WHAT HAPPENED TO MY FACEBOOK FEED?

I'm not sure why everything has become so political - but I miss my fun Facebook feed

THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF FACEBOOK

My Facebook feed used to be a place where I caught up on the news from my family and friends. It used to be a place where I saw engagement pics, wedding photos, new babies and their parents and grandparents. I got to follow along in the wake of those who were off on fabulous overseas holidays, or just on a weekend away in the countryside. It was a chance to celebrate happy events with people I care about. 
It was full of kittens, and puppies, and funny memes, and things that made me smile.

Facebook used to be full of kittens and puppies and things that made me smile

WHEN DID FACEBOOK BECOME SO POLITICAL?

But.....the last year or two seems to have marked a big change in what comes through on my timeline. I think it started with the US elections - which is strange because we're in Australia and have absolutely nothing to do with who votes for who in the US.

Maybe it's because I have blogging friends in the US who were up in arms and arguing with each other over who was the best candidate? Maybe it was watching them unfriend people and get upset over posts in different Facebook groups? But it wasn't just those directly affected by the election outcome, it was my Aussie friends too who shared posts and gave their opinion and got in arguments - just not cool on a social forum.

THEN IT BECAME CONTROVERSIAL

Just as the Americans calmed down and accepted their fate, the Aussies decided to get riled up over the whole Marriage Equality debate. Before I knew it I had friends and family and total strangers popping up all over my feed telling me why they were absolutely right, and absolutely convinced the other side was wrong, in the debate on legalizing gay marriage.

I understand it's a very personal subject and we all have an opinion on what is right or wrong - or maybe some people don't really care either way, but regardless I don't need to have it shoved in my face every time I open my Facebook for a bit of quiet browsing. I'm not going to be swayed by a vitriolic post or an over-zealous sermon. I can research all I need to online - I don't want to be bludgeoned to death with it on Facebook. Why can't we have an opinion and keep it ourselves? Do people honestly believe that a Facebook post will change someone else's mind?

I JUST WANT IT TO BE FUN AND SOCIAL AGAIN

I'm wondering if Facebook will ever be pleasant and social again? I'm wondering how many people I need to unfollow during these political storms so that I don't get caught up in the clamour and arguments? I'm wondering what happened to my friends and extended family, and why they feel they need to get embroiled in all the political ranting? I'm wondering where the fun has gone?

I'm going to keep reading Facebook because I still love it for its ability to connect me socially to what's happening in my friends' lives. But I am hitting the unfollow button on a few of these friends until the latest debate is put to bed. I just don't need the drama in my life. Everyone has the right to their own opinion - I just don't need to hear every single one of them over and over, post after post, to prove their point. I'll just be glad when it's all over and settled. Maybe then we can get back to kittens, puppies and cute new babies?


I'm not sure why everything has become so political - but I miss my fun Facebook feed

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37 comments

  1. I'm rarely on FB these days - well, compared to how much I used to be - for exactly these reasons. Everyone seems to have a cause they need to be voicing. I totally understand that & while I'm not actively unfollowing, I am choosing to avoid reading and commenting...or, indeed, liking. I still use FB for my groups & my author/astro page, but it's not what I used to enjoy. I get that, these days, from instagram.

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    1. I love my Facebook Jo and it just makes me sad that I spend so much time scrolling past stuff that is shouting at me, to try to find the fun family and friend stuff that is tucked away in between. Maybe I need to start an IG account!

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  2. Amen! A long time ago a friend stated on FB that she chose to keep her social media a social, happy place. That has stuck with me, and I try to do the same. Those who know me know where I stand, and I have no problems discussing my views respectively and face to face. Social media is a strong force and much good can be done with it, but it can also be extremely dividing. At least cute kittens make most people smile! :)

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    1. I'm a great believer in face to face discussions too Wendy - that way you can see the body language that goes with the conversation and it's a lot more respectful than just throwing stuff out there and expecting everyone to agree with you.

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  3. I so agree with you Leanne! I've become very disillusioned with Facebook. Apart from the fact that I don't seem to see half of my friends' feeds at times, there is also the point that many posts only get seen by very few UNLESS it is controversial. Yes you can read all about the Trump election or Marriage Equality but as you say what happened to the pleasant posts from family and friends. I try to just post happy things and I'm not interested (or probably brave enough) to voice my opinion lest I am vilified for it. A great post and I love your image - very creative! xx

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    1. Sue you are spot on! I don't see why Facebook considers some political rant more important than someone I'm friends with who is on holidays or having a new grandbaby. Maybe if there was less controversial stuff there'd be more room for those of us who don't want to shout our views at other people.

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  4. I feel the same way - when people aren't passing along contentious things (that usually aren't true,) they're sharing silly games or weird pictures of things I'd rather not see. I still scan FB now and again, but it's because I'm still looking for posts of friends and family like I used to see....which is probably a futile effort.

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    1. I'm the same Melody - all the stuff that people think is a bit naughty or a bit radical - not my cup of tea and it just clogs up my feed when all I want is nice stuff and updates on people's lives.

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  5. Facebook has become toxic. I find myself unfollowing a lot of people on my friend's list because they constantly post negative things. Then there are the random articles that pop up in my feed that I don't remember signing up for. Then there are the constant chain letters that I also get from random people that really annoys me.

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    1. Unfollowing is nicer than unfriending isn't it Michelle? But it's still sad that we have to block people's posts because they use a social forum as a place to shove their views down other people's throats. I don't think they realize that some of us have different opinions to theirs and find it rude to be bludgeoned with stuff.

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  6. Yes Leanne, I totally agree with you. I have so far only had to "unfriend" one person who was never really a friend anyway - but I can see it coming. The one thing that's good about our S.A. politics right now is we all seem to be on the same page, so no controversy. But that's just because all my friends are on the same page . . . wait until one of them isn't, and then watch the sparks fly. How sad we've become so confrontational.

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    1. Australia seems to be a bit out of kilter with politics and the same sex marriage debate atm Shirley and every man and their dog has an opinion that they seem to think the rest of us want to hear - I'm just tired of reading the same stuff over and over - hence the unfollowing on my part too.

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  7. I feel the same way. Just too much venting, ranting, shouting, attacking. As a little test, I brought up my newsfeed one morning last week to see if its effect on my mood was discernible. In just seconds, the bad stories came up, the alarming memes, and my mind began to drift toward negative thoughts and unresolved problems.

    Facebook can have a creeping, nasty effect on many of us, you're not wrong.

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    1. It's such a shame though Susan because Facebook used to be a little bright spot in my day. It always gave me people's happy moments and now it seems that for every good post, there is someone using it to voice their opinion too loudly for my taste.

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  8. Leanne your post made me laugh because a good friend of mine texted me yesterday, of course not a call, and said her Mother unfriended her! They hold different political views. Obviously it upset her. I think and I told her, I don't think her Mother knows how to just unfollow!

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    1. That gave me a smile Haralee - my Mum would probably do the same thing (although I'm not sure she knows how to unfriend people yet!)

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  9. Well, I'm torn. When people agree with me, I'm happy to read their opinions on Facebook, LOL! When they don't, I try to ignore it.
    Janice

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    1. I ignore a lot of it too Janice, but even if I agree with something, it doesn't need to be told to me in 20 different shared posts and coloured memes - I'd just be happy to be left to my own opinions while everyone kept theirs to themselves!

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  10. Facebook use to be great. Not anymore. Especially if you have a business page. It was the ultimate in social media sharing and it was a great way to drive traffic to your website. But now you're lucky if a few people get to see your post. It no longer has anything to do with someone liking your page. Even if you like a page and want to see their feeds, Facebook blocks it.

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    1. You are so right Nancy - everyone said "get a FB page for your blog" and then FB decided that nobody could see your page unless you paid for it or posted on it every five minutes. I loved the days when you saw stuff from the people you followed and when your friends' posts were the first in your feed - politics and big bucks have killed that for us haven't they?

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  11. I agree! I never see the things my close friends post anymore! I hate it! I've started using INstagram more because at least there I can see what they've been up too. At least for now.

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    1. Maybe IG is the new FB Rena but it will only be a matter of time before that gets killed off by the corporations and the nutters too. I miss my happy FB days and seeing pretty things and cute babies.

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  12. This is SO TRUE! And heartbreaking! Doesn't anyone have anything else to talk about any more? I promise you, Leanne, I will never get political on Facebook.
    Mom always told us: Just because you think it doesn't mean it needs to be said.
    I'm going to go with that!

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    1. Me too Diane - and even more to the point is you don't have to write it or share it! How anyone thinks that a FB post is going to change people's minds and set the world on fire is beyond me. And I'm also tired of profile pics with political banners on them - NOBODY cares!

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  13. I think a lot of people like debating. At least they do in the US. And God knows, there's enough to debate about. I pick my way through the nasty stuff to the adorable kittens and puppies.

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    1. I pick around too Laurie and also unfollow the ones who feel the need to keep putting up stuff every day - do they really think they're making any difference other than annoying their friends???

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  14. I apologize, I'm one of those filling up your feed. But I can't seem to stop myself, even though I know the only ones reading it agree with me. It's not going to change anyone's mind and in fact probably only makes them more stubborn about their position....and yet, I can't see to stop in the hopes that someone will start questioning their position.

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    1. I was just amazed at how much American stuff came through to my Aussie FB feed Jennifer and how many Aussies had to get on board with a discussion that had nothing to do with them. Everyone has an opinion on US politics and apparently on same sex marriage - I just don't think FB is where I need to see it. (And BTW you weren't one of the people I was referring to x)

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  15. I love keeping up on everyone's kids, grandchildren, travels, etc. It is so fun. Most of my posts are in support of women in some form or family oriented. However, there are those times, that I do feel a need to speak up on a political issue. Reading other Facebook posts on all sides of different important topics does help me keep up on what others are thinking. When I find it helpful I keep reading - when I don't think it is from sound - trusted source - I just don't read it.

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    1. I very occasionally will read something Ellen, but most of what people plaster on their feeds is the stuff I've already seen elsewhere and they are not going to change my basic belief system by putting up a coloured banner around their profile pic or by sharing some random post that supported their beliefs without looking at the bigger picture - I just find it all so wearying....

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  16. I'm on my Facebook much less now than I was previously. I thought that it was because I began blogging and using that format for sharing photos, travel, events, etc. I also thought that returning home from overseas and being retired may also have affected my Facebook use. But your post made me realize that perhaps I have just been avoiding the drama! That makes total sense now that I think of it!

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    1. I love Facebook Donna - but it's becoming a love/hate relationship because it's so full of stuff I don't want to read. I'm getting better at sifting through it, but I hate that I miss stuff from friends because others are clogging up my feed with opinions and drama I could do without.

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  17. Sadly, for me facebook has become more of a chore than a relaxation tool. I miss the old days!

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    1. There is so much to love about good old Facebook - it just seems to be harder to find these days though.

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  18. I agree with you Leanne and I've noticed a drop in stats for my Facebook blog page lately. It's hard to get people to read anything that's just everyday run of the mill stuff. I don't write things with racy, contentious headlines so it misses a lot of people. Some friends get sick of seeing holiday snaps and hearing all the positive things happening, it seems they just want to read about the drama side of things. I've noticed a decline in usage all round now that you come to mention it. I enjoyed your post 😊

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    1. Thanks Deb - my FB page is struggling too - I try lots of different things and it goes up and down (but never in exciting leaps and bounds). I refuse to resort to smut and inuendo to get views too - it's not worth selling your soul to join all the other contentious people shouting to be heard.

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  19. It looks like everyone is feeling the same way. There is also too many advertisements in the feed. For the some of the same reasons I do not watch morning TV as it is full of contention and no true reasoning or balance.
    We will feature your post this week as I am sure that there are many others feeling this frustration.
    Kathleen
    Blogger's Pit Stop

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