Nearly every human being on the face of the this planet has a Facebook account. Well, I shouldn’t say everyone. I am trying to get those individuals to finally get out of the dark ages and join our modern society. As many people know, Facebook is more than just sharing photos and videos among friends and relatives. It also has an area where you can post and express your feelings about anything. Perhaps you want to announce to the world that you are having lasagna for dinner tonight. Great! We are happy for you! With this being a general election year, many folks are using their status area to express their political opinions or beliefs. Nearly everyone has individuals on their friend’s list who feel the need to use Facebook as a forum to practice their debate skills with other people. It appears that a few even feel the need to educate us morons who are ill-informed on certain issues. Sometimes the discussions that take place on Facebook provide more laughs and entertainment than I get from anyplace else. Personally, I try to avoid talking politics on Facebook for a number of reasons. It is really a no-win situation.
People who read my posts regularly might be shocked to know that fact about me. I am very open about expressing my political viewpoints on this site. Get me on Facebook and suddenly I become very shy and quiet about expressing myself. Well actually I have my reasons. First of all, I value my relationships with every many people on my friend’s list. I have many dear and close friends and family members on Facebook. Not all of them view politics the same way that I do. Sharing a political post or expressing my feelings in words may make me look good and might gain approval from a few of my friends, but several others may become very offended. I am sure that many of you have friends on your list who you suddenly became disillusioned with after they posted something that you do not agree with. Would you walk up to a good friend and tell them that they are completely stupid and dumb for wanting to vote for a particular candidate? Or tell them that their views are what is wrong with America? That is extremely insulting! Is there such a thing as respecting someone’s different opinion anymore?
There are few things that tear people apart than politics. Friends and family members are torn apart because someone has a different view and they cannot accept or respect someone else’s viewpoint. I don’t necessarily have a problem with people discussing certain issues on Facebook. There are many issues that need to be discussed among us citizens and how to come up with solutions. When people start pointing fingers at political parties or ideological points of view, then I have a problem. Many try to back up their claims with false or misleading facts and statements. As is the case with most political discussions on Facebook, things get ugly and the name calling starts to happen. Who has time for that nonsense?
Sometime after the election, perhaps things will get back to normal on Facebook and we can be filled with thrilling stories again about the lives of our friends and relatives. If I want intelligent political talk, I will turn on political cable news shows or talk radio. Sorry but Facebook does nothing for me on that topic. Oh yea, it does give me many laughs and utter amazement at the mindset of some people!
Like millions of people around the world, I have a Facebook page. The last time I checked, I believe I am up to about 5 friends on my friend’s list! Well not really! Anyways, I really enjoy logging onto that site and seeing what is going on in the lives of my friends. Some of my friends are not shy about posting ever little detail of their lives on Facebook. Others are really missing in action. I wonder if they are still alive! Regardless, Sometimes I really cringe when I see certain things posted. I don’t want to know about all the little details of your restless night last night for crying out loud! I have put together a list of certain things that should be off-limits for Facebook. Of course, everyone has a right to post whatever they want unless it is a nude picture of themselves, but for the most part, Facebook is pretty tolerant towards most stuff that people post. People should think twice about posting the following.
1) Details of your recent illness. I have no problem with people who post that they are sick. Sometimes it is good that they tell us so we can pray for them and offer up words of encouragement. The problem is when folks start going into every little detail of what is wrong with them. Like one of my friends started discussing his diarrhea problems in a recent post. That is a little more than I need to know!
2) Misleading or incorrect political facts or political talk in general. A friend of mine on Facebook posted something about what a good job a certain political in our state was doing. A few months later, he posted the same item and did it again several months later. The problem in his post was that it was written by a partisan hack and contained a lot of inaccurate and misleading info. You see a lot of that these days on Facebook. In order to prove a political point, people will post something that is just not correct or only half-true. I generally try to stay away from any political talk at all on Facebook. It is a great way to upset people and lose friends.
3) Sexual talk or images. Not everyone will share your enjoyment over posting something that is extremely sexual in nature. It is best to keep those things to yourself.
4) Constant bickering about your life. I get the impression that some people on my Facebook page are completely miserable with their lives. If it is not their job, it is a medical condition. Or some person is treating them like crap. Different day, new negative post. Overly constant whining and complaining is not something that I want to read or look at on Facebook.
5) Too many pet pics. I think some folks would be happier if they were married to their pets than their spouses, seriously! I enjoy viewing a cat video or picture just as much as anyone else, but after a few pictures, enough!
6) What you are having for dinner. Unless you are having me over for that Spaghetti dinner, don’t give me all the details! My stomach can’t take it!
I personally love to see people posting positive stuff on their feeds like they are getting married or something exciting is happening in their lives. Or post something funny. One of my Facebook friends has a great ability to make me laugh when I read her posts. Sometimes I come home after a hard day at work and her posts produce a warm feeling in my heart. I want to be entertained on Facebook and sometimes those who post stuff from the above list make me want to log off Facebook as quickly as possible.
Many of you out there have a particular favorite website that you just have to visit everyday. For many people, Facebook is at the top of the list. Or maybe, you have a blog that you like to follow like Mark’s Views, okay well maybe not!! There are literally thousands of great sites to visit for any internet junkie, however, the best one in my opinion is Twitter. No offense to other sites, but I find myself visiting Twitter before any other site. I have a nice convenient app on my smart phone to access Twitter, and with a simple touch, I can get all the latest breaking news, sports and information that I need. I could be out in some remote location on an island and still keep in touch with what is going on in the world.
Besides getting breaking information, it is always interesting to see what people are saying about a particular subject or event. Some of the tweets that people send out are totally amusing and creative. Everyone has an opinion and Twitter is a great way to express yourself in only 140 characters or less. I love to read other people’s tweets although I could care less if some celebrity tweets that they are going grocery shopping. Like I really need to know that!! I am more interested in people’s short opinions about some event. For a sports fan, Twitter is excellent for letting you vent after the big game. Does the coach need to be fired or this player need to be traded? Expressing your political thoughts is another great way to use Twitter. I have gotten into a few Twitter battles with people over various political topics. I certainly respect other people’s opinions, but I am not afraid to voice my opinion about certain policies. I think Twitter has really changed the landscape for politics. Any politician would be wise to incorporate Twitter in their campaigns. The holds true for companies who want to reach out to potential customers. I have some companies who started following me after I joined Twitter. I never heard of them prior to joining Twitter, but they certainly have made themselves know to me and other people through their tweets.
For all that is good with Twitter, there are certainly some negative things that Twitter can bring. As you might have guessed, giving people a public forum to express their views and opinions can get certain individuals in trouble. Is it just me or does Twitter really bring out the true idiots in this world? A few weeks ago, a local young person got arrested for tweeting that he was going to kill some cops. He was upset with a speeding ticket and decided to use social media to vent his frustrations. Not exactly the smartest thing in the world to do especially when you direct your tweet at the police department. I have heard about certain students getting suspended from school over tweets. Do these people realize that their little tirades can be viewed by everyone in the world? It is very unfortunate that some people use Twitter and other social media sites to tear down others and bully. It is one thing to criticize someone but when you purposely try to damage their reputation, that is really crossing the line. Unfortunately, Twitter is being used more and more as a way to damage and hurt people and that is just not right.
I have some own personal rules for using Twitter. There are certainly times when I like to vent and express my frustrations with certain things, people or organizations. I just do not like to Twitter strictly as a forum for constant whining and complaining about this world. Instead, I like to express praise and give out positive tweets. For example, our highway and road crews have taken a lot of heat lately over the poor conditions of the streets and highways after a recent storm. The conditions were totally out of their controls. All of them were working double shifts and doing their best, however, people were still criticizing the job they were doing. I sent out a tweet expressing my appreciation for their hard work. We like to rip athletes and politicians but what about some of the good things they do? Why not send out a tweet admiring their courage? If you do not agree with a certain political view, tweet out an alternative plan.
If you are not on Twitter, you should join asap. Despite some of the drawbacks, it is a wonderful site. I have really become addicted to it in the past few years. Very few sites offer so much up to date information and opinion as Twitter. Just use it wisely and do not become one of those #knuckleheads on Twitter.
About a month ago, a breaking news alert flashed on my television screen. My heart immediately sank for fear of what was to follow. Was there another school shooting or terrorism attack? Perhaps someone famous had died? Oh, none of those things. The news anchor grimly announced that Facebook was down that morning and should be up shortly. It was indeed a very difficult morning for millions of people around the world who seem to be very addicted to this popular and somewhat overrated website.
It seems that nearly everyone in the world has a Facebook account except for my mother. I am still working on that impossible task. I might have a better chance of swimming across the ocean before I ever get her to join. People like her are a very rare breed. A huge number of people in our society are absolutely hooked on that social media site. People are naturally curious about what goes on with other people especially when it comes to their friends or relatives. Businesses and news organizations seem to be using Facebook in increasing numbers to promote certain things and events which makes the site even more prone to addiction.
I personally enjoy Facebook but I am by no means an addict. I have many family members who live several miles away so it is a great way to stay in touch with them and see what is going on in their lives. I do not have to wait for the holidays to see or hear about all the family gossip. I also have had the opportunity to rekindle some old friendships through Facebook. Several of my old classmates have accounts and it is really fascinating to see how people change or for some, stay the same through all these years. Those things make Facebook a very appealing site to millions.
There are many drawbacks to the site as well. I find only a small percentage of people on my friend’s list even participate. It is usually the same few people who post stuff or give details about events in their lives. I can understand that some people are very private and do not want to share with others but it would be nice to occasionally share with others about what is transpiring in your life. Like what are you doing for Thanksgiving or Christmas? Maybe you are going to the hospital for surgery. People are very curious to how you are doing and are there to offer you support. It would be nice to post something about how you are doing or perhaps you are dealing with certain personal issues like a divorce or breakup. Your friend’s or family’s comments can serve to be very uplifting.
Of course, some people go to far in posting stuff. I do not need to see pictures of people’s broken toe nails. TMI !!!!. Nor do I need to know that you are currently folding socks or have bad gas!! Yes, I have seen things like that posted. I personally do not post any political comments. I have seen some very heated child-like discussions on Facebook regarding politics and quite frankly, I do not find that site to be a place for expressing my political views. Also, if you are either married or in a relationship, be very careful about what you post on Facebook. I have been there done that!! People’s jealousies really come out on Facebook. For example, suppose that old girlfriend/boyfriend of yours comments on your status. In some cases, that can lead to some resentment even to a breakup or divorce. I wonder how many divorces are caused by Facebook postings. Or even a simple like about someone’s post. The same holds true about posts regarding your job. A person really needs to be careful about what they post and use good judgement.
I don’t know what the future of Facebook will bring. Perhaps it will be just another flash in the pan social media site like Myspace. Who really knows. But for being able to connect with family and friends for free, you just can’t beat that!! Just be careful about falling into the trap known as Facebook addiction. It could happen to you sooner that you think.