Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Has Facebook Caused More Fighting Amongst Families?



Lately I have watched as members of my family have become antagonistic towards each other and I have wondered why this is the case.  I have read comments from other people on this blog throughout the years as they mention their families competing, bragging, asserting their views, fighting and arguing on Facebook and I can not help but wonder if the site that was supposed to make the world a "more connected place" is actually causing more strife between family members.  Is Facebook causing families and friends to actually dislike each other instead of brining people close together?  I strongly believe so.

There are many ways in which Facebook is detrimental for a person.  Recently I wrote that there are ways in which Facebook makes people feel miserable.  When people feel miserable they oftentimes lash out on others.  They look for a fight, so to speak.  When people are posting about how wonderful their life is on the internet and others are feeling bad about their own life, jealousy will emerge.  When people are enraged about current events or things out of their own control, they will fight over political ideas.  When people feel that they are not accepted by another, they lash out.   In short, families become entwined in the kind of fighting that did not really exist in the same public and easily accessible way before the internet.

Don't get me wrong, families have always fought.  I can remember during my youth seeing my parents and their siblings argue from time to time.  Yet, the arguments did not continue online.  And rarely were those arguments made manifest for a hundred or more people to see and take sides on.

I look at my family now and see a broken and fragmented family full of people who have "taken sides" on issues as the fight unfolds on Facebook, or as I have begun calling it as of late, "Favebook."  I have seen one of my wife's siblings pretty much disown her sister's husband because of his views on Obama.  I have seen people become angry if others do not agree with their political or religious views, removing them from their friends list.  Others state that they should be able to state what they want on their wall and nobody should be able to question what is said.  Does this not sound like tyranny to you?  Of course fights are going to emerge when these things happen.


Recently one of my family members was bated with a political post, and once he commented, a huge fight erupted.  A couple of days after loads of comments from various people who both knew him and some who have never met him, he was unfriended and paraded as a jerk for the rest of the family to see. It is sad to see such a pointless argument turn into a family feud just because someone does not agree with one's self-important political views.  

Thanksgiving is coming upon the United States very soon and I look at my family and see that many are having it separately this year.  In years past, the family would come together for a day when differences were set aside and where people gave thanks for the things that they have in life.  Now, I see that differences are not set aside, they are left right there for everyone on Facebook to see.  Now the topic becomes what was said and done on Facebook.  There is a reminder of how much one does not like another family member right when that other person checks their Facebook page.  And they check it quite often.

Do you really expect that Facebook is good for families and relationships when:
1.  People are obsessed with their own political views and are used to arguing with anyone who disagrees?
2.  People and family members are ultra competitive with each other and parade all their accomplishments in front of everyone else?
3.  People compare how they raise their children?
4.  People unfriend others when they do wrong and use Facebook as a weapon?
5.  When "Favebook" becomes a way for people to exclude others from events and from their lives.
6.  Where personal fights are made public and people start to take sides?

It is no secret that Facebook causes people to become angry with each other.  It is to be expected that the anger will eventually seep into our closest relationships.  When a person gets done telling "a liberal" or "a conservative" how stupid their views are and then notices that their brother has the same views, there is no doubt that there may be family arguments.   Furthermore, what is said can be seen years later as posts do not disappear unless deleted.  That means that the old feelings can re-emerge.

Many people are going to say "that does not sound like my family" or that "I am different.  I can handle Facebook."  Is that true?  Are you just telling yourself that?  Has your family really gotten along as well with Facebook?  Has the constant barrage of political posts and angry news articles really brought you closer together as a family?  Have the members of your family not become jealous when you were talking about that huge promotion at work while others were busy trying to fight the government for an unemployment check?  Do you find yourself wondering if something that someone said on Facebook is really something passive aggressive and meant towards you?  If not, congratulations.

Facebook is an addiction.  People think that they have to be on it or that they are not a good person.  I know some people who are not on Facebook and they are doing themselves a favor.  Many hate the drama and do not want to be pulled into it.  Others crave some type of peace in their lives.  Facebook does not do much good for anyone, especially once the urge to "assert your all-important views" becomes too strong.  And, when you tell the world that they can not disagree with your views, there is a problem.  Do yourself a huge favor and remove it immediately.  You do not need to be a part of a site that is destroying relationships and families daily.  

27 comments:

  1. LIKE .. .. .. (see what I did there?) eheheh.. just kidding. Well-said. I'm 10 days Facebook-sober today. Not one log-on; not one relapse. It crosses my mind less and less with the passing days (a normal obvious symptom of withdrawal from any addiction).. It feels liberating and healthy. Your writing, this site, has helped me.. Thank you..

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    1. I'm on day two. I only checked once on Thanksgiving, and was turned off by everyone bragging about their beautiful tables and perfect turkeys and how grateful they were. Call me cynical but posting a photo of one's home and Thanksgiving table is pure posturing and looking for ego gratification via "Likes" and compliments. If these people were really grateful they'd be out serving meals to the homeless, or they'd be concentrating on the loved ones with them at that very moment.

      Do you really think anyone who posted a photo of their beautifully decorated table did not go back to see how many "likes" or comments they received? I can just imagine: "What a beautiful table!" "You are blessed" "We are all so blessed". "What a beautiful family!" "Gobble, gobble!" "#BLESSED". Ugh.

      How about REAL communication, in REAL time with the people in FRONT of you! How about phone calls with people across the country, sending cards or sharing photos via email? WHY have 792 people (or how many "friends" one has) have to be part of an intimate family holiday like Thanksgiving? Why do people need so many people being voyeurs into their personal celebrations? I am dumbfounded by this behavior but I guess I'm just a weirdo.

      My boyfriend has been begging me to get off Facebook because I would read aloud to him things that pissed me off, or how off-putting some Facebook narcissist was being by posting YET another selfie. Something finally clicked in me and I have lost all desire to log in. I hit the wall, so to speak. I know I will just be annoyed by the idiotic posts and posturing: middle-aged adults blatant begging for a morsel of attention. I want to be an example for people to take their lives back and go live a REAL life with real humans for chrissakes!

      I am "so blessed" to have gotten off Facebook! Hooray!!!!!!

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    2. Yes I agree 100% with you I'm off since Thanksgiving!! I'm deleting for good! People are begging for attention by their endless posts wanting likes to make them feel important or gratified its a sickness they don't know they have their too caught up in all of it! Yes spending real time one on one with a person is a real relationship not this fake book! where you have to compete with other so called friends of friends that's not the kind of real relationship I want or need with someone I call a friend! That's not a personal relationship! I'd rather hear a voice than message someone all the time it's more real and easier by far!! And I agree why do people want to show off their whole family history on fake book? So many weirdos are there just waiting to spy on you and who knows what else they might want to do to (dare I say) to the children who's parents post tons of pics of their children just to get so many likes are putting their kids in danger because their FB could get Hacked then what would happen to all the pics of the baby's, children, and the parents pics also? I don't think they think about these kind of problems that could happen! I know someone who posts pics of their sick child in the hospital in the hospital bed hooked up to all kinds of things this is not right to do I feel that is a private matter and the child maybe one day when they are older will resent this from their parents! Invading the child's privacy! This is crazy in my opinion children deserve better from their parents! Yes FB is a sick place to be in so many ways!! I'm glad I can read all of these comments, on these Blogs it helps me stay strong and convinces me I'm the one who is of sound mind and spirit! Thank you to Jared for this website and to all the people who are making comments this is helping and blessing so many of us that couldn't break the chains fake book tries to keep you under! It's a deception when you think FB doesn't have to harm you if you control it I know I couldn't control my self on it even though I tried to convince myself I could, besides I don't think FB is a safe place to dwell on not the way the world is today! Making comments on news stories can put you at risk for some crazy person that hates what you said I know it happen'd to me and all I said is every body should pray for someone!

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    3. I peeked again this morning because of an event I was invited to. I can't make it and I usually just don't respond. The pressure of having to "Like" and comment on people's photos is too much at this point in my life. The constant invitation to musical events and other performances that I used to just seek out on my own.

      I want my life back where I do not feel obligated to participate in the Facebook madness. And yes, I am getting it back. Yet, I will admit I am worrying about FOMO…(fear of missing out, an acronym I just learned about). I am a tad concerned that people will think I'm anti-social. Sooooo many people I know, including most of my family, are on Facebook. But there are several people I know who are NOT on Facebook and I'm planning to become one of them - people who do NOT have a Facebook profile and who DO NOT participate in this toxic "togetherness"!

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    4. I also wanted to add that another thing I truly hate about Facebook is having photos posted of myself that I do not want on the internet for everyone to see. I do not consider myself that photogenic and I realize we now live in a world where everything is documented, photos of every little tiny event are posted on Facebook and there is something wrong with you if you don't participate.

      Oh, and I realize I can choose not to have a photo I'm tagged in NOT appear on my Timeline. yet, that same photo will be viewed by all the friends of the person who tagged me…so what is the point? Facebook is an invasion of privacy, plain and simple. The current generation knows nothing about privacy. I wonder how do shy kids cope in a Facebook world? I have heard a lot of younger people do not have Facebook pages, having opted out once all the parents signed up. But having been a very shy kid, I wonder about how shy kids are coping in this world of "Selfies".

      Facebook is a negative force - in my opinion.

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    5. I agree with you FB is a big lie full of fake friendships more than not, that you can have a better relationship with off FB with a one on one personal friendship! It is a big invasion of privacy they let anyone search for you in that little search box at the top of the page even if you chose against it ! FB tries to control people and doesn't give much respect to the users! Who needs all that drama every day its not healthy! I'm feeling so much less stressed and free that I'm off now!

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  2. Facebook has become a demented reality show where we can watch others' family drama and trauma from the comfort of our living room. Our society is sick.

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  3. Yup. It's destructive in many ways. I wish more people would opt out and I'm hoping for a societal pendulum swing back to privacy and normal life. Seems doubtful that will happen. Life was much better before Facebook. There are people in my life who expect me to participate and expect me to be able to keep up with all of their comings and goings, photos, job changes, travels, daily life minutiae on Facebook and I just can't keep up. There are a couple of my Facebook "friends" whose constant updating, posting of selfies, preening and bragging make me wonder if they are mentally ill or sociopathic. Facebook is the perfect tool to confirm a personality disorder or if someone is a narcissist. Don't get me started on the ridiculous "I'm so blessed" trend. Gag me.

    I'm starting to tiptoe out of it initially by just not checking it every day. My plan is a slow wean off of it. Then deactivating and eventually deleting my profile completely and hope no one notices (actually they won't, most people are more concerned with their own status updates).

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    1. Hi there. I'd agree with you about people posting invites here and there, making you stray from your original life plans. And yes, life felt better before FB invaded everyone's lives. .

      I think deleting your FB cold turkey is fine if what you say is true that people won't even notice it. Most of my mountaineering acquaintances actually didn't know I had deleted mine until I told them about it in person.

      Good luck with your plan to get off from Facebook. Life's better without it, even if it means I now feel more isolated from my contacts. But then, my isolation felt worse when I was on FB. So the difference between the past (life with FB) and present (FB free life) is that the former only gives you the illusion of being connected, while the latter forces you to face your reality and perhaps push you enough to actually start making real-life friends.

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    2. I'm a Colorado mountaineer! ..and a Grand Canyon guy.. It's the only reason to hang onto FB; I believe in my photography of these great places; and I want to inspire people. Still, I'm very cognizant of my ego: Am I doing what I'm doing because I love it and I must do it?.. or so that I can *share* it and show it off.. etc.. I keep thinking that the *real* guy; the *real* deal.. etc.. is the guy we will never hear about.. because he's got no FB, no website, no blog, no book, no film.. nothin.. he just DOES it.. and maybe I should strive to be that guy.. etc.. ?.. I don't know..

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    3. Are you back on FB? I don't judge it if so, I've been deleted since Thanksgiving I feel so free from all the overload FB has to offer! Hope your doing well!

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  4. re: "..constant updating, posting of selfies, preening and bragging make me wonder if they are mentally ill or sociopathic. Facebook is the perfect tool to confirm a personality disorder or if someone is a narcissist.." - eheheheh.. This cracked me up; thanks for the Thanksgiving morning laugh. One of my "friends".. her mother died about a year ago; about every six weeks she does (what I've dubbed) a "dead-mother post": photo of mom, maybe with clouds; allusions to angels, heaven etc.. "I love you mom" "I miss you mom".. She gets about 60, 70 likes every time.. which of course validates her existence and feellings every six weeks; the "Likes" just pile right up on the dead-mother posts I tell ya; works like a charm every time. I wonder if she wakes up in the morning some days and thinks, "You know I'm feeling a little down today; I need to be validated; my fragile ego needs some *cheering* up. Hey! I know! Dead-mother post! That's it!".. etc..

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    1. Glad I made you laugh. That is really disturbing, and I have seen others do the same thing. Nice, getting an ego boost off of one's poor deceased parent. Facebook has revealed to me just how many people are desperate for attention. I'm by no means perfect and have my own insecurity but jeezus, that soooo many people go to Facebook daily, several times a day, to obtain validation, attention and ego gratification from other people is really quite sad. I observed my own motivation for changing my profile photo, and yes, sometimes I spent quite a long time picking one out…and the likes and compliments would come in. I would feel good about myself and would think "wow, people like me". Ugh, so pathetic. I can barely stand myself just thinking about it.

      My narcissistic Facebook friend I'm talking about is hands down the worst offender. I have NEVER seen anything like this woman. She is effing SHAMELESS. I'm sorry to use caps but I am trying to make a point. She drove me to quit Facebook. I work with her periodically and I have thought about quitting this particular aspect of my work so I never have to see this woman again. Not to mention, she has been somewhat hostile to me in "real" life, I think in part because I am not one of her eager followers and "Like" ers. I was "Like" ing her posts to preserve our working relationship but when she started being passive aggressive with me, that was it. She's the penultimate narcissist and I think Facebook brings this out in people. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

      So the good news is….today I did not check…ONCE. I think I hit the wall, I am just too disgusted to go on there. All the Thanksgiving posts - I'm so grateful for my amazing family, blah blah blah. Yeah, me too but I don't have the need to announce it to 792 people. Why more people are not embarrassed by their Facebook behavior is beyond me. Harrumph!

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    2. WoW you made me laugh!!! How pathetic I think it is when people on the holidays put things like (Oh I'm so... happy all my dearest family members came over today there was so and so and so and so and so....on and on about how blessed they are and how much fun they had!! Have these people even thought how others might not have such good family's how it looks like they are bragging about how blessed they are!! Makes you wonder why they post this stuff all the time like maybe they are trying to make someone jealous or something if so, how pathetic!! I know someone who does this all the time and it doesn't look good on them it effects people in the way they think they are bragging!! Why don't they keep the holidays a personal intimate celebration like it was meant to be????

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    3. I know this comment is a year old but I had to reply and say you are so spot on! I've been away from Facebook for four years, forced away by just this type of behaviour. I can't imagine what goes through someone's head to post pictures of people who have died over and over again looking for "likes". It's sad on many levels - sad that perhaps they have no-one willing to spend time to listen to their unhappiness in real life, so it must be posted for them to get attention, sad that what were once deeply humbling events now get transformed as a way to get attention in some crass way. One of these people for me is a close relative, she regularly takes pictures of her 4 and 5 yr old children in graveyards kneeling/crying at the grave, for extra impact..awful enough as it is, but also just to think she doesnt even consider how this may upset someone else going through something difficult in their own lives at that time too just is mind boggling. I have contacted her to support her in real life over the years, but I've realised she doesn't actually want real-life support, she wants all the likes and comments on Facebook. It upset me so much so often, and added to all the awful political rants and ego fuelled horribleness, I just had to move away. I hate being seen as somehow pious, (even though I made no fuss about it, just left quietly) I wouldn't say I am hugely happier, in fact I feel a little lonely at times, but at the end of the day I feel I am standing up for my own beliefs, and those quiet people who also share them. I would rather have one true friend than 300 ego hungry "friends", and I just can't support this type of behaviour.

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  5. So glad I found this page. I just deactivated my account yesterday without fanfare after realizing how unhealthy Facebook has become for me. I don't blame Facebook for my behavior, I blame myself and my addictive personality and insecurity. I'm a grown ass woman who found myself getting pissed off by a group of women who I swear wouldn't like a picture of mine if I was offering $1000 for each "like." However, they would constantly like and comment every picture and post each of them made mostly while professing their profound faith in Jesus and all their blessings. It then dawned on me that I didn't want to hang out with any of these people IRL yet I knew all their business and honestly, I really don't want to anymore. I liked life so much better when I wasn't constantly looking at everyone's santized highlights and comparing them to my insides. I had my own epiphany that I was back in middle school and didn't like it any better now than I did then. So I just hit deactivate. I actually want to delete the whole damn thing but apparently you have to email Facebook and ask them for "permission" Gah, Facebook might be awesome for people who don't struggle with depression like myself but for me, it's just an emotional cancer.

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    1. Hi I red your comment and to delete your account all I did and did over and over a few times (so I know) is google (delete face book account) Then click on the link that says,(delete face book account help center)Be sure not to click on a link that says deactivate delete that isn't the right one only click the (DELETE FACE BOOK ACCOUNT..... HELP CENTER) That will take you to the fb help center page look for the different colored words saying (Let us know) click on that it will take you to the delete pages and just follow directions from there!! I'ts easy after that but you have to type in your password then click on the pics they tell you to!! Happy New Year!!!

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  6. ultimately face book makes you feel left out of things one way or another! If you have family on FB and you have a family disagreement then you feel ignored or belittled in some way when they are putting "likes" on everyone's posts or they are posting things and you feel they are ignoring the issues you are having with them! It makes you feel less important than FB is with all the other distractions of FB all the other friends that draw attention away from your relationship with them!! Makes you feel like sad inside!!

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    1. I completely agree, and the same goes for friends and peer relationships. The basic set up of Facebook, making everyone voyeurs, is a natural mechanism to make one feel left out, ignored, not important, not good enough. Who needs to feel like an outsider looking in, and feeling "less than" because your friend "liked" someone else's profile photo and decided to NOT "like" yours? Seriously, Facebook provides another layer of stress in life that is completely unnecessary.

      We are not obligated to participate in this madness. Yeah, maybe we'll miss out on things but the emotional price we have to pay to all be "friends" on Facebook is not worth it.

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    2. Your right!! Even family members betray you on FB that hurts even worse when it's family!! Don't let all these fake people get to you, forget their (sad personalities) that don't know how to be real, but fake, playing games with emotions thinking they are hurting you in some way on Fb! You are right it is so... not worth it! There are more healthy and rewarding ways to spend your precious time!!!

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  7. This post is incredibly relevant to my life. I cannot *blame* Facebook for the toxic relationship my siblings and I have had with each other, but it certainly became the vehicle for the irreversible downfall. Little things were took out of context, sides were taken and then when the attack came on me it was completely brutal. A couple of my siblings together went all in for the kill - completely "defaming" me all over Facebook to all of my friends and family. In times past a fight would just be private, but in their anger they aired all of MY dirty laundry (and I'm certainly not perfect) portraying me as a monster without context.

    Facebook has definitely given a new edge to family conflicts...

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    1. That's a cautionary tale if I ever read one. Facebook can indeed be a sinister force. The end of privacy is not good for family and all relationships, period. People do not have to participate in this stuff, yet everyone feels they are obligated to and many "like" it. One of my siblings participates in Facebook all day, every day. His Facebook behavior is embarrassing to watch, because in real life I do not believe he would be as adversarial and argumentative as he is online. I just shake my head and wonder: just what is he thinking?

      I hope your situation gets better. It sounds pretty awful, with family issues flamed and abetted by Facebook.

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  8. I think Facebook is very destructive. I would delete it except that I run an online business, so it's a necessity in order to communicate with customers.

    On a personal level though, I've found Facebook to be very hurtful but enlightening. It revealed just how little the people in my life care and how selfish and self-absorbed some are. My friends and family have not been supportive of me--not through sickness, grief, or my accomplishments. Even when I'd published a novel a few years ago, I got very few likes from family and friends. They could have helped me promote it or, at the very least, congratulated me, but instead they remained silent, pretended that they didn't see the posts about it.

    They simply didn't care. That broke something inside of me, and I haven't fully recovered. I never post anything about my creative projects now.

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  9. Thanks for being brave to share these ideas. I would also want to get rid of facebook. It has put a strain on a lot of relationships and it's a time sink.

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  10. I agree, I am going to cancel, kill, delete, my Facebook Account. The other day my daughter posted that all GOP And Trump supporters are Turds. I could not let that insult fly, and said so, a huge argument blew up, with her friends joining in, friends who don't know me. Her husband posted that all Christians are guncarring killers. Best thing is just delete it.

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  11. If only I had read this a few years ago!
    I agree with all you have said. It fosters jealousy and disagreements from all sides, whether it be the person posting, or the person reading. And yes, the political climate especially now, toxic.
    Bless you!


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    1. Spot on! I saw and felt this coming 3 years ago. I deleted my FB account and never looked back. I don't do any other online social network either. Life is way better without any of it! Just dump it and be Happy.

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