I joined Facebook Friends over 12 years ago. After, initially, inviting some friends and family to connect, via Facebook, I then switched over primarily to people I did NOT know to accept as Facebook Friends providing me with an opportunity to reach out to internationals.
Facebook gave the opportunity to connect with all manner of people from all walks of life in a wide variety of countries.
We all receive requests for Friends we do not know. I would check that their Facebook page is alive and running. If so, then I accepted a request of a number of them as a Friend. A few years ago, my Friends page reached the maximum of 5000 Friends which Facebook permits. I asked an IT person to remove all from the Page and started again.
A diversity of people with a diversity of backgrounds make up the Page -approaching 3000 Friends at present.
I have other resources, such as my websites, books and Christopher e-News for my ‘day job’ as a servant of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha..
Many Friends worldwide reflect areas of common interest including social issues, non-party politics, environment, global crisis. spiritual explorations, education, health, the arts, lifestyle, inter-faith dialogue and the Buddhist tradition. I am also a citizen without such designations like plenty of Friends.
Friends will know me in one or more area of interest, and not in other areas, or none of them. Many of these Facebook Friends know nothing about our respective lives.
From the Blog to Facebook Friends
For a decade, I placed critiques, essays, articles, a section or chapter of a book-in-process on my blog. I then made a link to this Facebook Friends page and other social media.
Your responses to my concerns and views were helpful. You provided me with links to look into, pointed out blind spots and provided helpful information.
You agreed on some blogs, disagreed on others or found points of agreement and disagreement in a single blog. I found the general tone between us respectfully encouraging a dialogue.
I would sometimes change, add to a text or rewrite an article or chapter because of your Facebook comments. Facebook Friends made a real contribution to work-in-progress.
I experience more and more discomfort with Facebook in general and with Comments. Facebook Friends worldwide must find it wearying to read the negativity in the list of Comments instead of a clear response or alternative view.
Thoughtful women and men do not want to post a Comment because of the potential for bullying from a handful of others.
Owing to the growing hostility in Comments, I have lost interest to host a Facebook page with nasty one-liners or rants featuring regularly.
Several friends have cancelled their Facebook accounts. Some have unfriended due to Comments.
Is Facebook becoming a huge platform for individuals and organisations to support and promote negativity to gain attention?
Like myself, Friends, who are social activists, we have concerns about Facebook.
- We disapprove of the massive collection of data by Facebook to buy our attention.
- We do not like Facebook tracking us when we go to websites and apps.
- We do not approve of Whats App sharing data about us with Facebook, including our telephone number.
I have made a small decision. I will not provide any longer to Facebook Friends a link to my blog containing global/social/spiritual critiques.
I will continue to put regularly links to the blog in plenty of other areas of possible mutual interest.
I will review the situation in the months ahead.
I write about a blog a week.
Blogs since last month focussed on Covid-19 issues.
Am now moving onto other matters.
I agree. I stopped posting to Facebook when a crazy man was elected to be president of the United States. I look once in awhile and often find it depressing to see, among other things, the number of people who still support the crazy man. It’s also true, that almost no one says what’s on their mind. they say things that they think will get attention, will make them look good, etc. For a while I tried to post things that I thought would genuinely help people. But often even that was met with scorn.