Facing Off with Facebook

For many of us, opening Facebook is like going to the refrigerator when we’re not even hungry.

We know what’s in there:

  • health food with all the appeal of confinement to a monastic cell;
  • an empty carb or twelve hundred;
  • processed American cheese product converting into penicillin;
  • lonely singletons like the half-empty jar of olives or the crusty relish bottle from last July–side-flings that, without decent company, are no good;
  • a doggy-bag/time-capsule from the Dark Ages, and;
  • I don’t even remember when we had meatloaf, but this slice in the Glad container resembles a grizzled punk rocker with green hair.

And yet, we open it up and take a look anyway. Too many times a day.

For the midlife warriors among us, Facebook has become our window into the world. We’re hooked. We’re obsessed. We’re voyeurs. We’re destroyers.

Seems extreme? Not so.


I watch enough Dr. Phil to know that Facebook is at the root of too many problems. I’ve even seen episodes on the Investigation Discovery Network in which Facebook feuds have resulted in murder.

To say nothing of the number of marriages destroyed when one spouse looks for an ex and finds him or her. Pandora’s Box–it never sounded dirtier.

Then there’s that “Keeping Up With the Joneses” aspect of social media. It’s a little too high school for me–it’s like everyone else is enjoying great vacations, great sex, great food, great wealth, great bods, great greatness.

Great. Now give me the strength and pass the reality check.

For all the great things about Facebook–finding old friends, seeing updates and pictures of their children, reaffirming commitments to stay in touch by phone and, if geographically possible, in person–there are serious drawbacks.

Add to the things I’ve mentioned, two more scientific left-handed monkey wrenches:

  1. The Friend-geneers at Facebook keep messing with our algorithms: For the uninformed: algorithms determine who you get to see in your Newsfeed. This is why you do not see people for long periods of time who you would like to see. This is also why you see people for long periods of time who you don’t really care to see.
  2. The Second Law of Thermodynamics: All things tend to a state of disorder. WTH? you may ask. Why bring physics into it? Yeah, because this is how things go from “Here are my vacation pictures from the beautiful campgrounds at Mud Lake” to “Anyone who would vote for ________________ (or support ______________ ) is a complete idiot and should be sterilized and then euthanized.” Another way to look at this is that we human beings can go from zero to asshat in no time flat.


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That being said, here’s a true confession: I never knew I had so many political scientists as friends until 2016. And this is something I’d rather not know.

I’m not sure why some people feel compelled to post hateful political speech, Anti-American garbage, mean-spirited memes, and false (unverified) information, but it’s gotten out of hand.

I have unfollowed many friends over the last year and a half and it makes me sad.  I no longer get to see their children grow up in their posts or read funny anecdotes about life in my former co-worker’s world because they choose to call the President of the United States of America things like, “The Orange Menace” or “The Cheetos-Fascist.”

Sure, everyone in this country has the right to free speech.

But we also have the right to walk away from it–especially in venues like Facebook that used to be playgrounds for lighthearted fun.

We further have the right to turn from those whose words debase the values of the nation that our loved ones have spilled their own blood to defend. To cut off those who promote the destruction of civility and religious liberty. (Just ask the NFL how that’s been working for them…)

You know, it seems pretty evident that the people who are screaming the loudest for tolerance are, in fact, not at all tolerant themselves. The people who cry “fascist” are, in fact, practicing fascism in doing so.

Sort of like Sports Illustrated celebrating the #metoo movement this month with a spread of naked supermodels. (Sorry. Unfortunate pun.) But I digress. Or do I?

Still, it is worth making a conscious effort to step away from the social media giant–at least from time to time. Or at least take a break from some “friends.”

After all, your thoughts become words. Your words become actions. Your actions become you.

Make sure they become you.

And be careful out there, friends.



Susan J. Anderson

Foxy Writer Chick


12 thoughts on “Facing Off with Facebook

  1. Spot on! Going to the fridge when we’re not hungry is the perfect analogy. Now throw in doses of Twitter, Instagram, etc. and we literally spend half the day staring at things that we don’t REALLY want to look at.

    And then there are the curated (web search/conversation spying) ads. That’s worth another whole post 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, Tim. So true. I just saw a brilliant post by Bryn Donovan advising writers not to blow their daily word count by arguing on social media posts. Don’t write for free, she advises. Plus, it just gets you stressed out.


      Anyway, I can hardly keep up with Facebook (personal and blogging persona), Twitter, Goodreads, and LinkedIn AND my blog and other writing projects on top of living the dream like I am–ha!

      I think the curated web search/conversation spying ads is a great idea for a post–have at it, friend!


  2. Nicely done! I still use Facebook but a lot less because it has less lighthearted content and way too many agendas now. Lots of reasons why I like Instagram more now. Mostly just photos without much commentary and I can better follow my interests. No politics, gun nuts (for and against) and none of those “share this” pimping of photos and opinions forced on me. I don’t have the time or patience to deal with all those personal causes on Facebook!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you there, Marty! Well, not on Instagram, but on cutting back on FB. My youngest boy uses Instagram, but I haven’t dipped my toe in it yet. At this point, I don’t want to make him feel like I’m stalking him. Maybe next year when he’s off to college in Chicago I can legit use it to keep up with him.

      Right now, I feel overwhelmed with Twitter (for my blog), my two FB pages, Goodreads, LinkedIn and, of course, the blog. I have to make sure to protect my time for my novel and short story writing. That’s the stuff that has the potential to earn $ for me–and, moreover, fulfill my life’s calling.

      A big part of protecting my writing time is making sure I am in the right frame of mind when I sit down to write–politics, share this pimping, and the fact someone’s benign birthday post can devolve into a nasty smackdown of the President (who has nothing to do with the birthday-boy) is enough to put me in a mood that’s not conducive to creating.

      Same goes for the news. Ugh. Thank God for YouTube music streaming. And silence. As a recovering high school teacher, silence is good. 🙂


    1. You bring up a great point, Jennifer–click bait. Ugh! Hate it! Half the “articles” circulating out there on any given day have absolutely no content that was promised in the title. Or you have to click through a “slide show” to get the info you want–if it’s even there. And sometimes, a nasty virus is just waiting for you to click one more time…

      I’m about ready to delete my FB link on my smart phone. Too tempting to look at–and why? To make myself sick? No thanks. Maybe it should be renamed, “Funk Book.” And not the good kind of funk either–rather the black dog kind that Winston Churchill spoke of and suffered from.


  3. You know I couldn’t agree more, I also have had to unfollow people I really like, for instance one guy posts 20 different pictures of hot girls every day, another girl posts blog after blog ranting about Trump, then there are the ones that tell you about every wee and fart they do, I MEAN REALLY ! bore-off!! glad you highlighted this and it’s not just me ! xx


    1. Ha ha! I know a couple of those guys who post the hot girl photos–ugh! One’s a virgin and the other’s a has-been Lothario. You know, with all the online dating sites and specialty social groups out there now, there’s no excuse for not finding a partner if you really want one. One of these days, I’d just love to respond to one of those posts with, “Keep your fantasy porn to yourself. It’s gross.” But instead, I play nice and ignore it. Although some of it is hard to ignore. (Is it humanly possible to have boobs that look like massive goldfish bowls that sit almost as high as your clavicals?)

      LMAO about the fart and wee posters–that’s about right. We really don’t need to know that “Friend X” made a sandwich or other such minutia.

      Maybe someone needs to publish a social media etiquette guide. On the other hand, the people who need it, would never read it. 🙂


  4. Exactly right! The political posts I would see in 2016 we’re mostly nasty. I wondered if those people cared at all about insulting some of their friends. I guess not – I think their nasty comments made them feel powerful and that was more important to them. Unfortunately, the political nastiness has continued for several friends, but I have discovered that I am able to Unfollow and I do.

    Liked by 1 person

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