Thursday was hard for me. It was therapy day so I got to talk about some of the things I am doing, things that are bothering me, and how I am going to be a nomadic hermit. Is that a thing? Because I feel like I could make that a thing.
Then I got home and exhaustion hit again. I slept some more. Got up feeling all emotional and went to Facebook to see anything happy. Here is a list of people I follow and why:
- Sister-in-laws and brothers raising their babies
- Friends raising their kids.
- Sisters and brothers because I love seeing what fun stuff is going on in their lives.
- My mom because she is super awesome!
- My nieces and nephews (all 300 kajillion of them) who are adults now because it is fun to see the people they are growing into.
- A friend I have known since I was 13 post about her cats (I love cats!) and her son.
- Various family members for their blogs, positivity, fun posts, happy quotes, etc.
- A friend who updates on her friend’s babies health struggles. I follow the friend and the child’s family life story as it unfolds.
- ProBlogger because he is inspiring.
- Friends around town because I like to see what they are up to and usually it’s positive.
- Cracked.com because… comedy! And I am officially a “Purveyor of Dick Jokes” on their site.
- Cabinet Peaks Medical Center and other places around town because I want to feel connected to my community.
So I hop onto Facebook and what do I see in my news feed? Not one positive thing at all. Every post was racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynistic, and flat out mean spirited. I tried adjusting my news feed to “most recent” and got the same posts. I scrolled down until the posts started repeating. I refreshed the page. Nope, still the same freaking posts. Here is a sample of what they were:
- A post about how horrible gay people are with a comment about how he should have been allowed to finish the job. (I am bisexual. This was beyond offensive.)
- A post about a stabbing in another country.
- A post about how we need to ban knives if we are going to ban guns.
- A post about the evils of transgender people.
- An argument between to grown-ass men about whether an AR-15 is an assault weapon or not; and whether it should be banned or if families should be allowed to own one for hunting and protection… complete with name calling.
- A post about how Trump is right and will fix all this by kicking all the (I forget who but I think it was Muslims) out of the country.
It just kept going and seemed to get worse the further down I went. Not one update about family, friends, humor columns, blog writing, cats, loving people, gay pride, etc. Nothing. Not one damned positive thing. I had to go to specific profile pages to see anything positive and when I returned to the news feed, it was the same hateful diatribe that it was before.
I ended up thinking to myself that I needed to just get off of there and do something else. But first, I posted this status update
What happened next?
I worked on a post when a chrome notification popped up that a cousin had replied to my post. I thought, “Well, it’s my post… so I’ll go look.” We chatted for a few rounds and went back to the post.
I saw another notification pop up and it is someone who is really funny. He replied to my post. I had to see what funny thing he posted and this is what he left.
I laughed so hard! Thank you, Zack! I can always count on you to make me laugh.
Then I started getting tagged in various post comments around Facebook. Space things, beautiful pictures, inspiring stories, and a hilarious video of round animals. Along with this comment posted to the status.
Someone else sent me private messages about her health update and it was super positive! Then we sent GIF animations to each other, getting sillier and sillier as time went on.
My mom sent a happy meme that made me smile…
And I had someone text me privately to make sure I was okay.
I can’t tell you how much that all meant to me. You guys are all so awesome. I have the best support network.
About an hour later, my news feed was back to how it usually is. Some happy, some funny, some hateful, some gay pride, some babies, some love, some silly pictures, and everything looked great.
Was this another Facebook experiment?
Knowing that Facebook has done experiments on their users before, I have to wonder if this wasn’t some fucked up Facebook experiment. Things like this is why I am starting to steer clear of Facebook.
If this is some Facebook experiment, they are seriously fucked up for doing shit like this to people who suffer from depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. Are they trying to coax people into killing themselves?
I am not suicidal… but let’s say someone was suicidal and they logged onto Facebook for support, looking for something to cheer them up, and give them a reason to live. And let’s pretend that they logged in during a particularly hateful news feed spread like what I experienced.
Who’s to say that isn’t the last straw that pushes them over the edge and makes them actually kill themselves?
As for me?
My mental health is too precious for me. I will go on Facebook a couple times a day but I won’t be on as much. I can’t handle it. If Facebook would quit treating people like lab rats, then I would consider being more active. Until then, I have to protect myself.