How Did Facebook Go From Fun to Being a Toxic Place to Socialize!

How Did Facebook Go From Fun to Being a Toxic Place to Socialize!

Facebook Go From Fun to Being a Toxic Place to Socialize!
Facebook used to be a place where “friends” got together to exchange ideas, opinions and engage in discussion. My personal Facebook page is my social media “home.” I behave in the same way there as I would in my actual home (or yours).

I invite you in to converse, give your opinion, exchange views and information, agree or disagree—always in a kind, respectful manner.

But today, our online “neighborhood” seems to be a place where we vent our anger at each other. We vomiting venomous words and even threats as we pass by in the street. We shout insults out of the window and humiliate each other as sport from our front porches. Even the most basic level of civility seems to be a thing of the past. And it’s gotten worse over the last 18 months of this presidential election.

What has happened to all of us?

We used to have one source of news we could all listen to and trust, whether it was Eric Sevareid, Huntley-Brinkley, Walter Cronkite or John Chancellor. These people came from dedicated news rooms where the news wasn’t a profit center at a network. We trusted these moderators and journalists to objectively tell us the truth. They took pride in reporting the news with professionalism and integrity. They won Pulitzers and Peabody awards for their talents and efforts.

Then, with the advent of FOX News, MSNBC and their ilk, news became info-tainment, which was entertaining and often based on biased opinions mixed with some news. It was interesting and sure sounded like the truth because it was what some of the angriest of us wanted to believe was so. But the devil is in the details.

This type of news-entertainment show was highly profitable. Network executives realized that there was big money in pandering to a group of angry and disaffected people for ratings. And with the advent of social media, we graduated to entirely fake news, brought to you by your favorite special-interest group, lobbyist or corporate promoter. We now have two sources of news.

One is factual news, sometimes with a liberal or conservative slant. The other is extremist, “blame-everyone else” news that thrives on scapegoating and telling us our problems are all someone else’s fault.

Read Our Brains on Smartphones, (Un)social media, and Our Mental Health

We have become polarized

These pandering, media profiteers have created a large group of Americans who live in a bubble—an alternate reality where everyone else is to blame. Sadly, many of those people voted for Donald J. Trump as their next President. Trump was masterful at pandering to them and becoming one of them—he is their champion.

In recent elections, (Bush vs. Gore, Obama vs. McCain or Obama vs. Romney), the candidates had different views but they and we still were able to be civil to each other. But over the past eight years, the disgruntled seem to have made their way into our Congress with the support of those living in the media-supported blame bubble. On top of this we’ve had eight years of an obstructionist Congress blocking the actions of a President who was elected with the majority of the vote.

This past presidential election has brought out the worst in many of us. We’re all desperate for change, in our different ways. For many people, Trump represented that change. Social media, especially Facebook, provided us all with a platform to vent our frustrations and get ourselves, and everyone else, stirred up.

If the rhetoric online is anything to go by, Trump’s advocates do not care about really helping people by making sure that those who live in poverty have enough to eat; or that everyone has the health care they need; or ensuring education is more affordable for the young to improve themselves and be competitive in the 21st century.

Instead, it’s all about assigning blame for where we are personally and as a nation. It’s about character assassination and vilifying others (whether it’s Hillary or Obama). It ignores truth and reality, which brings us back to that obstructionist Congress refusing to negotiate and compromise in the interest of the people.

In the midst of all this upset, our country grows more ignorant and less informed, culminating nearly a month ago now in our first “fact-free” election. Feelings trumped truth, and our feelings are so extreme and violent we’ve become estranged from each other, and from any middle ground we share.

46 thoughts on “How Did Facebook Go From Fun to Being a Toxic Place to Socialize!”

  1. Facebook is/was the symbolic Tower of Babel that unified the people. The people dared to see the face of God and was destroyed… Meaning the hidden powers that be benefit from a fractured society than utopian society operating for the good of the people not the greed of Corporations. Keep positive thoughts and actions and the wicked will go about their way… hopefully soon.

  2. it is still fun and enjoyable. Be sensible and vet people first, make sure your settings are for privacy too. I don’t accept friends unless they are friends of friends. If you are courteous, even if you disagree with someone, chances are things will not go south. Say things like, good point instead of insulting someone. xxx

  3. Christie Michal, I disagree, it does have something to with the content being shown and when it happens. Do you remember a few years back when Facebook admitted that they had been experimenting with what they were allowing through in order to determine what would make people experience certain emotional responses. What is happening now is the fruits of those experiments. It is an experiment in control, and it has been working.

  4. Wow I take it the astrologer voted for hillary. Hypocrite, the article mentions trump repeatedly yet highways blocked by people, America’s national flag burned in protest, only certain lives matter, this country is so devided and both sides are to blame. There is only one race the human race. This article only continues to push friends away from each other. Don’t know why this is even on this page. Facebook has been caught making false news stories also so if you’re looking for complaints about Facebook close the account its that easy.

  5. This is what I’ve been thinking for months…what’s happening to Facebook? I see and read the most hateful, crude, disrespectful posts between people who don’t agree or from one individual who can’t express themselves other than to swear or call another person names. It seems to be bringing out the worst in certain people.

  6. Initially this was absolutely a good article because fb has become a place where people bully & criticize others … but then you did exactly what you said is the problem … you started blaming … you criticized & stereotyped Trump voters as living in a bubble & blaming everyone else for their problems … then you went on to blame them for the decay of society through the election… seems to me based on all of the hate & discontent, that Trump supporters are not the problem! Yes some of them are whacko, but most are just hardworking Americans who are sick of being ignored & taken advantage of by our government… it’s the other side who seems to be the most hateful & blaming everyone for their problems, rioting in the streets because the election didn’t go their way … threatening their states electorates if they vote the way of Trump in the states that he won fair & square … taking to social media to demonize Trump supporters …. Your point was rendered completely invalid when you used your article to do exactly what you said was the problem … & for the record, I don’t support Trump, but I do very much oppose hypocrisy

  7. Many people and groups on social media, and in life, are ignorant, arrogant, and annoying. They say things that are obviously inaccurate, and they say them with conviction. I joined recently, but I see this with comments everywhere on the Internet. With chat rooms, then YouTube, and now here and other places. It has always been this way. Light-hearted subjects of discussion will usually result in mild comments. Religion, politics, conspiracy theories, moral behavior codes, etc will bring out the emotions of people, and thus the preference/desire based metrics. Since preference and desire are personal, with no universal correspondence, many models of “ought” will battle for supremacy. And there is always plenty of “filler” information in the atmosphere. Those leaving short and cliche posts, like: trendy talk (lol, lmao, roflmao, etc), emoticons, memes, and the like. That, in itself, shows that many are not serious about conveying or receiving quality information from this medium, but rather, use it as a means of saying “neiner neiner.” As in: “I can say whatever I want, and there is nothing you can do about it.” Most people on the Internet leaving ridiculous comments should “be taken with a grain of salt.” Usually, their views will not have any information to accompany them. When a disagreement arrives, the emphasis shifts to the person, and leaves the subject of debate, which is a great sign of dishonesty. A “troll,” as you guys would put it.

  8. Honest truth right here! I had a facebook page featuring many friends and family on it. As I logged on every morning as usual, suddenly as the election drew near, my family and friends were posting very degrading things about my chosen candidate. I’ll never forget one of my family members posted something to the gist of…..if you are a _ supporter, you are like a bunch of old Christmas lights, some don’t work and the others aren’t very bright. That did it for me, I was done with that facebook page. Some say, why not just hide or delete? Because I live in a “Red State” you can imagine how I was “outnumbered”. So, since I am the Admin of a wonderful facebook page, that I created almost 4 years ago and I have a lot of followers on my page, one also must have a personal page as well to link it to. So, now, I don’t feature an add button to add as friend. If I chose to add someone I could, if I wanted to, but for now I have 2 friends on my personal page, that actually came from my Admin page. Anyway, I feel free now to post whatever I choose to, without all the condemnation and ill feelings. I choose happiness over feeling sad or upset. I am so glad I did away with my former personal fb page. It was good for me. 🙂

  9. The issue is when FB went viral like grass fire, which is indeed makes FB as the gateway to the INTERNET! That makes trashy people think about themselves as clever and smart as real clever just because they are using the INTERNET! In reality, they are just using FB, they are far away to understand what the INTERNET is. Far away to understand the online ethics of being on the social networks.

  10. Its a loss of civilized behavior and manners. Since everyone can comment, everyone believes their opinion matters and that it’s the only thing that matters. People listen to respond vs listen to hear and in this cycle, NO ONE feels like they are heard. Everyone wants to be seen, and validated. Much like me commenting on this post – right? Haha I do see the irony in this. Basically, I go back to my original statement. Loss of good behavior and good manners.

  11. Facebook is a wonderful way to explore and meet new friends.. if it gets negative I just ignore because that’s just who they are.. you hold the button to delete if you feel drained.

  12. The very sad thing is that people to whom you are a complete stranger, somehow feel completely entitled to insult you, berate you, call you every foul, rude, obscene name under the sun – and then they take offence when you pull them up on it. So one thing is clear: Retaliation in such cases is futile. Furthermore, it just brings you down to their level and gets you nowhere.
    I have on occasions confronted people about it. In a polite, courteous civilised and dignified manner, I have merely questioned why they felt entitled to resort to such rudeness, and nobody “guilty” has ever come back to either repeat their comments, or justify their stance. Wonder why….?
    So bring back good manners, courtesy and polite conversation. Please. PRETTY Please…? It’s so much more pleasant than the alternative.

    1. Hamzah Abusamak but why did it have to go that way? What has happened to effective, constructive and agreeable communication? What makes people reveal their worse side, when there are ample opportunities to expose their best side? genuinely, why do you suppose such things happen?

    2. Well, they are indeed bad people in the first place, in reality they have to wear the human “mask”, on Internet they do not wear a mask, so they are on their real “face”
      I feel your words, keep in your mind, this is how the INTERNET is, no serious harm, no serious talk, nothing is in real unless otherwise stated, but even so the INTERNET unmasks a lot of people, that is a good point of the INTERNET, it lets you know the reality of others, and why that happens! happens because they are no longer required to wear fake masks, since they feel safe and/or no afraid of you to punch ’em on the face. Still, in some cases when it start be that serious, and the other side start to feel that you are going to discover his/her real Identity, that time he/she retreat or even run away by blocking you or even asking you to forgive him/her to not tell anyone about what happened. eg.g police/authorities.

  13. Its not facebook. The pages you iike, the kind of friends you have and how you react to things…I think u can just block, un friend whoever and whatever is trying to steal your happiness. The power is in your hands really.

  14. The same thing has happened here as well, the country {(India) is now divided into 2 sections, pro and anti PM. People here are leaving snakes behind in spouting venom, it’s definitely toxic to read such posts, no matter how decent your friends are, such posts are unavoidable altogether.

  15. The presidential election brought out the worst in people, it fueled people with anger and all true emotions came out. Bullying became almost legal and easy to do when hiding behind a computer screen. What to do? Unplug.

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