Exclusion.......

Lucille

I've finally become more active on fb because my son will be moving out of state and I figured fb will let me see and communicate more. I have been having a lot of fun there, it is like a buffet with all the different groups one can look at, I've joined several including some nice houseplant and cycling groups.

The unifying element seems to be inclusion- there are people in the cycle groups that are amazingly fit and who regularly bike 100 miles at a time, but as long as I get my butt off the couch and get out there and try every day I do feel a part of the group. I used to cycle every day and I am getting back to doing that and I attribute my behavior change as an effort to conform with those in the group.

FB is also a place to catch up with past acquaintances. I knew some local people years ago when I attended a local church, and and asked to be friends and they added me as friends. I quickly had to defriend half of them after I saw their feeds and pages. I expected a warm nest of inclusion, but these people seemed to derive their satisfaction by excluding others- people of foreign birth or racial minorities , Democrats, non-Texans. They seems to be unified by being haters. I was shocked because we had attended church together so I guess I expected they would all be wholesome and loving.

I just think in general that deriving one's identity by excluding others is not ultimately going to be as satisfying as an identity built by inclusion and supportiveness.

I've had to come to terms with the fact that by defriending these people I am excluding them, but I just feel uncomfortable with a daily barrage of hate messages.

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sleeperblues

I tend to agree with the now deceased writer Christopher Hitchens in regards to religion. In a nutshell, he thought that religion of any type was the cause of friction, hypocrisy, and unspeakable horrors wrought on people over the centuries. I was raised in the Catholic faith, which I left as soon as I could due to the hypocrisy and sex scandals. So I don't look up to people who profess to be religious. But I don't care if you do, to each his own.

Good for you for joining in on Facebook. Some groups can be kind and professional, some not so kind. You have to find what appeals to you. If it gets you out on your bike, that's great!

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kadefol

I agree with sleeperblues. Too many of the self-professed Christians I
know use their Christianity as justification to discriminate and be
generally hateful. Not what Jesus had in mind!

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DawnInCal

Through FB, I have learned things about family, friends and neighbors that I wish I did not know. People seem to feel free to share views and opinions on FB that they would never share in person. It's been disappointing to say the least. There are a couple of groups I like, but for the most part, my time on FB is very limited.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

IME, some of the most charitable, generous and tolerant individuals do not associate themselves with any structured religion while those that profess their religious affiliations the most loudly - like that affords them some sort of moral superiority - are often the most uncharitable, selfish and intolerant of personalitites. For that reason, I tend to shy away from any gathering or association or social media that fosters that sort of thought process. I have no interest in FB at all.

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Elmer J Fudd

"some of the most charitable, generous and tolerant individuals do not associate themselves with any structured religion while those that profess their religious affiliations the most loudly - like that affords them some sort of moral superiority - are often the most uncharitable, selfish and intolerant of personalities. "

My experiences are very much the same. I can think of only a few exceptions, several of my friends who I know to be pretty pious but who are not self-righteous prosthelytizers nor moralizers in other people's faces. They keep their personal beliefs personal and tolerate/understand others with different beliefs or indeed, with no beliefs. If they did otherwise, I wouldn't want them to be my friends.

Facebook seems to be one of many manifestations of modern American culture that among other things provides an outlet for boastful people or those who think people care about the details of their lives and who have too much time on their hands, on one hand, and snoopy, nosey people, on the other hand, to interact. I have no need or time for it. My family has a WhatApp group in which we exchange photos, info of interest to others, and playful banter. It's pretty active but includes no gossip, no trivialities, and no drama. It's more than enough. I don't have a Facebook account and don't want one. People who want to know something about me, or when it's me wanting to know something of them, use other means. Email or the telephone work just fine.

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nickel_kg

There's facebook friends and groups I enjoy very much. I agree with Lucille -- it's the shared interests that INCLUDE anyone, from anywhere in the world, that are the most fun. For me that's mostly science and nature-oriented groups, a couple authors and musicians, and a few silly pet video sites.

I had a work-friend who retired about when I did, we were both into gardening. Low and behold her fb page started feeding mine a constant stream of political trash, passed on from a relative of hers. Eventually I de-followed her, because too much of that toxic trash leaked over into my feed. I wonder sometimes if she "really" agreed with those views, or if she tolerated them because of the blood ties.

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Michael

My family has a WhatApp group in which we exchange photos, info of
interest to others, and playful banter. It's pretty active but includes
no gossip, no trivialities, and no drama. It's more than enough.

Same for us!

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Elmer J Fudd

I forgot to mention that I understand sleeperblues' feelings stemming from her religious experiences and many feel the same way. I also think Hitchins was a pretty balanced and thoughtful person, whose views I pretty much agree with.

To be fair, sexual or financial abuses, hypocrisy, doubletalk, talking advantage of members in various ways, using "teachings" as an excuse for things far afield from the religious sphere, etc., are sadly problems not restricted to the Catholic Church but are also to be found in other mainstream and evangelical Christian denominations, the other two Abrahamic religions (Judaism and Islam) and even in other religions. Not all people, not all organizations, but far too many and far too frequently. It seems to draw people wanting to use their power for personal gain or to take advantage of people seeking or growing up in a religious environment. It's part of why religion is in decline in the Western World.

Heck, even Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, of Transcendental Meditation fame and guru to the Beatles and others, was found to be a lecherous fraud.

Religion may have a place in some people's lives and that's fine for those who keep their eyes open and make their own decisions as sleeperblues did. Too many don't.

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Feathers11

Through FB, I have learned things about family, friends and neighbors that I wish I did not know.

Me, too. My divorced older brother began dating what I thought was a lovely woman in person. She's been at our last few holiday gatherings, and I enjoyed talking with her. Later, I accepted her friend request on FB and was sorry I had. Her posts are passive-aggressive with an underlying mean spirit that I don't care for. It's tainted my perspective of her.

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phoggie

I enjoy Facebook because it is a good way to connect with former friends and I love seeing pictures of people’s family and their activities. Just last night, I had an aunt that died and her granddaughter found my name on my aunt‘s friends listing and was able to inform me of her death...and through FB , we were able to locate classmates, whose address we could not find, to invite them to our reunion...so it helps in many ways.


If you do not want to see posts...I.e. Politics, Religion, Ads, etc., there is a drop box in the upper right handed corner of the post..pull it down and hide the post or poster and you will not see them again. I use this a lot to monitor what appears on my page.

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Lucille

Feathers11, if you could wave a magic wand and go back to the time you did not know these things that changed your perspective, would you do so?

One of the women who were previous acquaintances was always funny, and when I knew her, good natured. I could have always just unfollowed her and would no longer receive the offensive material. And I know that there is no one who is without flaws. But I don't want to be a part of that kind of hatefulness or pretend by covering it up that an acquaintance is not part of that.

But the inclusionary side of fb many times shows in my opinion the best side of people- sharing, helping, supporting. I think fb is neither inherently good nor inherently evil, it is what we make of it. It presents us with a lot of choices, and that is good, it is an opportunity to think about what is important in one's life.

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Iris S (SC, Zone 7b)

I am still not on Facebook. I probably should, since our HOA has a page there. My daughter joined that one and keeps me updated, but of course it would be more convenient if I would do it myself. There just seems so much drama. Plus I am boring. The only pictures would be of flowers and bugs. Maybe the dogs. My sister in law takes pictures of everything and posts them. Mostly herself, but not long ago she called my husband while he was at work. She had a flat tire getting out of work. So instead of watching and learning how to change a tire, she took pictures of him doing it and the sunset.

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littlebug zone 5 Missouri

My experiences with FB are much the same as mentioned - political diatribes that I am not the least bit interested in, friends posting pictures of themselves at least once a day, and click-baits like "Do you love Jesus? I'll bet you won't share this post!" or "Type in the number 7 and watch what happens to this picture!"

But I do find a few posts every day that are of interest - pictures of a new baby, news about a local retail establishment opening or closing, an obituary for a friend's husband. I do need to find some more special interest FB groups to join, though.

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Feathers11

Good question, Lucille. Probably, yes. I don't follow people on FB except for my family members, and most of my settings are what Phoggie describes so that I don't know what people actively post unless I go look for it. I hadn't gotten around to adjusting that setting for this particular woman before I saw what she had posted. It's interesting, because I have some friends whose in-person character is so much different than what they post on FB.

Your original post, though, reminded me of the groups on FB. I need to explore those more. I'm glad you have found some worthwhile to join.

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Lucille

Iris there can be a lot of chaff to winnow through before you find the wheat on fb. I left several groups where there was too much drama, have not missed them a bit. But I love the cycle groups.

And while some people seem to post a picture of everything, some people who post far fewer family pictures can post some which are genuinely appealing. All pictures are not created equal, and there are people right here who post pictures of their dogs that are appealing and well done.

My son recently posted pictures of my grand daughter's first experience riding a horse, and she was so happy and small yet confident that almost everyone who saw the photos said she was a natural. The kind of picture where the picture says something, is interesting.

I am in a group with older people and I love pictures from their youth, showing different experiences which are known to most of us only by those kinds of pictures, such as washboards and so on.

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Lukki Irish

I could have written exactly what Sleeperblues wrote only it wouldn’t have been so perfectly articulated. I’m also glad to see I’m not the only one to feel this way.

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amylou321

I have never been on FB. This is the closest thing to social media that I fool with. I dont have any desire to keep in touch with old high school classmates or distant relatives.

It's so easy for people to post their true thoughts online. There is an element of anonymity that gives people this courage because there are little to no consequences when you are hiding in cyberspace as opposed to being face to face. Also, people post or repost memes or other people's posts that they agree with and that can be a form of " they said it not me."

On the one hand, yes it's sad and sometimes upsetting to see people we thought we knew so well spew hateful or mean things. On the other, its better to know the true person than just to interact with the mask. I would rather know people for who they really are, so I can weed them out.....

I am glad you are finding some new people you can relate to and enjoy!

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Lucille

Reading the posts above, to me, there seems to be a lot of misinformation about fb. While it certainly has earned some of its negative reputation, there are positives. It can be a way to explore present interests and find new ones. It can be a way to meet people in far away places and learn about their culture.

It can be a way to share news with a large family group. Some of the negative views are also true, in some but not all groups there can be a lot of drama, so it can for people in those groups be worse than a waste of time. There are people who seem to enjoy wasting precious time on empty gossip, or engage in mean, racist, exclusionary posts, or to simply bully others because they can.

But other groups, especially some of the closed ones, one can find good people with interests that match yours who can provide information and encouragement. Gardening, cycling, houseplants, cooking, there are all sorts of subjects that have fun and informative groups. I think it would be a shame for people to allow prejudiced ideas of what they think fb is to prevent them from seeing some of its positive aspects.

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Lukki Irish

I’ve never been a FB fan, not because of the way some people behave, but because I will never trust the powers that be of FB. Their original concept of human connection was a noble idea, however, once money entered the picture, FB quickly lost it’s way. Between their data mining policies and ad sales, they have exploited their users every way they can think of, including ways that are completely unethical.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

FB never, ever was about connecting people to people. It was always about connecting advertisers to sales through better data collection.

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Elmer J Fudd

TV and streaming services are about providing entertainment. Print media is about providing information and entertainment. Free apps on smartphones are about providing specific services. Public buses are about providing transportation. Yada yada yada.

And Facebook is about connecting people. In all these instances, advertising pays the way and provides a return for those who provide the money.

Nothing is truly free, any effort needs to be financed. Unless those of you are suggesting that the internet should only be open to sites run by non-profit organizations. Of course you're not but even they need funding.

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yeonassky

I've always understood FB to be about collecting rather than connecting. Collecting us together in one spot so they can sell to us better and collecting our information to sell to others. Cynical I know but while I don't mind that things aren't free I don't like the overt action of the miners of our brains. Yes we pay for what we use on the internet and on Facebook one way or the other but I think we pay too much right now as we pay coming and going.

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Jasdip

Facebook is definitely controlling what gets posted. They will delete things that don't agree with their political views. I've had friends who have had posts removed and it was nothing outrageous in the least.

I've found a group that I really enjoy and have made some new 'friends' because of it. No politics, swearing, etc allowed on it and it's very refreshing.


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Lucille

There are many negative comments, and some hold truth. For those who are gaining friendships, information, support , etc. and are willing to be collected from it and see advertisements, it seems like a great deal. As this thread alludes to, one must be careful, but it seems to me that adults should be careful of any situation.

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katrina_ellen

I have never been on facebook. I know it was set up as other social media to collect data for artificial intelligence. The convenient gadgets such as Alexa were created to collect data. Its a tradeoff, convenience for data collection. That's not why I am not on FB, I just know too much time would be consumed that way, kind of like watching TV. But I may still sign up, for the purpose of keeping up with some long distance friends but I would have to be disciplined about it.

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chisue

There just isn't that much in my life that I want to 'go public' with, and I've never cared much for cocktail party 'small talk'. FB isn't useful to me.

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Lucille

But other groups, especially some of the closed ones, one can find good people with interests that match yours who can provide information and encouragement. Gardening, cycling, houseplants, cooking, there are all sorts of subjects that have fun and informative groups. I think it would be a shame for people to allow prejudiced ideas of what they think fb is to prevent them from seeing some of its positive aspects.


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Elmer J Fudd

The topic of groups, whether on Facebook or elsewhere, reminds me of Vonnegut's concept of the "granfalloon", describing the tendency of people to affiliate in common interest orgs and groups that are ultimately meaningless. And sometimes with the intent of emphasizing the affiliation to exclude others. While I believe Vonnegut's effort was intended to be an ironically humorous view of human nature, many serious social researchers have pursued and described similar phenomenon.

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Lucille

One of the cycle groups is devoted to tricycles and many of the group are seniors. There is a little bit of a learning curve since the tricycles don't handle exactly the way bicycles do. It is nice to see those in the group offering explanations and help, especially to some who are now riding tricycles because of balance issues.

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Janie

Katrina, I feel its easy to be disciplined about FB and I bet you will too if you really want to! I don't belong to any groups, I only use it to view a few friends and family pictures and a small amount of chit chat. My family and friends (of all ages) still use telephone conversations and emails to keep in touch and also send pictures, but I do find that incoming pictures have dwindled since FB and also Instagram, so I belong to both for that reason. It works for me. (And just fyi our family sends newspaper articles and cartoons to each other via snail mail upon occasion and we forward on to the next person and its fun to receive these and see the handwritten comments from your loved ones :)

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DawnInCal

For fire, weather and road conditions info, no one beats our town's FB reporting/alerts group. If i want to quickly know what is going on, thats the first place i look as it is updated by the minute. There is also a lost/found pets page that does a great job of reuniting pets with their humans. The buy/sell/swap page does a good job of serving it's intended purpose as well. Hubby belongs to a specific types of motorcycle group that has been a wealth of information to him as he restored two motorcycles of this particular brand and model. My resin jewelry group has been a terrific place for inspiration and for learning new techniques with resin. I think that for many people FB groups are where FB really excels, especially for putting people with a very specialized, niche interests together.


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Elmer J Fudd

I rely on Google Maps for road conditions. It gets feeds automatically from Caltrans (state road agency), the Highway Patrol, and real time driving speeds from the gazillions of Waze users. It's always spot-on about Bay Area traffic, much more so that individual reporters could ever be. There's a challenging road between Silicon Valley and the beach (Highway 17), prone to accidents, odd natural events, traffic, etc., Google Maps is always accurate with whats happening there. I takes only a minute to check from a phone/PC/tablet before getting in the car. Or, some cars and other nav devices get real time traffic updates, those are also reliable in my experience and can be referred to when enroute.

For me, weather is via the National Weather Service and, again, the automatic reporting (usually updated every 10 minutes) of thousands of personal weather stations on Weather Underground, aka Wundermap.

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Rusty

I enjoy Facebook. It can be filled with a lot of stuff I don't care to see, but it's not that hard to weed it out. Mainly I use it to 'keep up' with friends and family I would otherwise not get to see. Through Facebook, I've connected with a couple of classmates I haven't seen since graduation. I've found some kinfolk (husband's side) that we didn't know we had. I've joined and enjoy a few craft related groups. I used to read and occasionally participate in a couple of craft related groups on Garden Web, but those groups have all but disappeared, no one seems interested anymore.

I've read that Facebook will delete posts that don't agree with their political views, but I've never seen any actual evidence of that. Nor have I known anyone that has had their posts deleted by Facebook. And I have a few friends who are VERY outspoken on politics (both sides) and other often controversial topics. It's very easy to skip over what you don't want to see. Or block it out.

Like many other things, Facebook is what you want it to be.

Rusty

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patriceny

I've never seen Facebook delete a person's own post either. I'm "friends" (I use that term loosely here) with people on Facebook from both the far left and the far right. Not surprisingly, those people seem compelled to share their pearls of wisdom with everyone all the time. And also not surprisingly, those posts generate a lot of vitriol.

I've seen some pretty far out political things posted on Facebook and I've never seen them deleted - thinly veiled racism, sweeping negative generalizations about people from the "other" side - and they stand for days/weeks as the fights rage on.

I've discovered the unfollow button and I use it liberally. I highly recommend it. :)

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

"Like many other things, Facebook is what you want it to be."

LOL! And I want it to be gone!! I consider Facebook to be the scourge of modern life. People are obsessed with it, it spreads vast amounts of fake news or outright lies, fosters political, religious and racial dissention and it is invasive on many levels. I've lived 70 years without it quite successfully, thank you very much, so I guess I can manage the remaining years of my life easily without it as well.

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Lucille

Today, on a local fb group, a young mother with financial difficulties was given all sorts of great advice, from advice on local employers, way to trim living expenses, etc. I think it would be a shame for people to allow prejudiced ideas of what they think fb is to prevent them from seeing some of its positive aspects. "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater."

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cherryfizz

I agree Lucille. I like FB but never in my life encountered as much racism, hatred and intolerance in the past 2 years especially by posters who profess their faith on the same page. I have a lof of people on my friend list because of a game I play on FB but once I realized how hateful they were I stopped unfollowing them so I don't see their posts but still have them for the game. I have also blocked hundreds of US news sources from the "left and the right" so I don't see all that fake news stuff and I also use FB ad block. I also have my friend's list set to private so that those who phish for names or use them in those personality tests can't use the people on my friend's list. I have joined a few genealogy groups on FB who have helped me in my search for ancestors and a few closed groups with the people I grew up with and went to school with who live across the world now. I have already started blocking Canadian crap "news" sources because of the upcoming Federal Election in October and anything I see posted about our Trump wanna be premier of Ontario. I don't spend a lot of time on FB but I do enjoy seeing the funny posts and videos and music and the pictures my friends post.

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