I spend quite a lot of time on Facebook. It’s an easy way of staying in contact with friends and relatives, and I love looking at other people’s photo’s. Facebook has enabled me to get back in touch with old friends, and meet new ones. I’ve found writing opportunities on there. If I’m looking for a recommendation for a tradesperson, or need some local information that I haven’t been able to get from another source, Facebook will be my first port of call.
Unfortunately, Facebook has a dark side. It is a place where people name and shame with little regard for fact or the law. There’s a lot of moaning – I think it must be home to some of the most negative communities on the internet. Certain groups also seem to have more than their fair share of swearing.
Nowhere is this dark side more evident than one of the Facebook groups for my local community. I won’t name and shame, because that’s not my way, but some people reading this will know exactly which group I’m talking about. This group has a split personality. It’s community focused, and there’s some geuinely useful and interesting stuff on there. There used to be some people who posted about local history, but they’ve gone quiet of late. I wonder if they’ve found somewhere else to share information. The group is public, so if you post anything contentious, it’s there for the whole world to see.
The worst thing about this group is the moaning. My husband thinks it has a hidden agenda to make the outside world think we live in a dump. Therefore there won’t be any newcomers and housing developers will stop building here. It has been used to name and shame alleged criminals. A while back, a nice lady tried to start a petition to get street lights in a particularly dark area that no lone woman would want to walk in after dark, and someone told her to use a torch. The person that I’m finding particularly irritating at the moment is the one that moans every time someone requests a recommendation. Surely this is a key purpose of a community focused group? There’s no substitute for personal recommendation – not every tradesperson is on review sites and it’s questionable whether some reviews are reliable.
I’m trying to decide whether to leave the group or stay there in case I miss out on something useful or interesting. It really irritates me but it can be quite handy. I’ve considered setting up my own group or page but I don’t know if it’s worth the hassle as I’d feel obliged to moderate it much more than the owner of the group that upsets me does. I really like the Sunny Worthing page, which was set up by someone who was sick of negativity on the internet. If I did set something up, it would be around a similar premise to this.
What do you think? Have you come across lots of Facebook negativity? Should I try to set up something positive to counteract it?
Photo credit: Foter.com