Monday, January 27, 2014

Keep On Scrollin'

            A sad thing happened today. I lost a friend. Before you start extending condolences, let me clarify this was a Facebook friend. And I didn’t lose him physically...just on Facebook.
            His Facebook demise wasn’t sudden or without warning. He gave all his friends a heads up a few days ago that he’d be signing off. Something about “mountains being made out of molehills.” Don’t know what he meant exactly, but he sounded a little bitter. 
            We’ve all heard the complaints: Facebook is just a place to brag, to “overshare,” to bully. And, of course, there’s the constant, pervading complaint that it’s a waste of time. I’ve been known to register a few complaints myself. But here’s what I’ve learned about Facebook or any form of social media: It’s a tool to use however I want. In fact, for me, it’s one of the few areas of my life where I feel—for the most part—in control. 
            For instance, I can pick my friends. Well, the ones that subscribe to Facebook. And I have quite a variety. They run the gamut from left-wing liberals to far-right conservatives. From twenty-somethings to grandparents. From close relatives to people I know only through Facebook. I even follow a couple of authors I like, although I avoid any fanatical following of the rich and famous...or the rich and ridiculous.  
Best device I've found for
managing Facebook. Inexpensive,
lightweight, and (hopefully) I'll never lose it.

            Facebook provides all sorts of ways to manage friends so that I can choose which ones I want to keep up with most. But what I’ve found most effective in managing time and friends is...wait for this...my finger. Yes, that little non-tech device that is with me wherever I go has enabled me to not only survive Facebook but to enjoy it.
             First, if I don’t have time for Facebook, I don’t click on it. What a concept! But if I do have some downtime, I enjoy scrolling through a few posts, catching up on what friends and family are doing, viewing pictures. That’s another way my finger comes in handy—scrolling. I generally glance at the recent posts on the news feed, pausing to read the ones I find interesting, and scrolling past the ads, most of the links, and posts of the 150 cute things someone’s kid or pet has done THAT DAY. If you happen to enjoy cute things that kids and pets do, great! That’s the beauty of Facebook. You can pause and read and even comment...or you can keep on scrollin’.
            Same thing goes for posts I’m pretty sure are going to irritate me. I scroll right past. I’m all for people expressing their opinions. I just don’t feel the need to read them. And I sure don’t feel the need to respond to them. Occasionally, I’ll hit “like” if I agree with a particular stance, but, in general, I prefer my political discussions to be in person. But, hey, if a heated Facebook argument is your idea of fun—or if you feel strongly led to publicly state your opinion—go for it. Just don’t get your feelings hurt when people feel equally led to disagree. Or drop you as a friend. As for me, I get enough political angst from watching TV news without getting embroiled in a Facebook debate.
             And speaking of TV, it comes with an “Off” button. That’s another place you can put your finger to effective use.   

 

9 comments:

  1. Totally agree with all of this., Dee Dee. Free will, power of choice, etc. Thank God for fingers!

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    1. Personal choice and responsibility...exactly, Natine. And yes, thank God for even small things like fingers!

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  2. I am with you Dee Dee. I enjoy the "good news network" if you will of people pictures, and joyful shares and am sad but kept in the loop when someone is having a bad day, or struggling so I can send a quick note of encouragement or (gasp) call them to check in. BUT when it comes to political rants, or pictures of neglected pets, I just have to let my finger keep it moving.

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    1. Yes, Lisa, those pictures of neglected animals are definitely places I keep on scrollin'. I understand the purpose of posting animals to be adopted, but I can't handle the pics of abused ones.

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  3. Oh my gosh - you don't HAVE to read each post in the newsfeed??? Well my days just opened up!

    Actually, there have been numerous times that I was on FB longer than I intended - but I don't blame that on FB. It's not like I don't have a watch!

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    1. Shel, it is truly amazing how quickly time can fly when we're caught up in Facebook world!

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  4. Ugh, political rants. I am getting better at scrolling. BUT . . . sometimes I read a blog post that I find touching or illuminating in some way, and then I make the grave mistake of reading the comments. NEVER READ THE COMMENTS. If the blog has attracted a lot of positive attention, it's guaranteed to have its "troll" responses, too. So I can't even look. And yet, sometimes I still do. Argh.

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    1. "Troll" --great word, Sonia. Wouldn't it be great if we could ignore the trolls in our physical world, too? Just scroll right past them!

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  5. Scroll on, Dee Dee! I think there is a t-shirt with your finger on it somewhere. I love the idea of choices and responsibility.:)

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