I have been pretty busy while confined to quarters during the COVID-19 lockdown. I’ve lubricated squeaky door hinges, tightened wobbly drawer-pulls, and synchronized every clock in the house. I’ve cleaned out closets, tidied up the office, shredded stacks of old files and swept the garage floor until I could eat off it. I tilled my garden soil, cleaned out flower beds, sorted through my fishing and golf equipment, changed the oil in my lawnmower, and eaten everything that wasn’t nailed down. Having finished watching Netflix — all of it, I decided to catch up with my Friends on Facebook.
Most of their posts are warm, funny, or encouraging. Some offer helpful life hacks, like the thousand-and-one uses of Blue Dawn Dish Soap. It’s believed to work wonders on everything from killing dog fleas to unclogging toilets. I wouldn’t be surprised if the cure for this coronavirus is discovered within the curious amalgam of good ole Blue Dawn.
There’s also a lot of cooking advise available, like how to effortlessly peel garlic, and hardboiled eggs — although not one of these methods has worked for me as of yet. What I really need is a good recipe for hard boiled eggs in the shell.
Another post revealed the secret to making pizza sauce, guaranteed to taste just like Aurelios — it doesn’t.
Some friends share poetic writings, comforting scriptures, hysterical little memes, and vacation photos. A few of you share a bit too many photos — just sayin. I get a kick out of funny stories and often use Facebook to polish my own dry sense of humor.
But I have to question whether the term “Friend” should apply to everyone on my list.
Some of them just love to lambast others who don’t share their opinions. Their relentless attempts to belittle, discredit and slander viewpoints contrary to their own is getting pretty old. Facebook should allow a special group designation for angry people, something like the “Disgruntled Acquaintance List”. They’d be set apart from my congenial friends, safeguarding my News Feed from being littered with all that hostility.
Then if (against my better judgement) should I decide to see what new disgruntlement they’ve been spouting, I’d know in advance to enter their domain with caution, much like stepping into a yard full of dog crap.
Facebook was amusing before these angry discontents started filling the feeds with all those weaponized memes. Do they actually think this often inaccurate or manipulative information will fuse new narratives and change opinions on such hot issues as Gun Control, Abortion, President Trump, Socialism, Capitalism, The Confederate Flag, or any other burning topic of the day? I think they tend to push people away, rather than draw them together.
These tirades have peeled back a layer of character that leaves me wondering, who exactly are these people? I’m not sure we would have become friends had I seen this aggressive psychosis when we first met. Have they always been this way?
Did they change — or did I?
I thought about deactivating my Facebook account — but why should I be the one to have to exit. Instead, it may be time for me to broaden my “social distancing” to include those “Angry Friends”. No hard feelings, I just don’t want to catch that bug they have embedded deeply up their rear ends.
I’m not looking to do battle, or hurt anyone’s feelings. I just don’t want or need all that negativity. There may very well be hordes of other angry people out there who will gladly Like, Share or challenge their posts. I’m not one of them. I prefer Friends who bring a smile to my face and brighten my day.
My Facebook experience will only regain its charm if I take control over who I allow within my inner circle of friends. Friendships probably work best between like-minded people. Not that we have to agree on everything, we just need to be civil in our discord.
So, should you discover I blocked or unfriended you, please don’t be upset with me…
I didn’t prompt this — you did.
PS: To the rest of you, please stop sharing the cure for that, “New Facebook Algorithm,” it’s a hoax. Facebook hasn’t limited your feed to only a certain number of people. Sharing a post stating otherwise won’t make any difference. If you really want more friends to show up in your News Feed, simply “Follow” and maintain a dialog with them. Sounds like something friends would naturally do anyway.