There are generally three things I hear people say about Facebook. “I’m not on Facebook”, “I gotta get off Facebook”, or “I hate Facebook.” And my response: “You’re using it wrong”.
Truth is, I love Facebook. I don’t spend a ton of time on there, but when I do, I usually leave feeling better than when I started. And many times I cry (in a good way).
Facebook and social media in general can be a complete life-suck. Idle, wasted time. BUT. If we use it right, it can truthfully change the world. I believe that with my whole heart.
In fact, these four videos were all ones my friends shared on Facebook and inspire me to be a better human (they’re DEFINITELY worth watching).
A few things that may help:
**If Facebook makes you feel bad, you have the wrong Facebook “friends”. If you don’t want to start drama by un-friending all the people who bring you down, make you feel “less than”, or make you feel dumber just by reading what they choose to write, just hide their posts. Easy as that. Only show friends who share good content. Or get in the habit of scrolling past the ones who don’t (you already know who falls in what category).
**Steer clear of comment sections. Especially on news stories. I mean, sometimes I go in there just to see how deplorable humanity has become (and it’s bad) but most of the time, I never visit comment sections. It’s just bad for the soul.
**Use your time wisely. I try not to spend more than 10-15 minutes at a time on Facebook. If I find it’s a “good sharing” day, I’ll click on many of the links friends have shared. If I’ve been on there for a bit (more than 5-10 minutes) and haven’t come across anything great, I get off.
**SHARE GOOD CONTENT. This one thing alone is what will change the face of the Internet (break the Internet). If we spent more of our time sharing good stuff, that’s what will spread. If you see/read something and it gives you hope, happiness, love, makes you want to be a better person, it literally takes 10 seconds to hit the share button. Ten seconds. And if you’re extra ambitious, take 2 minutes and write something thoughtful to go with the share. Social media suddenly gets flooded with GOOD instead of with benign or bad.
Remember the dress that “broke the Internet”? The one that was white and gold (I mean blue and black)? People were so caught up in whether or not the dress was one color or another. I was simply amazed with HOW FAST it spread. A dress that was different colors to different people. It had spread around the world and reached millions upon millions of people in ONE DAY. Look at the potential here. It’s powerful. It’s fast. And it’s boundaries are limitless (be it for good or bad).
**Only comment on GOOD stuff. It’s funny the things people post on Facebook. And by funny I mean sometimes people’s brains fall out of their head and their heart gets ripped from their chest while they type something behind a computer screen and post it. Just skip it. Don’t comment. Every time you comment on something, it gets shown to all your friends. And then the stuff not worth spreading starts to spread (even if it’s unintentional). If it’s something that reeeeeally eats at you, send that person a personal message kindly letting them know what they said affected you (in whatever way). I’ve done this a handful of times. Mostly when someone says something offensive about God. I like to be in the habit of defending God. Pretty much everything else I just let go.
**If you don’t want to share the content (I understand not wanting to flood everyone’s feed with share after share after share), simply “like” it. If someone takes the time to post something to Facebook, and it’s GOOD, it’s sure nice to acknowledge that we care they shared something. A “like” tells that person, “this was a good thing to share” (funny things can also be good things to share–as long as they’re funny things that aren’t aiming to hurt others in the process). When you “like” something, it is also shown to some of your friends and things that make people FEEL better start to spread. And if someone consistently shares good content, and their stuff gets “liked” or shared more, Facebook will show more of their stuff. Facebook rewards likes and shares. So if we’re liking and sharing GOOD stuff, Facebook “rewards” that by showing more people. If a lot of people are liking and sharing bad stuff, Facebook rewards that too. It doesn’t care if it’s good or bad. It just cares that people are liking and sharing it. So if WE decide what to like and share, Facebook follows with us.
**Make an effort to search for good content and share it. Don’t always regurgitate what other people share. If you’re reading something on the Internet, and it makes you better (for whatever reason), copy and paste the link in a Facebook post and YOU start the sharing. Facebook NEEDS more good content.
**Facebook doesn’t have to be bad. It’s actually a tool that can be incredibly useful for GOOD. It has the ability to reach millions of people in an unprecedented amount of time. It has the ability to spread messages across the world. It has the ability to CHANGE people. To make people better. To inspire us all to BE more (and BE more doesn’t necessarily mean DO more just so we’re clear on that).
And per a friends request, we decided we should be able to vote people off Facebook. You know, Survivor style. “The tribe has spoken. It’s time for you to go.” I think it’s a great idea.
The key to Facebook is to USE IT RIGHT. Skip the friends who post useless information (no need for confrontation, just scroll right past them or hide their content). Share and “like” the content that’s worth sharing. Make an effort to use this tool for good! It’s up to us how it’s used and it’s up to us what kind of influence it can have in our lives.
If we keep these things in mind, Facebook can be so so good. Let’s take over Facebook for good!