Civil Wars

Remember when Facebook was fun ? It seems so very long ago.

What started exclusively for college students, expanded into a global phenomenon, has evolved into something that is anything but social.


“Gah”. Kristen Wiig caricature by lufreesz.

We all learned so much that we didn’t need to know about those “friends” during the tumult of recent elections.

Some of these friends and acquaintances go back to the high school years, decades ago. Maybe we didn’t really know each other, we surely never discussed our politics.

Or maybe, time and life experience have altered our world view in very different ways.

Debates turned into verbal battles, honest opinions were ridiculed, comments were ugly.

The smart ones left, or took to “unfriending”.

I still have an active account, using it for simple birthday greetings, to keep connected with distant relatives.

But eliminating so many from my daily feed has allowed me to keep my peace of mind.


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89 Responses to Civil Wars

  1. My FB account is private, Van, with only close friends and family on my feed line. My hubby got his first education with Trolls last evening and he was so sickened he told me he thought he was going to throw up. The vicious evilness that has sprouted everywhere is shocking! Trolls are even messing with the search engine Google! Their goal is to create doubt, chaos, fear, and a loss of hope. They are doing a great job IMO. I told hubby stay away from that ugliness and just concentrate on our life. (as I do) We don’t need that evil in our lives, now do we, Van? We have enough to contend with especially that dang dust rag! πŸ˜‰ (((HUGS))) ❀

  2. kingmidget says:

    I will admit that I have engaged in some of the political “debates” on FB. I simply cannot stand people who post false facts and then refuse to accept that their “facts” are made up. I’ve unfriended a few people because of their beliefs and their responses to being challenged. My son texted me a few weeks ago to let me know that one of this favorite things is seeing me “roast” people on FB. I’ve lost the ability to tolerate the fake news/alternative facts crowd.

    Personally, FB became unfun for me when it became meme central and an advertising platform. It’s no longer just a place to wish happy birthday to friends and keep in touch with distant friends and relatives. 95% of it is pure crap. πŸ˜‰

    • I hear you, King. Never thought of it as a “roast”..interesting. I step away from the political posts…it seems futile to try to change one’s mind. I agree with the memes and ads…such a waste of space. Thanks for commenting.

      • kingmidget says:

        I’m considering a blog post about this. There was time when I could engage in hearty and healthy debates with conservatives, libertarians, and individuals of all political stripes. Now, nobody wants to be challenged. Nobody wants to have to defend their views. I grow more and more frustrated by the fact that we have all retreated into our bubbles and are unwilling to venture out into the world of ideas and debate.

        It’s why I keep engaging … in the hope that I can find somebody, anybody, who is willing to challenge and defend and engage in a real discussion of ideas. It seems to be a futile effort.

      • At some point, it may evolve past the emotional response, and into an intellectual one. I wish you luck, King.

  3. Sue Vincent says:

    My FB account started shutting my PC down regularly…I took the hint and seldom use it except for the blog. You are right, it used to be fun.

  4. You know? You are so right! It DID used to be fun – poking and sharing and bestowing birthday greetings! But lately I’ve been approaching the site with more than a little trepidation.

    Hmm. I’ve just deleted about 200 words here – obviously I have a blog post of my own in the brewing. Brace yourself for a ping back!

    • It usually stirs up a lot of discussion, Maggie. I did a post long ago about “breaking up with Facebook”, but the break up didn’t last…we reconciled, at least for a while. I’ll watch for your post. Thanks.

  5. TanGental says:

    seems there has been a lot of cleaning up of FB friends post the Trump victory…

  6. spearfruit says:

    I left FB over a year ago and will never go back – too much drama for me. Great post Van, thanks for sharing – have a happy day! πŸ™‚

  7. I’ll do some of the fun memes on FB – maybe slip in a slightly snarky comment or two – but I spend most of my FB time in the Chainmailler’s group – where we all Oooooo and Aaaaah over what’s coming off everyone else’s pliers, bounce concepts off each other, and plan out our next tutorials.

    I avoid the political crap in my newsfeed like the plague on decency it is.

  8. Lisa A. says:

    I left for a few months but I’m back. Lol. One of my ‘friends’ unfriended me because he likes Trump. He couldn’t handle that I marched in the Women’s March. Good riddance! Lol. It’s pathetic when a 35 year old ‘man’ acts like that. He said something like OH you’re one of those! I was like yea and what? He then said have a nice life and unfriended me. Lol. I just said something like peace out! We went to college together, he was a Marine. I knew him since I was 18. I thought I knew him I should say.

  9. I don’t know what happened to FB, Van. A slugfest in both senses of the word! I backed way off too. Someday I’ll go back in and clean up my account so it goes back to being a nice way of connecting with friends and family. ❀

  10. Val Boyko says:

    There’s so much drama there nowadays … I keep away apart from dear friends who keep sending out goodness into the void.

  11. Erika Kind says:

    Facebook is a world I never really got warm with (as we say here). I wouldn’t have a private account if I did not need it for my author side. I basically only share the posts from my blog. I am not interested in more!

  12. I’ve always been very private on FB anyway but since the election I’ve done two further things. I’m keeping a pretty low profile and barely posting anything because I feel vulnerable on social media. And I had a massive cull of friends. I’m cool with being friends with people who have different political opinions from me but I’m not cool with name-calling or other such ugliness and I’m not tolerating intolerance. Life is stressful enough without social media ugliness in my life. I do use FB daily as it’s my main means of keeping up on the regular, everyday lives of family and friends back home, but I’m not engaging with it as I once did. I’m keeping my head below the parapet.

  13. George says:

    I don’t Facebook but I’ve heard the interaction on there has been less than pleasant. So sad it has spiraled into something so negative.

  14. Just Plain Ol' Vic says:

    Never had FB, don’t plan on getting it and my life is full without it! πŸ˜‰

  15. J.D. Riso says:

    I was only on FB for a very short time a few years ago. I tracked down some people I wanted to find again, then I deleted my account. I just didn’t like the vibe at all. Have never felt compelled to go back. It wasn’t so political back then, but I can just imagine how it is now. I’m only on Instagram and WP now. A lot less politics, but some has managed to seep in. I’ve been doing my best to stay away from any politics, but it has permeated everywhere. I feel pressured to take sides, and one side in particular. And I resent it. There is no law that obligates me to participate. I’ve been fighting the urge to stop every form of social internet activity period. I’m just over it. (Sorry for the rant, Van)

    • No rant apology needed…I think I understand the one side that creates the most pressure for you, Julie. I’ve discovered why my parents never disclosed their vote or their politics, for as far back as I can remember. Some wisdom there.

      • J.D. Riso says:

        You only need to look around WP to see which one I mean. At least the Discover editors have backed way off the bias. I really appreciate you and the few other bloggers who have remained neutral, or who understand those of us who wish to stay out of it and don’t get offended if I don’t “like” or comment on articles of a political nature. Thank you. πŸ’—πŸŒΈπŸŒ·

      • ❀️ πŸ’› πŸ’š πŸ’™ πŸ’œ

  16. lbeth1950 says:

    I don’t put anything personal on FB. I was horrified one time when we were out of town and a fried posted “Have fun while you’re on vacation.” I posted back. “We didn’t go anywhere.” I was afraid I’d get home and find my house stripped. I got straight on the phone to her.

  17. amommasview says:

    Crazy and honestly sad what people are willing to do (and say) because of politics. Honestly though, it also shows their real faces. I had some people too who just didn’t like that I don’t like Trump. I’m not actively critizising him. After all I’m also not American. But I share my couple of posts about his politics every now and then. Some people go nuts! I unfriended many of them, not before giving them another chance by saying that we are all allowed to have our own opinion but it didn’t help. Anyway… nothing really lost there… πŸ˜‰

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  19. I’ve never been a lover of Facebook, Van. I only have an account on it because I was told that as an author I should have one. I seldom go on there, though. What really put me off was seeing silly messages from people saying they were ‘sat in a coffee shop having a coffee’ or ‘were just going to eat dinner.’ I mean, what’s that all about, and do I really want to know? πŸ€”

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  21. Bun Karyudo says:

    I barely use Facebook, Van, I must admit. The entire place seems to have turned into a battleground. I much prefer the general civility of WordPress. I don’t agree with every blogger I follow when it comes to politics, but at least on this platform, we seem to be able to agree to disagree without it turning into a shouting match.

  22. It’s become tiresome to read the tirades and venomous exchanges on Facebook. It’s nowhere near civil in there. Choosing what one reads is truly key here for the sake of sanity, I am selective about what I read. I have quite a bit of (so-called) friends, but I know who my true friends are.

  23. Oh yeah, I remember my college days of Facebook, when my friends list started out exclusively with my college friends. I was disappointed when it gradually opened to everyone. πŸ˜’

  24. I joined FB rather late but I do love it for keeping in touch with real life friends and it is great for business promotion.

  25. polymath0 says:

    I’ve unfriended people too, thinking about how I never actually knew them in the first place. How did I not know that some so-called friends are racists and bigots? Others, I’ve questioned and kept aboard because they are not. I’ve never unfriended people due to difference in opinion. This is different. I am enjoying seeing more of my true friends and even coming closet to people I didn’t know so well. Some of them, I’ve realized, have incredibly large hearts and do so much for so many. They were just too humble to say so. Now I know.

  26. Steph McCoy says:

    Good post.πŸ™‚ I found FB frustrating before the election because it’s such a major time vacuum, critical thinking seems extinct, and people will believe just about anything without proper sources to back up the nonsense they’re passing onward. My solution was to delete everything on my timeline and I don’t use it at all although people will tag me in photos and posts. I’m only keeping FB for the blog.

    • You’re right Steph. I’ve seen bogus news reports that get folks worked up, somehow believing “everything in print”. That’s dangerous. I’ve been advised to link FB to the blog, just not convinced that I need to do that. Thanks.

      • Steph McCoy says:

        It’s totally out of control. Our first indicator should be not to use FB as a news source but as you know many take everything on there as gospel without checking and double checking resources. It’s maddening. I linked my blog to FB about a year or so after starting it and as it evolves it’s making better sense as I can drive traffic from the site to FB and vice versa. In talking with a some of my followers there are those who only go to FB to check my blog posts, some only go to Instagram and then most bloggers just visit the site.

        Initially I linked the blog and FB because I thought it’d be easier and it was to a degree as I didn’t have to post in both places. But when my timeline began frustrating me I made the decision to only focus on the FB blog page.

      • Thanks for the info, Steph.

      • Steph McCoy says:

        You’re welcome. I hope it helps a little bit. Depending on what your goals are you may not want to connect your blog to FB. I deleted my Twitter account a few months ago for this reason because it no longer made sense.

  27. dgkaye says:

    Succinct post Van. The US elections created havoc in the world and FB is and was a huge platform for the rhetoric. I use it to keep up with friends and for work, the trick is not to air your laundry there as so many do and avoid politically angry people. πŸ™‚

  28. Lady G says:

    Great piece Van πŸ™‚
    I am the only person in the US who has never had a FB account. Now I’m glad I don’t. I’ve known so many who have said, “I had to ‘unfriend’ so and so.”
    You learn a lot about people with these things….mostly the worse.

  29. Social media is anything but social. One has to be extremely careful these days before putting something up regarding the political, religious or cultural incidents ( or accidents). Trolls, I’ve heard, can lead someone even to a nervous breakdown…

  30. So many of my own family members fell out using this medium of FB.. which is why Van I never ever wanted to join.. and Will never do so.. or twitter..
    I have gained a troll on my Blog, which is why I have to now moderate it.. As they set up a site and left a valid comment first then proceeded to vent.. I just trash them .. Sad isn’t it how brave these individuals are behind the safety of their screens ..
    You are wise in what you have done.. Peace of Mind is everything.. Such individuals were never friends… or they would not act as they have done..
    Keep your chin up, I hear its mighty toxic over the Pond with one thing and the other.. And its toxins are leaking all over the planet at the moment..
    Thank you Van for your lovely welcome visit.. I really appreciated your well wishes..
    Love and Hugs.. Sue xxx

    • It has indeed become toxic on this side of the Pond, Sue. We can do better, and we will. Thanks so much for your peaceful presence here, always appreciated. ❀️

      • My pleasure Van.. and I hope to catch up on more of your posts soon.. I am just pacing myself today as I catch up and moderate comments.. Take care my friend.. Much Love xxx ❀

  31. I have also had to disconnect a bit…more the news than my friends…but it’s not good for balance, that’s for sure.

  32. dweezer19 says:

    Ditto. I told my husband that Facebook was as close to mind reading as I ever want to get. Total chaos. ‘M reading again! πŸ‘πŸ»

    • Yep. It has gotten pretty ugly over there. If it weren’t for scattered family, I’d be off for good. ❀️

      • dweezer19 says:

        I realized there were actually things I didn’t know about many of my friends…and wasn’t really missing. I deactivated the account but left messenger inatct for them….for now. It feels like a huge weight off my shoulder, like that phone call you hate to make or event you really wish you didn’t have to attend. What WAS I thinking?

      • You’re so right… learning new things about old friends..a bit of a danger zone these days. I have to look into that deactivation with an intact messenger…didn’t know that was possible ?? Seems like a great solution. Thanks.

      • dweezer19 says:

        A lot of people didn’t. I didn’t know it until I was deactivating mine and it popped up as an option.

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