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Ah... Facebook! The place we all go to keep tabs on our friends, enjoy seeing pictures of family, crush candy and, of course, threaten each other. Whether you’re a liberal, a conservative or just someone who doesn’t quite have grammar mastered, you’ve probably had an angry tirade against you show up on your newsfeed sometime this week or, let’s face it, you might have posted some yourself.
Today we’re all wrapped up in social media and the most popular across all age groups appears to be Facebook and it seems like we all agree it’s horrible. I love seeing the newly posted pictures of your kid’s day at the petting zoo. I don’t love reading that I’m going to hell for thinking the minimum wage should be increased.** Unfortunately, I see way more of the latter showing up everyday and they’re from people I’m supposedly “friends” with.
So my question is: Can we make Facebook fun again? I love the days when I get to check it and see things that make me smile or laugh and not have to read things that make me want to throw my phone in the street. In my heart of hearts, I want to believe that we can all have more days like that if only a few simple rules were followed:
• Take a second before you post about bad service. It’s fine to get in a tizzy over not so satisfactory customer service. I myself wanted to throw things just yesterday when I couldn’t order a pool part in a timely manner. But is Facebook really the place for it? We live in a small community, so it’s even more important to remember that someone might have just had a bad day at work and, unfortunately, you were on the receiving end of it. Remember we ALL have bad days at work. Ours at the newspaper end up printed for public consumption, so be happy yours can usually be had in private. One bad experience? Maybe let it slide or talk to a manager. Ten bad experiences? Why are you still going there?
• Relax your rules on grammar. I swear this is for the benefit of your blood pressure. We get it, you’re great at grammar and that’s awesome. However, posting a rant about the incorrect use of “seen” is not making anybody feel better. You’ve shamed the guilty party so they feel bad (or just don’t care) and you’re still frustrated by the offending word. All I ask is to remember your audience on Facebook. I’ll use my dad for example, he likes Facebook to keep up with friends and family. He does not have an English degree, nor would he want one. However, he could build you a house from the foundation up and then help with the electrical and plumbing if he felt like it. I’m definitely not saying one of these skills is greater than the other, but I do like a roof over my head, don’t you?
• Have your real arguments in real life. Nothing will ever be resolved in the comments section. Nothing. Along those lines, don’t say things on Facebook you wouldn’t say to someone in person. I have a friend who’s a great guy in person and is always willing to help out, but one of his last posts was simply “Die Liberals.” How do you go back to seeing the great person you knew after that?
• And lastly, try to keep the judging to a minimum. This is a hard one for all of us, but unless you have some really big news to tell everybody, you’re not going to be making the final call in the end. Try to employ the “agree to disagree” philosophy a little more often. It will leave everybody less stressed at the end of the day, you included.
Facebook doesn’t have to be the most annoying part of the day. We just all have to work together to create a friendlier feed.
• “There” is! For many of you it just involves taking a deep breath and ignoring this typo instead of launching into a grammar lesson on your status.
** All opinions presented in this editorial are for dramatic purposes only. I would never share how I actually feel about these things on Facebook. Because it’s Facebook.