Facebook has its fair share of good points. For example you can connect with almost anyone. You can get a truck load of positive information and even build a business.
However there is a dark side to Facebook and social media. This dark side actually generates work for law enforcement agencies and causes a whole range of issues. So what happens? Well a range of things actually go on depending on individual situations but lets have a look.
In my world of martial arts and self defence you will not find a more toxic environment that is generally fuelled by testosterone and aggression. If I write an article then someone somewhere will disagree and we then get comments. Those comments can often be rude, personal and even down right offensive. However sometimes they are actually right. On the flip side I get a ton of positive comments, likes, shares and email support which makes me pretty happy.
However Facebook hatred goes far beyond the realms of my small blog ( that 99.99999999% and probably a lot more of the worlds population couldn't care about), it actually infects the world.
If I stop the average person in the street and chat about Facebook they all sigh and say "facebook causes so much trouble". In fact only yesterday I was in my local shop getting a bottle of wine and the owner started chatting to me about various stuff and went on to say she was fed up of Facebook. She had gotten angry with a girl posting pictures of herself on Facebook since she had undergone a new fitness regime to the affect of "Im great and unless you are into fitness your all fat and lazy". If we are honest it all happens a lot. You start a hobby and actually think its so good that your friends, family and even children MUST do it. Then we start slamming the images and memes about how good we are and what we are currently doing.
This isn't always a bad thing as we can inspire people to make changes in their life but we all can go a bit too far with our enthusiasm and sometimes as a result we can inspire the wrong things in people. We can press buttons and people get angry because their views aren't in line with our own and of course there are just idiots out there with an innate nasty streak who get a kick out of being vile.
Right now there will be families arguing on Facebook over not seeing each other, or arguing over inheritance. Girls slating each other because someone kissed someone else's boyfriend. There will be people slagging off neighbours, bosses, businesses and almost anything else. Why? Well because hating is easy. It comes pretty naturally for most of us and I also have fallen foul of it from time to time. Some people like drama and some people just enjoy either causing trouble or witnessing it. However in this extent Facebook is actually a reflection of real life. Just look at your average town centre in the UK on a Friday or Saturday night. What do you see? Police and lots of them and why, well because people go out and get drunk and then crap happens.
Of course we all know that Facebook and other social media can be used for sheer vile abuse. Teenagers especially get this. Girls and boys abusing people and bullying to such an extent that serious problems can develop. Now these types of people make me feel particularly like vomiting but they are a part of society, and its our society so we all need to find a way to deal with the issues.
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I draw some form of sanity from the fact that the vast majority of the world are actually nice people who have zero interest in causing or being involved in chaos. However I am a content producer and I love to write so I can pretty much expect more hatred, toxicity and negativity in the future (along with praise, positive comments and support) so I better learn to deal with it and to do this I have come up with a little guide of things you can do. Now this is a guide for anyone who gets fed up with seeing or getting facebook crap. It is a guide for all those who have issues on Facebook with friends, neighbours, lovers, people they want to be lovers, activists or anything else! Trust me this guide can help your sanity
1. Switch Off
With the advent of mobile phone technology the vast amount of people cant switch off from Facebook and other services. Ping your notifications go and there's a message, comment or text that can instantly make you feel good or very bad. Its like digital Russian Roulette. The solution to this is to actually switch off your digital feeds and access them at set times. Always turn them off a few hours before bed so you can get a decent nights sleep. However if you start getting grief from friends or family simply switch off your digital feed. If you are a teenager or any age and getting bullied then switch off.
2. The 24 hour Rule
I actually stole this from author James Aultcher but he is incredibly successful and has a ton of likers and haters but his main rule is that you should leave it 24 hours before you respond to a personal attack. If someone calls you fat or any other type of attack just leave it 24 hours before responding. Trust me the intensity will be reduced and after 24 hours it all becomes less painful.
3. Delete, Delete, Delete
Most people have a ton of friends on facebook that arent really friends or add anything useful into their lives. However even if a person close to you attacks you on any level then just delete their comments on your page, blog or feed and then proceed to delete them from your facebook. I've done this a few times now and with great success. Ask yourself this question: Would you invite this person into your home? I doubt it so why are you letting them into your head? Delete and let the idiot go away.
4. Engage and Enrage
I got this tip from a book by Gavin De Becker. In life you will fall out with a person be it an ex partner, colleague, family or friend but one thing is universally true. You are unlikely to ever change their minds on any subject and they certainly will never change their minds based on a few lines on Facebook. So every time you engage with them you are going to enrage them. In other words this never ends. You post an article, photo or a comment and someone posts a bitchy or negative reply. So you then reply with a comment, then they do etc etc etc. It never ends unless you stop it. So you need to simply make a decision to stop the process. The beauty of facebook is that you can delete comments from the things you post so just do it. Its your post and if people dont like it and feel the need to speak out let them do it on their own timeline with their own friends and just wipe the comment out. If you start engaging with them it never ever ends. Everything you say simply enrages them so they vent that rage out via a post or a tweet. So simply choose to engage only with positive people.
5. Use Facebooks Safety Features
Facebook has a load of safety features. You can un friend and choose who your posts are shared with. You can report, block and pretty much be the master of your own timeline. So why on earth are you subjecting yourself to abuse, mental torture and the verbal sludge of a person you probably wouldn't speak to if you saw them in real life.
The bottom line is that Facebook is not real life. Its just a computer programme. It cant cause issues in your life unless you start engaging in criminal activity. The bottom line is that you need to treat and see Facebook for what it is. Its a tool to use to benefit you. Not to cause you any mental harm. If someone says your an idiot who knows you might be. Sometimes we need to take criticism off people and learn from it. But lets be realistic, do you respect anyone who decides just to write a few lines that is designed by them to make you seem small, inferior and try and embarrass you and show you up? No and you shouldn't.
So if you are a teenager getting bullied, a writer or content creator getting grief, a person falling out with a family member, boyfriend or girlfriend, partner or ex partner just chill out. Go through tips 1 to 5 and things should be a lot better. We all fall foul and can become a little nasty in life so its important to take a look at our own on line activities. Sometimes we all can be idiots and no one is perfect and life is about living. Ultimately though if the on line world is doing your brain in, switch off and go and read a good book.
Hope this helps
By Andrew Holland