There was a time in the 2000s when Facebook was fun. A platform where people posted personal posts like, “We’re going to the concert in the park. Anyone want to join us?” Or photos of family vacations. Even pictures of their lunch.
It wasn’t great literature, and the food photos got old, but it was harmless for the most part. I often posted humorous posts and got several funny responses. I enjoyed checking Facebook.
Eventually, Facebook introduced the share button, which allowed people to share other people’s posts. Even things outside of Facebook became fair game. Personal posts began to decline, and sharing began to increase (“Check out these memes and videos!”)
Business and self-promotion took off.
Then things got even worse.
Facebook became a soapbox for political ranting and the advancing of every possible agenda. Shares far outnumbered personal thoughts. And when people did actually write a post, it was often political.
The “social” aspect of social media has become an endangered species.
Although most social media platforms allow you to hide posters or dismiss posts, they are simply bandaids on a seriously wounded platform. At least for me.
Those who think ranting on Facebook or Twitter will change people’s minds seem to like the current state of affairs, but I think they are wasting their time. Almost no one debates on social media. They rant. It’s often one-sided or close-minded arguments trying to prove their opinion. Yelling at or insulting someone doesn’t change their mind.
Not to mention the shared misinformation, outright lies, and ridiculous conspiracy theories that proliferate unchecked as facts.
I love my friends and family, so I ignore their political posts, shares, and conspiracy theories on Facebook. I have even hidden family members on Facebook when it got to be too much. But it is a losing game.
Social media is too addicting for most users to give up, but I find myself checking it less and less frequently. And for shorter lengths of time when I do.
Sadly, social media’s social aspect is now drowned out by the noise of those standing on their digital soapboxes shouting at the world.