The 'friends' I have usually post silly, uplifting, and or/ the little joyful moments of their day or vacations, and some good quotes as well as snippets of their various talents or accomplishments. Very few post problems, even though it is an open forum. Maybe, we assume no one wants to hear about those, despite the fact that we ALL have challenges in our lives that we struggle with.
I imagine that if a Facebook (Frownbook?) came into creation specifically for the negatives we are dealing with, it would be crammed with posts and comments. Do I have a billion dollar idea here?
Seriously, I don't mean to poke fun at our problems. Some of us have very serious ones. And I think because of that very fact, we try to focus on the lighter side of things on Facebook. Forget the heavy stuff for a few moments and portray the positive aspects of ourselves and our lives. It's not a lie or a facade. It's just the brighter side.
Positive (in my experience.)
Facebook seems to be an outlet to share our silliness, successes, enjoyable experiences, right down to a great meal or dessert (people often post pictures of their food at a restaurant or a dessert they baked.) These seemingly insignificant posts often proclaim the subtle message that 'fun and silliness are indeed a part of living, despite the more serious difficult times.'
(A pause for silly enjoyable moods to lighten my moments and maybe yours too.)
I haven't found Facebook to be a compilation of a perfect continuously happy existence. It is for the most part, (for me) a carefree pause in between promoting my blogs for writing aspiration purposes.
I know that the lives of my closer FB friends and my own, are not just the happy photos posted. But I am grateful when those moments arise for them and for me, and we can share our smiling times. Doing so seems to say: There is always sweetness in life.
Remember too, that there are some people who cannot go out and about, and Facebook is their only social connection to others. A place where they can 'travel' looking at our photos and learn of new things from our posts right from home.
I also like the fact that a few of my relatives from across the ocean can now communicate with me and I with them, and we can 'see' one another so easily.
"The question isn't 'what do we want to know about people?' It's 'what do people want to tell about themselves?"
The Negative (in my experience.)
It is not very fruitful to browse Facebook in lieu of chores or school work waiting to be done.
Facebook as a replacement for face-to-face friendships and interactions isn't ideal to say the least. Or for expressing affection to certain people in a post and never in person. An emoticon heart is endearing but a hug in real life, is much more effective in feeling cared about.
It is also unfair to voice a negative opinion of someone to their timeline in a post, rather than tell them to their face. Plus it is humiliating for others to see such a post. Even a Private Message criticism is a cop-out.
Arguments over differing opinions, be it political, religious, or even dietary. Disagreement is part of life, we're all different and have our own thoughts on things, but bitter angry comments and long drawn out scolding can be saved for a one-on-one other means of communication, thank you very much.
Lack of privacy is a big issue with social media. Whatever we post on FB stays with FB and is 'out there' now. FB is an easy portal for hacking. The amount of privacy we give up is our choice, but it's a good idea to weigh the 'down' side of that, depending on what we choose to post and who we confirm friendships with. If someone is comfortable announcing to everyone that they have serious spousal issues, or will be leaving their house empty for a month of being away, that's their business. I try not to go past my own set boundaries.
Addiction. Yes, many of us are addicted to Facebook. We tend to use it as a form of entertainment when bored, or even as a tool of procrastination for work we need to be doing on the computer at the office, or as in my case, at home as a freelance writer.
It's a long way off, but perhaps next year I'll give up 'Facebook' for the forty days most Christians observe for Lent and see if I get withdrawal symptoms.
Whatever Facebook is to each one of us, caring, positive vibes, and helpful information, seem to be beneficial over critical, immoral and/or negative posts, feedback, and comments. In my opinion. And that's all this is. I am after all, one among millions of FB members. Social media allows us all to share our intentions and viewpoints. Freedom of speech and expression is our right and I am not intending to change that. I'm just using that right to express my take. Happy posting.