Don Your Way column: Tackling the highs and lows of life on Facebook
Last week, I was talking about how music is pretty much a unifying bond in all our lives.
This time around, I’m putting something else under the spotlight that’s part of pretty much all of our everyday lives and that’s Facebook.
It is a topic I've touched on several times in this column as the whole social media era fascinates me – for both good and bad.
Part of my job role entails scouring Facebook and Twitter and the like for news items, so consequently, its a place where I tend to spend quite a lot of my day.
And it’s a place that’s a joy and a hell in equal measure.
It’s a place where moments of happy news can be shared – photos of new arrivals, weddings, joyous family moments, where relationship statuses can be updated and where likes and love hearts come flooding in for something you’ve said and done.
But on the other side of the coin, it can be a place of torment, bullying and hell, the worst excesses of online culture.
Vile trolls, people ill-advisedly airing their dirty laundry in public, Facebook ‘stalkers’ perusing over every item posted, ready to pounce and pour hurt on the happier aspects of others’ lives.
I’ve had to block accounts, defend others when arguments have spiralled out of control and fended off people from the past who’ve wanted to stick the boot in.
There are plenty of times when I’d have been more than happy to get rid of my Facebook account when the bile and hate is flowing and people are waging war.
But fortunately, despite all the animosity flying about, I’ve always hung on in there – and the lows are far outweighed by the highs of seeing friends make their happy announcements and share photos from moments of their lives.But sadly, over the last few years, social media has become anything but social.
Anti-social more like.
It has become a breeding ground for hate and nastiness, comments that people would never say to your face and just a generally unpleasant cesspit where extreme views are bandied around like confetti.
Pleas to be be nice and respect each other fall on deaf ears – and sadly, the abuse often continues, unabated.
I’m half expecting to see such remarks under this column when it is shared online. Fair enough. I know not everyone agrees with what I may have to say.
Personally, I’d prefer to live in a world however where Facebook can be a far nicer place than what it is now and where people can express their views without being ripped to shreds by the rabid social media pack of dogs.
Facebook is a place that’s ours, where we can come together. Let’s make it a nicer place eh?