De-friending de Hostile
Every morning when I wake up, I check my Facebook on my iPhone. It’s a habit I have acquired due to the beauty that is the smartphone. I am constantly connected. On one particular morning, during the election season of 2012, I was mortified by some of the things I was seeing. While scrolling through my feed, I came across some of the most hostile and out of line comments I have ever seen my “friends” say to one another. I opted to stay out of the fire, but I was surprised by how many people chose to partake in these arguments. One “friend” posted how Obama was a terrorist, which then prompted another to post hateful things about Romney on the same post. This particular post proceeded to get 104 comments and not one of them was pleasant. Many of my “friends” de-friended one another because of this. A few even deleted their Facebook accounts altogether.
Drama. It’s inevitable, and let’s be honest, without it life might get somewhat boring. Just like in the old days when people would converse about matters of politics and religion in person, today it is done on the internet, and with the popularity of social media, it makes it easier for people to state their own opinion. With the rising usage of social media, the drama is everybody’s business. Not only is it everybody’s business, it’s also the cause of some juicy drama in and of itself.
It happens on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, and hundreds of other social networks, but the one that tends to bring the most drama to people’s lives is Facebook. I don’t get it. How do people allow what other people post on Facebook to actually affect their lives? Some people even go as far as to delete their Facebook account over this. Why? How does a picture saying something about Christianity and its myths, or a post saying, “All atheists are going to hell”, really impact the viewer?
In a survey that was posted through multiple social media platforms, I wanted to find some answers as to why people might delete their Facebook accounts, or why they might delete a “friend” from their account. The number one answer was DRAMA. No big surprise there, but I wanted to break it down a bit.
- 86% said they use Facebook on a daily basis.
- 50% said that they have felt hostile feelings while using Facebook.
- 11% said that they had deleted their Facebook account over some sort of drama.
- 16% said that they had deleted a friend over religious disagreements.
- 27% said they had deleted a friend over differences in political views.
The most common reason survey takers would delete a friend from Facebook was political differences. When asked what other social media sites they used, most answered Twitter and Google+, with Instagram and Pinterest being close seconds on the list. The last question on the survey asked if anyone had deleted any of their other social media accounts due to drama, and the answer was unanimously no.
Reasons someone might delete a friend from Facebook, according to survey takers:
“Every post is negative. Hours and hours of religious and political posts.”
“Negative posts, hypocrites that tell others how to spell and then their next post uses wrong grammar. Too many religious / political posts in a row by the same person.”
“No bullsh*t reason like different opinions– everyone has different opinions in life, get over it. Facebook is just another reason for people to start wars about things they don’t really believe in, but rather that support what image they are trying to upkeep.”
The survey results were not surprising. What was a bit shocking was that 50% of the survey takers had experienced hostility while using Facebook. Why does Facebook make people angry? As Facebook users, we often forget that we are actually putting our views out there for others to see. Sometimes we lose our filter when posting to social media websites because we do not have anybody in front of us to argue that we are wrong, or perhaps even being hurtful.