Social media … friend or foe?

Are we friends on Facebook?

Facebook … to Fakebook and … now I’m considering Hatebook!

According to various sources on Wikipedia the Facebook social media platform has risen from just over one million active users in 2004, to over 2.4 billion in 2018.  

2.4 BILLION … That’s a lot of people in the world.  

Based on wiki’s research the highest users in 2018 were in India, followed by Indonesia, Brazil and Mexico. Region-wise, the highest numbers of users are in Asia-Pacific (947 million) followed by Europe (381 million) and US-Canada (242 million). The rest of the world has 750 million users.

And the percentage of users under 34 declined to less than half of the total over the 2008-2018 period. Maybe young people are smarter.

What’s your Facebook experience?  

In 2010 when I started on Facebook it was fun.  I learned quickly how to use the platform, and not to post too much that was personal or I’d be hit by “fake” profiles of men wanting to be my “friend”.  

I learned that not everyone is who they seem to be so I developed a few rules.

  1. Have we met in person or talked on the phone?  Yes then you can be my friend.
  2. If I don’t know you, does your friend request accompany a private message?  If not, you can’t be my friend …  no matter how many mutual friends we may have.
  3. IF I’m intrigued by your friend request, I may send you a private message asking why you want to connect, otherwise we won’t be friends.

It helps separate the friend collectors … from the friend keepers.

Today I have 773 friends, and 243 followers. As authentic connection is one of my values for life and my business, I’m proud to say if you are my friend, I probably remember where we met, and how I know you.  Part of my quirkiness is that I remember details.

Are you looking for a connection?  Chances are pretty good I know someone who fits the bill.  Try me?

Because I know most of my “friends” reasonably well, I started to call it Fakebook over time, because the pictures and energy from some posts didn’t match what I knew to be true of the people who posted them: happy families where there was truly unhappiness; business success where there was struggle; healthy lives where there was actual sickness and despair.

I don’t think I’m alone in this train of thought.

But now I’m sad.  

I may have to change the name to Hatebook.

Have you noticed it too? 

Every day I see people hating on each other.  

People who are supposedly “friends” with each other.  

Serving up contempt, disapproval and downright disregard for their fellow humans.

The topics vary.  The energy doesn’t.

Masks.  Vaccines.  News.  Pharma.  Government.  Law.  Freedom.  Health.  Information.

I watch and read, and I feel sick to my stomach.  

Is this what our world is coming to? 

Slamming someone because they make a choice we don’t agree with.  

Arguing and name calling because a comment doesn’t match our values.

Making our fellow humans wrong.

It’s time for change.

Let’s evolve to a species of “conscientious objectors”?  

Lovers instead of haters.

And don’t think it’s not happening at a bigger level.  

Former Facebook executives are even coming out to express their guilt and concern at the practices and data collection of Facebook and other social media companies who “exploit a vulnerability in human psychology”.  

It’s a new paradigm.

What can we do?

Just like regular “in person” relationships, we have a personal responsibility to look at who we are “being” inside our relationships. 

The same holds true for social media.  

I want us to move towards life as an “open-book”, accepting that others have fears, worries and stress (just like us) which we cannot begin to understand.  Opening our hearts to come from curiosity instead of contempt about our fellow humans.  From acceptance instead of alienation.  From love instead of hate.  

Becoming a species of conscious objectors isn’t easy. 

My challenge to you is to think about who you say you are, and who you want to be.

And be that in person, and online. 

You may find yourself walking away.  Just like in real life I’ve watched people I trust and admire get off Facebook recently, and leave that connection in my life.  And quite honestly, it’s a sign of the times. 

Would you join me in an experiment? 

For the next month I’m choosing to remain on Facebook, and I will be posting something inspirational, educational and/or interesting every day to both Instagram and Facebook to see what kind of interaction I get.  Let’s see if we can get the energy to change.

And if we’re not friends on Facebook yet, send me a request with a message.  That way I will say yes.  Or call me , I always prefer the real thing.  

Call me anytime.