Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Has Facebook Caused More Fighting Amongst Families?

Lately I have watched as members of my family have become antagonistic towards each other and I have wondered why this is the case.  I have read comments from other people on this blog throughout the years as they mention their families competing, bragging, asserting their views, fighting and arguing on Facebook and I can not help but wonder if the site that was supposed to make the world a "more connected place" is actually causing more strife between family members.  Is Facebook causing families and friends to actually dislike each other instead of brining people close together?  I strongly believe so.

There are many ways in which Facebook is detrimental for a person.  Recently I wrote that there are ways in which Facebook makes people feel miserable.  When people feel miserable they oftentimes lash out on others.  They look for a fight, so to speak.  When people are posting about how wonderful their life is on the internet and others are feeling bad about their own life, jealousy will emerge.  When people are enraged about current events or things out of their own control, they will fight over political ideas.  When people feel that they are not accepted by another, they lash out.   In short, families become entwined in the kind of fighting that did not really exist in the same public and easily accessible way before the internet.

Don't get me wrong, families have always fought.  I can remember during my youth seeing my parents and their siblings argue from time to time.  Yet, the arguments did not continue online.  And rarely were those arguments made manifest for a hundred or more people to see and take sides on.

I look at my family now and see a broken and fragmented family full of people who have "taken sides" on issues as the fight unfolds on Facebook, or as I have begun calling it as of late, "Favebook."  I have seen one of my wife's siblings pretty much disown her sister's husband because of his views on Obama.  I have seen people become angry if others do not agree with their political or religious views, removing them from their friends list.  Others state that they should be able to state what they want on their wall and nobody should be able to question what is said.  Does this not sound like tyranny to you?  Of course fights are going to emerge when these things happen.

Recently one of my family members was bated with a political post, and once he commented, a huge fight erupted.  A couple of days after loads of comments from various people who both knew him and some who have never met him, he was unfriended and paraded as a jerk for the rest of the family to see. It is sad to see such a pointless argument turn into a family feud just because someone does not agree with one's self-important political views.  

Thanksgiving is coming upon the United States very soon and I look at my family and see that many are having it separately this year.  In years past, the family would come together for a day when differences were set aside and where people gave thanks for the things that they have in life.  Now, I see that differences are not set aside, they are left right there for everyone on Facebook to see.  Now the topic becomes what was said and done on Facebook.  There is a reminder of how much one does not like another family member right when that other person checks their Facebook page.  And they check it quite often.

Do you really expect that Facebook is good for families and relationships when:
1.  People are obsessed with their own political views and are used to arguing with anyone who disagrees?
2.  People and family members are ultra competitive with each other and parade all their accomplishments in front of everyone else?
3.  People compare how they raise their children?
4.  People unfriend others when they do wrong and use Facebook as a weapon?
5.  When "Favebook" becomes a way for people to exclude others from events and from their lives.
6.  Where personal fights are made public and people start to take sides?

It is no secret that Facebook causes people to become angry with each other.  It is to be expected that the anger will eventually seep into our closest relationships.  When a person gets done telling "a liberal" or "a conservative" how stupid their views are and then notices that their brother has the same views, there is no doubt that there may be family arguments.   Furthermore, what is said can be seen years later as posts do not disappear unless deleted.  That means that the old feelings can re-emerge.

Many people are going to say "that does not sound like my family" or that "I am different.  I can handle Facebook."  Is that true?  Are you just telling yourself that?  Has your family really gotten along as well with Facebook?  Has the constant barrage of political posts and angry news articles really brought you closer together as a family?  Have the members of your family not become jealous when you were talking about that huge promotion at work while others were busy trying to fight the government for an unemployment check?  Do you find yourself wondering if something that someone said on Facebook is really something passive aggressive and meant towards you?  If not, congratulations.

Facebook is an addiction.  People think that they have to be on it or that they are not a good person.  I know some people who are not on Facebook and they are doing themselves a favor.  Many hate the drama and do not want to be pulled into it.  Others crave some type of peace in their lives.  Facebook does not do much good for anyone, especially once the urge to "assert your all-important views" becomes too strong.  And, when you tell the world that they can not disagree with your views, there is a problem.  Do yourself a huge favor and remove it immediately.  You do not need to be a part of a site that is destroying relationships and families daily.  

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Facebook's Herd Mentality: Regarding the Attacks on Paris

I, like many others, have noticed a type of "herd mentality" that exists on Facebook before the Paris attacks.  However, I write this post now as this herd mentality is extremely pronounced.

I do not need to say that the attacks on Paris were sickening to me.  I have been following and speaking out to people against ISIS for quite a while (mostly on deaf ears.  While others were busy posting about Kim Davis and the Clock Boy, I was baffled by why people were not saying anything about ISIS, focusing their lives on largely pointless issues.  Now that ISIS has attacked France, I am told that Facebook is awash in people's profile picture being changed to a French tricolor.  It is great that people are supporting the French people in this (but they need real support).  However, I can not help but wonder where this support was when other attacks happened, most notably the very recent airline crash that took place in Egypt.  Yet, the Egypt crash that killed over two hundred Russians was totally ignored by most on Facebook.  Why is this?

One user retorted:
"The French supported us during our 9/11 terrorist attack by hundreds standing around a us flag. This was a terrorist attack by the group we are at war with, and so those are the main two reasons I changed facebook had it as an option on my timeline. I think it's great for everyone in Paris to get on and see all of the support of their flag standing everywhere, all over the world. We stand together through this."
I wonder, is this why we started calling French fries "freedom fries" after 9/11?  Yes, there was a lot of French hate in the media after 9/11, but many do not want to recall that now.  The truth is, that people on Facebook seem to act in tandem.  Facebook has a way of making people think as one big and sometimes dumb group.  Certain news stories get the spotlight (clock boy) and other bigger, more important stories (such as the attacks in Beirut) get ignored.  Conspiracy theories regarding Obama or Donald Trump are more important to many than anything that is going on in the world that tear lives and people apart.  

I do not want to seem unsympathetic to France or the French, and I hope that you do not think I am.  I think that there are better ways to show that you care about humanity or stand with those who have been attacked than changing your picture on Facebook.  Such an act of self-aggrandizing does nothing for the world at all.  In fact, you might as well just reach your hand around and pat yourself on the back for being so culturally aware on your profile before going off your all-important political views on Islam or sharing pictures of your latest meal.

One interesting tidbit about the France attacks was that, at first, it seemed that there was a lot of unity on Facebook.  Now, Facebook is full of arguments over what should be done regarding ISIS, refugees, and other points that armchair political strategists feel the need to debate behind their phones and computers.  You may have that tricolor as your Facebook image, but behind that glow, you are still wasting your time on one of the biggest time suckers in existence.  Facebook wants you to think that you are doing something in support of the terror that happened in France, but the truth is, if you were to log off Facebook and never show yourself on that site again, France (or the world) would not be any worse off.  If you want to show real support on the war against ISIS, start caring about every human, no matter where they are from, who are hurt by this vile organization.  Mourn not just for the French, but for all those who have died by the hands of these people.  Don't let Facebook tell you who you should be in solidarity with.  It's time you move away from the herd mentality that exists on Facebook and start thinking for yourself.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Using Facebook as a Weapon

Facebook is advertised as the chain that links people and societies together.  Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook's big cheese, claims that the website exists to "create a more connected world."  To me, Facebook (and other (a)social media) are websites that end up sucking people's time from their lives, leaving them with negative thoughts of jealousy, anger, sadness, and regret.  However, there is another sinister side to Facebook that I have not talked too much about.  It is an important aspect of Facebook that has caused great damage in many lives.  I have seen it firsthand in my own life.  It is using Facebook as a weapon.  Below I will discuss a few ways in which Facebook is used as a weapon.  I may have left something out.  If you see something that should be added, or if you want to share your own experiences, please leave a comment.

Unfriending People

Relationships and friends are vitally important to Facebook users.  (a)social media would not exist without all the online "connections" that exist between people.  Yet, sometimes people get angry at others, or do not agree with their views and, as a result, punish them.  This is most often done by unfriending the person.

Unfriending oftentimes is used to send a strong message to the other person.  It's a message that states that the person is angry at you and has acted on that anger.  It is a message that states that you did something wrong and that you should be sorry.  The wrong could be anything - minor or major.  It could be a differing political view, your religious views, or the fact that you said something wrong on Facebook (which is a real danger since many people have no personal filter when it comes to writing on Facebook).  It could be that that the person just does not like you.  It could be that the person wants to control you.  No matter what reason it is, if you are using Facebook as a form of punishment, you might want to think about the maturity of such an action.

I have unfriended people before when I was a Facebook user.  I tried to do it in a way that they would not notice it.  I do not like to hurt others.  There are legitimate reasons to remove a person as a friend on (a)social media.  For example, if you do not know that person well and there is no real relationship, you might as well move on.  However, even when fighting with a person over a personal view, should you remove them?  I think that when the friendship seems totally irreconcilable, then it's time to say goodbye.  Yet, the truth is, I see too many people unfriend a person to friend them a few days later and pretend nothing happened.  It ends up looking and feeling awkward.  It is a waste of time.

As a Facebook user, you are bound to be a part of the "friend and unfriend merry-go-round" that is part of the Facebook culture.  Historically it has never been normal to be exposed to every political view and every aspect of all of your friends and acquaintances lives.   Some stuff is made public on the internet that is really none of my business and I should have never known about a person.  And, I am sure that I said some things that were better kept between me and my family (or just to myself).  The truth is, we talk far too much on Facebook, and that talking gets us into serious trouble more often than not.

Liking One Person's Posts and Ignoring Another's

Some people use the like button as a weapon.  Some will like every post but yours or ignore your posts on purpose.  I have seen people that would like every one of another person's pictures.  Hundreds of pictures.  Almost each and every one.  Yet, this person rarely liked anything that another person that was related to her.  It caused some jealousy issues and made that other person feel left out.  This blatant favoritism can be used as a weapon to control another.  It is an issue that many deal with.  If you are dealing with this in your own life, could you please explain to me why you are on Facebook?

Trolling and Lying

Some people use Facebook as a means to troll others.  It is not yet as bad as Twitter, which is full of some of the the most vile comments on the internet, but many are trying to troll others on Facebook and some are devising some new ways to get at others as I write this.  While this is harder to do when people make private profiles, trolls do exist through various news stories and political posts.  Many people have created famous memes and images that have been used to troll the world into believing something that is completely fake.  And people mistake these outright lies for knowledge and they share it with others.  How sad.

Bragging to Make Others Feel Inferior

Bragging about life is another way in which Facebook is used as a weapon.  In the wake of the tragedy in France, a Facebook user told me that he was bragging about his great apartment that overlooked One World Trade Center, which was all lit up in the French tricolor.  This was said to be an attempt to outdo a relative who was sharing his sympathy about the attacks.  Seriously?  Many are on Facebook for the sole purpose of bragging about their careers, leisure time, lifestyles, educational attainments, money, etc.  Some will use any excuse to brag about their lives.  Many of these people do so to get at relatives/siblings, ex-girlfriends/boyfriends, spouses, friends, classmates, etc.  Wealth comes and goes.  We all live and die.  So why are you wasting your time on the internet instead of enjoying life?  If you are bragging about life and are glued to Facebook, you really have nothing at all to brag about.  Facebook addiction is not anything that should be envied, and instead of bragging about your life, you should come to this site and see why Facebook and (a)social media is toxic.

Why Do You Spend Time On Facebook?  Don't You Have Better Things to Do With Your Life?!

I have written a lot on this website about how I feel Facebook is a toxic pastime.  I have said over and over for the past few years how Facebook is a time eater that gives a person nothing back for the amount of time that is spent on the site.  Facebook may also be a tool to gather information from individual users, and a huge part of the world is willing to freely share their lives and personal information on the internet because they are addicted!!  You are giving your private data out to a company that has shown over and over again that it can not be trusted, yet many do not care.  Many do not care that they log off the site feeling depressed and self loathing.  Many do not seem to care that they go through each day feeling lethargic due to the comparisons that they have made with other people.  Many will place themselves on a website where they are exposed to constant bragging and political nonsense.  What is the gain?  Tell me that.  The main excuse I hear is that it "allows me to keep in touch with others."  Would the world be so horrible if you had to keep in touch with others through e-mail or via phone?  Would your life really be that awful if you did not have hundreds of connections through an (a)social media website?

How we spend our time is a choice.  I hope you make the right choice and spend your time in a positive, uplifting and productive way.  Being on Facebook is not a positive, uplifting or productive pastime.  Nobody has been able to tell me with a straight face that their time spent on their personal Facebook page has been productive.  You are wasting your time.  But, the good news is that you can leave at any time you wish!  You can end it all and enter into a more full life.  Now is the time for change.  It feels good to let go.  You will be tempted to return.  I won't deny that.  Even I have been tempted over and over again, and I have given in a lot.  Every time I am smacked alongside the head by something I read.  Every time I am baffled by the time I waste on the site.  Even if it is just fifteen minutes a day - it adds up.  Yet, it is rarely just fifteen minutes a day.  It's usually much, much more.  How much time are you serving on Facebook?  Are you a prisoner to (a)social media?  Then do yourself perhaps the biggest favor you have ever done in your life: Quit now.  Your life will be much better.  That's something I truly believe and that's why I am still writing on this website years after creating it.  Stay strong and don't give into the pressure to be on these websites.  Remember, it is your choice, it is your life.  Unconnect from (a)social media and reconnect with the world.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Holidays and Christmas on Facebook: Now is The Best Time to Leave

The holidays are approaching.  This is going to be a time for you to compare your life and your achievements with every acquaintance that you have known since middle school.  It’s also a good time to see where in the world it is snowing, as if it has never snowed before.  It is a time that many will spend ignoring others while pretending that they are having the best season of their lives.  Sadly, most are living a fantasy, viewing the world through Facebook-colored lenses.

About a decade ago, people were less likely to spend their holidays on their phones and on (a)social media, but times have changed.  Recently I pointed out how one in seven people log onto Facebook every day.  Chances are, when you are gathered around the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table, someone there is going to be on Facebook.  And, chances are, the dinner will be lit up by the flash of cameras taking pictures to share the feast on Instagram and Facebook.  Will you be tweeting about the gravy?  Will you share with the world just how moist your Butterball Turkey was?  How quickly will you upload those pictures?  Will it be during the prayer, or do you have the self control to wait until someone is passing you the corn? 


The holidays are the BEST TIME of year to get rid of Facebook.  You might consider focusing on enjoying the time with family and friends and trying to move away from consumerism and trying to compare yourself with others during this festive period.  Why spend your time inundated with thoughts about not being good enough as others or wanting to prove yourself on the internet?  Why waste your time being thrusted into political debates or hearing about news that only brings you down and makes you feel miserable.  It’s great that uncle Tommy is a born again armchair vegan or that your sister’s boyfriends father is the CEO of a company that sells pirated DVDs.  And how many times do you really need to feel special about reading words upside down and backwards?  We get it, only one in ten people have that skill… and they are all on Facebook!

When your family asks you why you are not taking pictures of the wishbone this year, tell them that you are taking a break from Facebook.  Tell them that you are not updating Twitter.  Tell them that Instagram is off your radar for a while.  Let the family know that you are celebrating the holidays with your children and family, not with the guy who you met at Chuck E Cheese, who somehow contacted you and added you on Facebook.  Tell them that you would rather have a quiet Christmas like you remember it being years ago.  Let your loved ones know that Christmas is a time for family, for giving thanks, and NOT for Facebook.  Tell them that you are on vacation from (a)social media, and let them know that you may never be back.  


You are truly not missing out.  If anything, everyone who is not enjoying the moment, but rather, living for Facebook, are the ones who are going to miss the special time of year that is approaching.  Those who are dying for the moment when they can upload thirty pictures of the tanembaum are the ones missing out.  Instead of taking a bazillion pictures for Facebook, in the hopes that they get noticed, take the pictures to show your children and to look back on yourselfThis time of year is for you and your family, not for your Pridebook.  

How are you spending the next couple of holidays?  Glued to Facebook, or with your family and friends?  Now is a great time to quit Facebook.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Arguing on Facebook: Starbucks Red Cup War

The latest stupid argument on Facebook
Facebook is rife with arguments on topics that have no bearing on the lives of most people.  Instead of focusing on the good things in life or on real friends and family, those who choose to use Facebook are saying in actions that they would rather argue about the most stupid topics.  Topics such as a red cup from Starbucks.  That's correct, instead of doing something productive with their lives, billions of people are opting to belong to a website that has become full of and promotes such stupid arguments.

Sadly, the holiday season has been turned into a way for family and friends to argue if everyone should say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" and whether it is okay for Starbucks to have a red cup this holiday season instead of the somehow more Christian snowflake/tree/snowman design it had in the past.  Christmas has turned into a season of arguments on Facebook and it only hurts the people who spend the holidays on (a)social media.  If you are not on Facebook, you are really doing yourself a favor this year.

People on Facebook are Obsessed with the story of Starbucks' Red Cup:  Vox: Starbucks’s red cup controversy, explainedThe Atlantic: The Inanity of the Starbucks Christmas Cup ‘Controversy’

The Starbucks red cup argument is just another annoying argument and time waster in a long series of arguments that have taken people's lives and times up over the years. From Kony 2012 to Kim Davis to Obama's place of birth, people have wasted their lives arguing on the internet and Facebook is argument central.  Yet, the arguments really seem to heat up around Christmas, which is quite ironic.  Instead of spreading good joy and cheer, many would rather tell others what they should say regarding Christmas or brag about what they are doing and what they have received during the holiday.

Is being on Facebook and reading stupid arguments really how you want to spend your life?  Are you getting that much out of your presence on Facebook?  Or, is it just causing you to feel depressed? Many people seem to be so used to the constant Facebook depression and arguments that they do not think about it.  They don't know that there is a choice to be on the site, sadly.  Yet, another holiday season is coming and the same posts are filling Facebook walls.  Instead of enjoying another year of your life, you are spending it on Facebook.  What joy is in that?  If you are on Facebook instead of spending that time with family and friends, you are truly wasting your life.  Yes, that's right: Facebook is a WASTE of time.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

One in Seven People Log Onto Facebook Daily

Are You One in Seven?

According to various new sources, including the mouth of the beast itself, one in seven people in the world logs onto Facebook daily.  That’s right, the entire world is becoming obsessed with Facebook and many can not go a day without logging in and checking their news feed.  Of course, this is a good thing from a financial standpoint for Facebook.  For humanity, not so much.

“A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values,” wrote Zuckerberg.
More connected? To what? Your screens? Facebook is not real human connection. Talking to yourself and pretending that other people are actually listening is not connecting with others. Bragging about your life or talking at over 100 people at once is not connecting. It does not bring you closer to people. In fact, it does the opposite. You find that you are starting at a phone while ignoring the people who are right there around you.

Do you log in daily?

Can you go a day without Facebook, or is logging in as common to you as sleeping, eating, brushing your teeth, or going to the restroom?  Do you feel compelled to open Facebook in your browser window and see what you are missing out on?  Are you really missing out?  Do you have better things to do?  Have you asked your children what they are learning in school, or is watching the life 
of what is now a stranger more important to you?  Do you really need to see those vacation pictures of the sibling that makes twice the amount of money as you do?  Will that make you feel happy?  Will you feel like you accomplished something in your life if you check to see if you still have the best job amongst your high school chums?  Maybe you just realized that you forgot to post that picture of you plastered at SeƱor Frogs in Cozumel during your last birthday. 

When is the last time you logged in on Facebook?  What did you do while you were there?  Do you even remember?  Was it worth your time?  Would you have really missed out if you did not log in?  

I know that this often goes through one ear and out the other, but life is really better without Facebook and all that (a)social media.  Few people really care about all those pictures and nobody really cares about how you snuck into the neighbor’s barn while drunk.  Few are going to click on that political story that you felt the need to plaster on your wall.  Most people are too wrapped up in their own lives or want to be noticed themselves.  You are wasting your time with (a)social media.  The people who do care about your life are the ones you might as well just pick up the phone and call.  The people who do care are the ones that you should have a relationship that is a lot closer than Facebook. The rest of it is a dangerous game of emotional Russian roulette.