I have a confession to make–I actually like Facebook. Where else can I talk about cats all day long with other people who want to talk about cats all day long?
I have friends who hate Facebook or who occasionally have to take a break from it. I know people who get really cranky about all the political posts, especially around election time. Yet other friends complain that Facebook isn’t “relational” enough, that its friendships are shallow and the communication it fosters is superficial.
And all of those accusations are probably true, if one doesn’t know how to use Facebook in a way to avoid them. For instance, it’s perfectly acceptable to scroll past political posts without reading them. In fact, I have been known to unfollow (but never unfriend) people whose posts are all politics all the time. As to the idea that Facebook friendships are fake or shallow, I would say they are only so if one makes them so. I have gotten to know some of my friends much better through Facebook than I ever would have without it.
My only true complaint about Facebook is that there’s no Red Pen feature. As a former high school English teacher, my fingers twitch with the desire to correct the spelling errors, the apostrophe mistakes, and, above all, to point out and gently reason against some of the logical fallacies present in so many posts. And you can imagine, if I had such a Red Pen, how popular I would be.
I realize that’s what the comments section is for to some people. But I also don’t want to be a jerk to my friends because I am not their English teacher, after all. Even to my Facebook friends who are my former students, I am no longer authorized to grade their work. And if the post in question was shared by a close relative (like my mother), I especially do not dare to point out the errors. Ye Gads!
Fortunately, none of my friends–and certainly none of my family members–read this blog. So I’m going to start a new feature where I grade posts from Facebook with all personal identifiers removed to protect the innocent and not-so-innocent.