But I see a lot of people- myself included- talking about all the social issues, racial tension, hatred, etc. and how it all bleeds into and fills our timelines every day. It is what it is. After all, Facebook and social media in general is a mirror reflection of life, people and society in general; hence the title “social media”. But the difference is with Facebook anyway, you have an amazing amount of control over your experience while you’re logged on, if you just learn how to use it.
For example; and I know it sounds crazy I know, but one of the things I’m going to miss most about having a profile is one of the things we all complain about the most. The ads!
But that’s because I’ve learned how to see only ads about things I’m interested in- even to the point of only seeing them for as long as I’m interested. I recently became interested in watches, for example. I wanted to see more ads from watch companies on my timeline so I visited a couple of sites, clicked on a couple of ads in the timeline and viola. Now I see all the watch ads I want to.
But here’s the thing. If I get tired of seeing watch ads in my timeline I can stop seeing all of them with a couple of clicks. There are options to click on almost every post that literally say “I don’t want to see this any more”. So I don’t have to post a rant on my timeline about seeing all these @#$! watch ads.
I’m generally happy with my time on FB though. We should all be, really. Because the fact is, there are ways to filter almost everything you see to fit your needs. If you like a person but you just don’t like certain things they share you can click on one of those posts and choose to never see that type of content again. If you tire of seeing posts from a certain person because they’re always posting the same kind of thing, you can hide all posts from that person without even unfriending them. Or, wonder of wonders, you can actually just be real and unfriend them if you don’t like them.
What we usually do instead is get pissed off and post some angry subliminal rant. I’ve done it. We all have. And we can all stop lying and saying these rants aren’t about anyone in particular, lol!
But the thing is, posting a rant only changes one thing; our own mood. Doesn’t change who the person is or what the person posts.
Here’s something else we have to come to terms with when we’re posting on Facebook. It’s a public platform. Period. Yes, I know it’s YO PROFILE, but it’s a public profile. We’ve all posted something and gotten a reaction to it that we didn’t like. In fact recently I got into a back and forth with someone after they posted a comment I didn’t like in response to something I posted. But in hindsight I had to look back and own that reaction as wrong.
Don’t get me wrong, I still didn’t like the comment and I didn’t have to. But my anger was a lot less about the comment than it was about the “audacity” of the person to dare post his opinion on my sacred status update. My reaction would have been different had I just mentally acknowledged his right to make it. I could have just not said anything at all.
The great thing about Facebook and life too is that we’re all entitled to our opinion. That means you’re entitled to post what you like and anyone connected to you is entitled to respond to it as they like. That’s not a new concept, but something that we expect to work differently on Facebook than it does in real life. Imagine if I walked up to you and started talking to you in great detail about some polarizing, controversial topic I’m passionate about. Then when you tried to add your own voice to the conversation I get angry and tell you that this is MY conversation and if you don’t like it you can leave. Hold up bruh, YOU brought this up! Now I can’t say anything unless I agree with you? That’s as unrealistic in real life as it is on Facebook. On Facebook as in real life, the only way you can keep voicing your opinion and never hear mine is to terminate your connection to me.
On Facebook we’ll see and hear stuff we like and stuff we don’t, just like life. But on Facebook just like in the real world my peace and my happiness is largely my responsibility. In real life I can’t control what other people do and say, but I can control how I react to it. So I control my peace and level of happiness by controlling my own attitude towards things. And whatever else I can’t control I am always in full control of how I choose to see and react to it.
On Facebook it’s even easier. Whatever you don’t like there’s a setting for it. All we have to do is find it and make the adjustment. As it relates to people, you gotta be ready to accept the fact that everybody won’t agree with every position you have, nor do they have to. And I can’t tell someone not to comment on my public post, just like they can’t me not to comment on theirs.
That’s easier said than practiced, and I’ve been guilty of being hypocritical on this myself. See, when we’re making a comment on someone else’s status it’s obvious that they should know it’s a public forum and understand that people might just disagree or have a different opinion. But when it’s MY profile I expect to be able to post whatever I like without opposition of any kind.
Even the best of friends will disagree occasionally, or they aren’t real friends. But if you’re constantly bothered by what someone says or posts ALL the time, it’s not the responsibility of that person to change who they are. It’s your responsibility to change some settings. The same goes with ads, videos, fan page shares and everything else you experience on Facebook.