Imagine you are sitting at lunch with a group of friends chatting and the topic of decor comes up. You make a joke about how glad you are that you got all of that crappy country blue and pink stuff out of your house because it looked like 1985. You continue with the thread and say that couldn’t even sell the stuff at a rummage sale because no one uses those colors anymore unless they are color blind.
Fast forward to a few weeks later when one of the ladies at the table is hosting a Pampered Chef party at her house. You walk in and immediately notice that everything is country blue and pink. You flash back to the conversation at the table. Had you ever been in her house before? Did you know her house looks like 1985? Do you think she was offended? Do you need to say anything to apologize? Do you even care what she thinks?
That situation happens on Facebook pretty much every day. I am amazed at what I see people posting. Whether it is political or religious or just about taste in general, I see things posted all the time that I know for a fact offend people in my social circle. Sometimes people respond in a good natured way–“Hey! I like my country blue and pink!.” Sometimes they fight back– “I guess my house isn’t good enough for you then? Not everyone has enough money to redecorate every year.” Sometimes they just stay silent and either hide their hurt feelings or even “unfriend” the person.
I wonder what it is about Facebook that makes us all feel like we can say whatever we want, however we want, without any regard to how it makes those around us feel. I know people will say that I care too much what everyone else thinks, but since when is it a bad thing to be considerate of the feelings of your friends and colleagues? It’s one thing to post a comment to start a genuine discussion (and I question how well you can really even do that over Facebook with topics as heavy as health care, the economy, and raising kids). It’s something else entirely to post random musings just because you can, often at the expense of others.
If you made it this far in my rant, please let me know your feelings on the topic. Has Facebook changed the way that we all express ourselves by making it so easy to confront or ridicule others without dealing with them face to face? Or am I being too soft and just need to lighten up?