I spend at least an hour a day on Facebook, and I’m probably not going to stop. So don’t take this post as any indication that I’m going to change my ways. I’m not here to lie to you.
That said, can we agree that Facebook is the best worst? Leave aside for the moment that it was apparently used by a foreign power to sway the election. I’m almost as concerned about the fact that it makes me into a crazy person who thinks she can persuade people to change their minds — something that’s nearly impossible to do under the best of circumstances.
If I had a nickel for every stupid fight I’ve gotten into on Facebook, I’d have at least one very grimy dollar. And I’m a non-confrontational person. Generally my feeling about personal disagreements in real life is, “Meh, I’m tired.” When a fight breaks out on Facebook, however, I’m all:
This is clearly a sign of insanity. And yet there’s something about Facebook that brings out the worst in me and just about everyone I know. I’ve had fights with people on Facebook in which we’re both on the same side of the argument, and yet still become mortal enemies by the end of the thread. Sort of like this:
Me: I want to like oranges, but the white stringy parts creep me out.
Beloved Friend of Over 20 Years: I agree! Oranges are the worst!
Me: Well, I mean, the orange part is good. I could just do without the surprise flossing.
Friend: Right? Oranges are gross.
Me: WHY DO YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ME? I BET YOU VOTED FOR DONALD TRUMP.
Again, in real life, I would never behave this way. But all forums and social networks make it easier to hide behind a wall of code. It’s not even necessarily Facebook’s fault, except that I suspect they tweak the algorithm to make sure we see stuff that will enrage us, so that we’ll interact more with the site. But probably any social site that I visited every day would turn into the same thing.
Except Instagram, which is apparently full of ladies’ butts. At least, that’s what I’m getting from my followers’ list.
Images: someecards; Massimo Barbieri/Flickr