Confession #1: I have almost 1,000 friends on Facebook. That doesn’t count people I follow, but people who I have friended or have friended me. Some of these are people I actually know (whether I knew them before I added them, or have come to know them since.) but a lot of them are people I don’t know – authors added through events, people added for games, on and on. I’ll add anyone. I even have some of those spam guys who just add you so they can send you messages. I ignore the messages and move on, because I’m too lazy to go unfriend them, and besides, sometimes they post something funny.
But it’s this very liberal friend adding policy that has created a monster. Because I don;t even know a portion of the people whose posts I’m seeing, I’m getting some crazy stuff. People posting articles (both left and right propaganda – I want to make it clear that crazy goes BOTH ways) that are insanely, obviously not true – though from the comments, apparently no one bothers to fact check. They post rants calling people names that even *I* won’t repeat (so you know it’s pretty bad). In fact I can sum my stream up pretty easily: piles of misinformation, panicked insanity, and lots and lots of hate with the occasional sad kitten.
So I abandoned Facebook. I said “I’ll check to groups – that I have direct links to – and that’s it. I will not visit the homepage. I will not be sucked in.” That means I’m missing posts from those real, sane people I mentioned are in there somewhere. In some cases, some pretty fun posts.
Then, last night it occurred to me that just because people on Facebook have gone f’n crazy, I don’t have to abandon the sane ones. I don’t even have to unfriend any of the nearly 1,000 people – I can just use the magic unfollow button.
And I did. I went unfollow crazy. Your stream is 90% political stuff, most of which is NOT fact checked? Bye. You abuse others in your posts? Bye. You call ANYONE the C-word because they don’t agree with you? Unfollow. Make rude generalizations about “all” conservatives/liberals/communists? Toodles. Tell me that in order to be a woman I need to think just like you do? Ta-ta. Click, click, click. I kept waiting for Facebook to tell me I was unfollowing too many people because once I started it was hard to stop.
And now…now my stream is lovely. It’s full of the things I want to see. Sure, there are some political posts and news articles, but they are from balanced, thoughtful people who do their homework before posting. No panicked hysteria. Are there debate posts? Yes, but they are from people who don’t need to call someone a “racist” or a “butthurt baby” because they don’t agree. Most of all there are the posts I am on Facebook to see, things like what people are doing, what they had for lunch, and what their cat is doing.
As for the news? I am going to continue to get it from the sources I have been getting it from all along, such as the actual news, actual news websites, etc. And even then, I am going to take it with a grain of salt and check out what the opposing side says because, hey, news is just social media with fewer posters.
Have an unfollow kinda night!
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