Over the weekend we were all shocked and horrified to hear about the shootings in Orlando. As the deadliest shooting in modern American history it’s a subject too serious and complex for me to tackle and I’d rather not focus on my sadness and rage. The more manageable subject I will tackle is how to deal with these things on Facebook. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of never ending repetitive content especially when major news events occur. Pointing fingers and trying to get everyone else to change their Facebook habits is an effort in futility. I prefer to look at ways in which I can improve myself and lead by example.
Filter. Everything we post doesn’t have to be seen by everyone we know. Create separate Facebook friend lists to filter who sees what you post. If you want to share a great article about gay rights stop and consider that if you’re seeing it on Facebook it probably means most of your gay friends have also seen it. If you have filtered lists you can easily share it with the people who you think are less informed or have less access to this type of information. We all want to share information but the trouble is that we all have that same instinct which can lead to a newsfeed that is over saturated with constant repetition of the same headlines. A story shared once or twice can be informative. A story shared 7 or 8 times causes me to close Facebook and ignore it all. Don’t preach to the choir. Preach to the people who need to hear it.
Unfollow. It’s impossible to control what people post but you can filter what you see. We all have friends that are wonderful people in real life but totally overbearing on Facebook. Whether its elections coverage or minute by minute updates about a tragedy these friends want to get the word out. I often need to take a step back and realize this information is important even though there might be too much of it. Clearly this is what interests them and there’s no use trying to squash their passion. Instead tap the unfollow button to make your newsfeed a more enjoyable experience. You still have access to all their information it’s just hidden until you purposely go and seek it out. This is the quickest and easiest solution.
Unfriend. There’s a point when being Facebook friends isn’t worth the headache. After the attack at Pulse I saw an Orlando friend make an emotional anti-gun post. He received a paragraph long comment from someone in support guns. While reading through the argument that ensued my first thought was, why is he friends with this person? Seriously, what value does this person add to his life? Everyone has the right to their own opinion and regardless of my stance on guns there is the simple subject of the basic lack decency and tact in this situation that I can’t wrap my head around. Being pro-guns is one thing but getting into a Facebook argument with a friend who’s just had an attack on his community a mere hours ago is another. Have the grace to know when it’s time to be quiet. For example, if you saw someone post about his cousin dying in a car accident I would hope you would have enough awareness not make comments questioning her driving ability. Even if her driving was the cause of the accident this is not the time or place to discuss it. For those people who don’t have that awareness the unfriend button is the perfect solution. Unfriending is simple and freeing.