with Facebook is to keep up on the lives of people I would not normally have time or opportunity to interact with. Sometimes I regret that decision when I run across someone who doesn't quite grasp the concept of TMI (Too Much Information), but in general I enjoy learning what is important to people.

Facebook is like the TV in that respect. If you don't want to watch it, turn the channel (hide the post or hide the person). I often do that because the topic either doesn't interest me, isn't relevant to me (I don't really care what you listened to on Spotify). I try to stay away from judgmental or snarky comments to people who don't "get" me because I have learned that in life people aren't necessarily entitled to my opinion and that too many people's interpretation is not very nuanced so my intent is not grasped.

Take my recent decision to "hide" people on Facebook who chose to post political comments. I made it plain that I would hide anyone and everyone who made a political post. Not because I agreed or disagreed, it was just that I had grown weary of being bombarded with political nonsense. The reality of it was that I hid a disproportionate amount of people whom I happened to agree with. After the election was over, I brought all 72 people that were previously hidden back into the fold on Thursday the 8th.

You see, I consider Facebook to be a de facto safe haven. I see it as a barbecue in my backyard where the conversation should be light and comfortable The main point is that we're enjoying one another's company and there is no benefit to create or engage in controversy. I know some people see any social network as a place where they can act as they feel comfortable. The problem I have with that is that too many people are comfortable being jerks. Too many people feel it is their God-given right to vent their spleen and get in your face, but I also have the right to remove them from the premises so as to not allow them to ruin my party.

In the end, I've determined that Facebook for me will be a safe place to interact with people. My lack of controversial topics or refusal to engage should not be seen as a condemnation of those of you who think the opposite way. On the contrary. If that's your idea of the purpose of Facebook, then by all means you should do what feels right to you.

For me, it's a safe and friendly place to visit.

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