Wednesday, November 7, 2012

a note i wrote to my friend

last night I decided that I had had it up to here with facebook.

so I deactivated my account and decided I would let it out of my life for a while.

a friend of mine noticed my depature and asked if I was okay. I was touched by her concern, and felt like I wanted to share why I am so unhappy with the general state of facebook (and I guess mankind).

here is a bit of what I wrote her:

Thanks for your email. First I want to reassure you (in case you were at all worried) that your posts on facebook had 0.0% influence on me leaving facebook. I actually thought your way of expressing your excitement was in good taste, and i agree that the good thing is that people are free to have their different opinions. I have been stewing over the junkiness of facebook for a while, and I have gone back and forth over leaving it for a long time. last night, I simply could not take the sheer meanness I was seeing exhibited. two of my little teenage cousins expressed how sad they were over the results and they were cursed at and jeered at...I am assuming by people on their own friends list! I have had people that I thought highly of say terrible things to me or about me on facebook. I am starting to think that facebook is just another place where people feel they can be sort of safe while expressing mean-spirited things--sort of like road rage--if you're in a big steel car, you can be as nasty as you want without having to come face to face with the person on the road next to you.  it depresses me and makes me think much less of people in general, and I just can't stand to start seeing that behavior in my own friends. so i decided that for now i need to sign off of facebook until I can either get over the bad taste in my mouth or maybe just stay off of it for good. it feels sad because i really love to keep up with people. 
 thanks for caring enough to drop a note, I doubt anyone else has noticed that I'm gone ha!  people are more important than two sentence political manifestos born out of frustration. :) i respect and care for you too

that is how I feel about things today. I am feeling a little world-weary as I felt that I saw some disgraceful behavior and it makes me feel discouraged. What are your thoughts about facebook and people's behavior--do you think it causes people to lose sight of the person behind the pithy one liners?


Emily Foley said...

I hadn't noticed you were gone, do you get a notice when people deactivate their account?

I had to get off Facebook for a week earlier this year because of campaign crap that was making me so mad and it was good for me. But also hard! I love Facebook!

Katie Browning said...

I commend your courage to leave. Facebook seems to be my only social interaction during the day so it's hard for me not to avoid it! I think that anytime there is an emotional issue people say/write things before they really think them through or who they really are saying those things about.

Just in the last 12 hours I learned from Facebook that because I voted for Obama I am:

An idiot
A lazy freeloader who doesn't have a job and wants a handout
A communist/socialist
Choosing wickedness over righteousness
Without a true testament of Christ.
Helping bring about the end of the world
Subject to destruction by God (and soon)

All of these things by friends that I care about and admire. I know that people are emotional today so I try and have a thick skin about it but it's hard not to take these comments personally. I know that in a few days it will return to pictures of kids and conversations about what people had to eat. I hope that you come back eventually but if you decide to stay away I will be consoled only if you continue to blog.

Missy said...

I do think people are able to "say" things on the internet that they wouldn't be able to say in person. It's sad but it is the way it is. I don't comment much on FB nor do I look at people's status comments so I don't see a lot of this going on, but I did see some of it and it was sad but I don't dwell on it. I starting to realize I'm not such a passionate person which is a good and bad thing. :) I will miss your witty status updates but you gotta do what you gotta do! But keep blogging!

Melanie and Jared said...

I might follow with you. Somebody unexpected made a mean comment about my kid that I don't understand. We don't need another place in this world that makes us feel bad. We need to just find the people and places that lift us up. I'm sorry people are so mean, you are a sensitive soul.

Kurt & Rachel Keyser said...

I generally hide or defriend rude people. I don't like trading a bunch of swear words, etc. being in Japan Facebook has helped us feel closer to our family and friends. A couple of Kurt's siblings dropped their accounts and it has made it really hard to keep in touch. Luckily one started blogging.

BexxT said...

Oh Jenn, I understand. I try so hard to stay out of things on Facebook- but when I see that really awful stuff (derisive comments about the poor specifically really chap my bottom or someone using the sentence "you are so far gone! You are just drinking the Fox News/Obama kool-aid. Or even better "You really need to learn how to think for yourself.") well, that is when my hackles go up and I say something. But I try to be logical about it- to find some kind of common ground- like hey- I totally am seeing your statement, but you know, there are more sides to this that you are ignoring- here's some information that I found to help me. That doesn't always work, and I am left wondering- goodness, is this really what people think? People who claim to be compassionate, loving christians? What are they really saying about me behind my back?

I considered leaving facebook 2-ish years ago- but then I realized that if both Adam and I left we wouldn't have that easy connection to his HUGE family in Michigan. So I made a compromise with myself. I check it occasionally, I delete everything, I dont post a lot of photos, I restrict access of people, and I don't read comments, like, ever. UNLESS- 1- those comments are directed at someone I love or 2- Someone needs to get a slap down in the form of "hey, that was out of line, I think an apology is in order." I've seen facebook apologies- and direct communication between the offender and offended go from vitriol to amiable. But it usually takes someone on the outside calling people out.

I understand world-weary- I can't make myself go to church because of this election. It was horrible a year ago and has just gotten worse. I am unapologetically liberal- and that is ok. But not so much in Texas- even in the biggest spat of blue in this giant red state.

Sending <3 and seriously, facebook is a big pile of garbage, if you can break ties, do it. I will still find you here :) And through regular old email.

jane said...

Does this mean you'll post more photos on the blog? (I hope!)

You and I know somebody who deleted his FB account when he started law school because he knew he wouldn't have time to 'waste' on it--just a thought.

I did appreciate getting email links when you had posted a wonderful pix on Fb, but otherwise I avoid it like the I would a rabid squirrel, because of users have a peculiar tendency to froth at the mouth. I'm sorry you & your friends have been bitten by same. And then there are the friend requests from people I never heard of!

However, it was good for me to see that some folks have found it useful for keeping in touch with relatives. But then, some of us who are older than dirt remember how people related before cell phones & internet!

On political non-communication:
Does it strike anybody else as just a little odd that each half of the country thinks the other half is OTL or gone 'round the bend?

Makes you really appreciate how Webster, Clay & Calhoun ever managed a compromise! I can only hope and pray that somewhere among the winners of this past Tuesday, we elected not just more politicians, but some statesmen. We're going to need them, I think.

love and hugs :~)

RaeLynn said...

Danny just re-activated his account after a year of not using it. He didn't miss it but I think he wanted to re-activate to network while looking for a new job and connect with extended family members that he doesn't see much. He's a quiet guy so if "liking" a picture or comment helps him connect with them--I support that. He's much less interactive than I am. This has nothing to do with your post. Just typing to hear myself type.

Politics and FB should NOT go hand in hand. People can disagree with me all they want but it won't change my mind. I think if you want to go to a public forum to discuss/rant about something you're passionate about--go to a place devoted for that very topic. FB shouldn't be that place. I didn't sign up for FB to listen to people go on and on about their candidate of choice (even if their candidate of choice is the same as mine). Some girl I'm "friends" with said "I get more reactions to my political posts than I do on pictures of my kids in Halloween costumes...FB was meant for meaningful political debate and discussion". ehhhhhhhh, I disagree. I liked seeing her pictures of the kids. I've blocked and unfriended more people in the last 3 months than in the last 5 years I've been using it! Hahahaha...sad.

Wow, ANYwho, I've deactivated my account before. It'll be there waiting for you if you ever choose to go back but it's nice to stay away. I'm actually considering a media fast. I don't know if I can do it though! Maybe just a twitter/FB/Instagram fast? Are you going to quit Insta too? Just curious. I'll always read your blog so I'll be here for you :)

I've been feeling physically crappy all week and the election results made me feel crappy emotionally--I'll admit it. But the sun is still shining and I'm still the same person I was 2 days ago. I'll get over it and come what may--I'll either handle it or die trying so it's all good! Love you Jenn!

maugers said...

I totally agree with you. I think email is like that too. I read and re-read all of my posts and emails and I've still offended people without even knowing. I don't know if I should just have a thicker skin, or if we need to teach our kids the importance of tone in writing (threw that in there for your english loving heart). I think now that you are an adult, if it makes you sad, don't do it!

Anne said...

Sorry to hear that. People are dumb. I think they have less inhibitions to hide their stupidity on FB. I'll be sure to email you pics now:) Hope to catch up on the phone soon.

Emily said...

Jenn, I will definitely miss your FB presence, but I completely understand where you're coming from. You're absolutely right that hiding behind the computer screen gives people the guts to say things they'd never say in mixed company around a dinner table or at a friend's house. It's sad that they can be so ignorant of the fact that EVERYONE can see what they're posting and that they're likely offending half of the people who will see it. I have had the same experience with family members who have outright insulted me and others in our family with their remarks (mostly political) by making very generalized statements about people in certain political groups. I learned to use heavy filtering to make sure that their negativity never makes it to my newsfeed, and if I'm feeling fired up about something I also filter my own comments that I know would be perceived as inflammatory to them. FB is NOT for propaganda and persuasion, and people who use it that way are asking to lose friends, IMHO. It's just unfortunate when the well-meaning, kind-hearted, just-here-to-share-my-cute-kids-with-our-family types feel compelled to leave because of all the negativity and rudeness. I hope that leaving serves you in the way you intended. Use the break to recharge and refocus, and if you feel like coming back later just know that there are lots of us who will be very excited to see you there again :)

val said...

i'm so sad about your experience with FB. i guess mean people will be mean wherever they are. it bugs me half the time too but i keep it and check it day after day. maybe it will die...although i'm sure there will be something in its place.
i am a bit confused...are people saying rude things on your wall or are you just tired of people's rants and raves? i'm good at hiding those i don't want to keep up with.
anywho..good for you for taking action.