I’ve been back on Facebook in a limited capacity since February.
The only reason I rejoined was because Udemy, the organization I offer my online training courses through, has several faculty groups on the platform. I wanted to be able to ask questions of Udemy staff and interact with other Udemy instructors. I found this particularly helpful when I was creating my first course and as I began marketing my courses. For the most part it’s been a good experience. People there have been helpful and supportive.
I’ve limited my Facebook time to these groups and a few dog-focused pages that usually just make me smile. And I share my blog posts and the occasional article on my own Facebook pages. I also check Twitter periodically, mostly just to see what my daughter is up to.
So, I was thinking, Maybe I can do this social media thing after all.
This is how it can work. Being amongst a supportive group of people with a common interest (online education) is actually a good use of social media.
It was working OK for me, until once again, it wasn’t.
I started bumping into the trolls and experiencing the ugly things some people say and do, to people they don’t even know. How easy it is for people to spew out nasty comments, attacking language, and even participate in name calling, with people they’ve never met in person. People they don’t know beyond what they post on social media.
I’ve witnessed people clearly misrepresenting themselves. People hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, doing and saying things I doubt they would do or say in person (or at least I hope so).
I’ve had people bully me, call me names, and be flat out rude to me. People I’ve never met, spoken to, or had any sort of exchange with.
It’s a very ugly side of humanity.
So, once again I will be backing off social media. I don’t want or need that kind of toxic energy in my life. Especially from people I don’t know.
I’m a bit sad about this.
I really thought I had found a way to use social media in a positive way. Yes, a limited way compared to most people (I still find myself explaining to people that I don’t really do Facebook when they send me friend requests even though I have it clearly posted on my page that I don’t accept them).
Time to retreat once again into the real world.
Communicate with real people, live and in person. And online, stick to the few circles of people I can trust and that these apparently angry toxic people don’t frequent.