The internet has been a hazardous place as of late. Especially on Facebook. With the looming election, paired with recent world events and football season, Facebook has gone from this:
I always wonder what I’ll stumble across each morning when I open my internet browser. Will I be smacked in the face with some crazy right-wing conspiracy theory, complete with hate speech and illustrations? Or will I (finally) be greeted with the things I WANT to know about…i.e. who’s at the grocery store/which friend’s kid won their soccer game/who found a Doctor Who collectible on eBay.
In years past, when the internet turns hostile, Brian and I have been known to “take a Facebook break.” We disable or delete our accounts, living a blissful, quiet life, free from armchair politics and the web-wide Whiny Wanda. (Because everybody has a friend like that, am I right?)
Believe me when I say my finger has hovered over the “Obliterate Your Facebook Account Here” button several times over the last few weeks.
But I can’t seem to make myself pull the trigger this time. Maybe it’s because I don’t want to go to the trouble of recreating my account in a month when I start going through withdrawals. Maybe it’s because Brian is gone a lot, and Facebook is my tangible connection to the outside world. Maybe it’s because I would miss seeing the daily posts from Jenna about my godkids.
However, if I’m honest with you about why I haven’t just quit Facebook this time, it comes down to a simple answer.
It’s because Facebook created the ultimate answer when they came up with the “Show in News Feed” feature. I can be friends with you on Facebook all day long, but if I don’t want to read all of your rants, I can simply choose to take you out of my personal timeline. You’re nary the wiser, and my page is filled with the updates I’m most interested in.
FINALLY! I can create a timeline that will greet me with unicorns and rainbows instead of gremlins and thunderheads!! I get plenty of pleasure out of making use of that little feature.
You posted something extremely offensive? HIDE FROM TIMELINE!
You continually post political statements that border on hate speech? HIDE FROM TIMELINE!
You complain about everything in your life to the point of exhaustion? HIDE FROM TIMELINE!
I feel like Shera with He-man’s catch phrase.
I’m sure at some point I’ll revisit those I’ve hidden and consider allowing them back into the lovely meadow of wildflowers that is my Facebook timeline. (Perhaps after the election is over?) But for now, I’m employing my own brand of The Timeline Police. And it’s working!
Of course, I could always just use my husband’s answer for Facebook nonsense and post this whenever someone annoys me (Warning: Foul Language Ahead:)
Funny, colorful, and right to the point. But, I think I’m going to stick to my game plan. It’s reversible, it’s comfortable, and it’s keeping Facebook much more warm and fuzzy. HEY! It’s Facebook’s version of the Snuggie! And who knows, maybe one day, the internet will return to being a (mostly) kind place to visit. But for now, I’m gonna stick to my guns and wrap my little piece of the internet in the warm flannel of choice. Thank you, Facebook, for giving me the option to be the passive-aggressive peace keeper of my own page.