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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Facebook Depression?

Image source: Tech Sheer

I have only been on Facebook for a very brief time. I had to join to be able to speak to fellow parents and staff at a child's school this spring. See, our horrendous principal finally retired after six years of her bullying of parents of kids with disabilities--our district's special ed rate is 16%, our school's is 4%. The whole school cheered and then two weeks before the end of the year, learned we were being given a principal who had eleven families file Federal Civil Rights Complaints over--guess what? Bullying of special ed kids and parents to try to force them to leave her school. 

So, finally I joined, and I started to make connections with writers, agents, political allies. That was a real joy.  You can really get to know someone by their Facebook posts and they can get to know you by your comments. Facebook, I thought, can be the great leveler. 

But it also sucks up a lot of time that we can't spend in regular news sources or regular lives. And since, on Facebook, we only hang with people whose views we share, and we feed each other's views. I now moderate a large group and have enforced civility--funny how quickly people manage to learn to be civil if you show them what they did that was wrong and tell them they get three strikes before they're off. Other large groups are not so caring, so that reading the back and forth can be almost as bad as Yahoo or MNBC, with smack downs etc. 

It's not just Facebook, either. Blogging is part of it. I find I am spending a little less time with people I care about. I used to write these thoughts to one or two long distance friends. Now I write them on a blog. 

That's important, yes? It's valuable to share ideas and experiences and not just with immediate friends. Blogging and posting on Facebook can persuade and connect. It can actually change people's minds. I've seen it do so, about important issues, if they are addressed with courtesy and a listening mind. 

I'm not talking about the studies that say Facebook leads to social comparison and that social comparison either way leads to depression. This is about the great connector creating a lack of connection. 

Anyway, today, I am missing closer contact with old friends. Maybe, for awhile, I will take a break and just email and phone call the ones who live far away.  Who knows. I'm still exploring Facebook and I may change my mind. Not to mention, once I've made up my mind, I still try to keep it open--deciding shouldn't end thinking. 

Give a holler if you share this experience or have ideas for how to cope with it. And thanks. 

Of course, I'm also uploading this to Facebook :) 

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