The Great Facebook Like Debate

Sometimes, a grand title is what you really need.

The other day, a friend of my wife’s shared a link on Facebook to one of these joke images. It was about children singing a song, and had different text for different problems; autism, dyslexia, ADHD etc. In short, both my wife and I found it neither funny nor in good taste.

I have a son with autism, but that was not the reason. The words were just offensive, they were not making fun at the problem, but rather the people with it, and for me, there is a big difference there.

When my wife read this, she left a comment saying that she didn’t find it very funny. This then sparked a rather intense round of comments from said friend, and then her husband who was outraged that his wife was being attacked on Facebook. Suddenly, a string of others arrived, proclaiming how funny they thought it, advocating freedom of choice, and personal opinions.

However, it would seem that is only if you agree with the post.

This got me thinking about Facebook as a whole. You have the Like button, this can be used to show appreciation of a post, but when it comes to comments, I am strongly starting to believe that people think these can only be used to praise posts. Which is wrong!

I see a lot of people, and hear a lot of people around me talking about how people leave comments saying they disagree with a certain post, or status etc. The dangers of a real conversation sparking up seem to be a genuine threat to these people. Perhaps Facebook should introduce a few new icons to their arsenal, to show people that life isn’t always about agreeing with one another, and that friendships and relationships can be strengthened and even formed via disagreements and differences of opinion.

I am lucky, I am part of a wonderful community on Facebook, filled with writers and other artists. The support is unwavering and genuine conversations on topics not only allowed, but encouraged. But what about the every-day users. Those looking to play games, chat with old classmates and relatives etc.

I guess my question is, is Facebook in danger of becoming like too much of the real world already. Filled with people saying nice things to one another and smiling, agreeing with everything being said around them for the sake of convenience and avoiding any form of confrontation or discussion? I hope not, as someone who rather enjoys rocking the boat from time to time, I firmly believe in the power of a good discussion, in all walks of life.

What about you?


12 thoughts on “The Great Facebook Like Debate

  1. I am the last person to sugarcoat things just for the sake of being non-confrontational. I’m not rude, mind you; but I’m not going to be a yes man for the sake of blowing sunshine up your butt. If life were American Idol, I guess I would be Simon. I will give credit where credit is due and I will not praise you for stupid behavior. Does that make sense, Alex?

  2. You want people to disagree without getting upset and you are wondering if facebook is becoming like the real world where people blow smoke up your ass just to keep the peace. In the real world when people disagree they get upset the result is they go around blowing smoke up peoples asses avoiding confrontation.

    There is personal space being shared on facebook and people have to take into account not just their online friends but their “real world” friends. Over time people on facebook have become more aware of the consequences of their actions through the judging eyes of “real world” friends. PEOPLE AREN’T SO FUNNY ANYMORE. In the real world people are normally a part of group. They have to have a side to stand on and people to back them up. Few people stand alone from the crowd. Few people outright confront people for their views and most of the time people talk about sports, the weather,,,,,

    So your wife gets pissed off about some joke she doesn’t get..doesn’t have the stomach for, finds too personal, too politically incorrect, too rude, too crude or even cruel. She speaks up, people sweep down on her, give her a good tongue lashing and she looses friends over it. Oh well “it happens” as Forest Gump said. If your going to confront people instead of turning the other cheek there is a good chance someones feelings are going to get hurt. People are going to form sides like in the real world and the battle will ensue, names will be called and feelings will be hurt. Few people have the stomach for outright disagreement.

    Facebook isn’t an anonymous blog and real world etiquette applies here in many cases. As a person who speaks his mind outright in the real world the rules on my page are simple, say a you wish, speak as you must but I will surely give it back to you. I allow no one under the age of 18 on my page. No nieces… no nephews… no students… Only adults are allowed on my page. I have upset family members over this but as time went on they realized that I don’t talk about the weather, sports or anything else PC. I love good adult banter and debate and I enjoy throwing a curse word out, crude humor,adult subject matter and the like. When you talk with me it ain’t kiddie time.

    Is facebook more like the real world? …You bet your arse it is but my facebook is the after the kids have gone to sleep facebook…. its the real me. If you wife don’t like whats she is seeing she has many choices but disagreement is almost always sure to end up in name calling and someones feelings be hurt. I say you all should know better.

    Our worlds are what we make them.

    1. Thanks Tom, great comment.

      I agree with everything you said. I speak my mind and am willing to ruffle feathers, not for the sake of it, or for fun, but if is something I truly believe in. My wife is the same. The issue with her was more of the spark that created the idea. Her friend was fine with the comment, it was the husband who reacted so angry.
      It is more the fact that people seem surprised on Facebook when they get real world interaction. They get people disagreeing with them, and it annoys them. As though they expect everything that they or anybody else posts on Facebook to adorn a mask that means everybody who reads it laughs until they cry and shares it with all of their friends.

      1. I come to realize a long time ago most people tolerate me. I am just too much effort to deal with…people who wear masks around me know I will pull if off. So they avoid me or blow sunshine up my ass. That’s life, that’s facebook, that sucks but that’s what you get most of the time…people who are afraid to break the rules and rock the boat.

    1. To be honest… I do too, but only with people who seem to have a level of power over me… or in other words my boss or anybody along those lines. What can I say, I like to cause trouble. 🙂

  3. I think you have to be true to yourself whatever the medium and that must include disagreeing with the ‘majority’ at times. However there is a world of difference between disagreeing with someone and being a ‘troll’. Maybe Facebook people are scared of being labeled ‘trolls’ and that’s why they react so badly when people disagree? I’m not really into FB so I’m just guessing.

  4. Alex, I commend your wife for standing up and speaking her mind, regardless of the reaction it might get. If we remain silent, while something we consider offensive occurs, then we may be perceived as accepting it.
    It is difficult to stand against the crowd, but if we believe in something strongly enough, we must be willing to do so. Sometimes, we stand alone; sometimes, we have friends to stand with us. In the end, the truth is the truth, although it may be different for some than others.
    You may recall that I was attacked verbally by a “friend” a few months ago on Facebook. I told him exactly what I thought about his words and behavior on my page. He continued his attack. When my friends came to my defense and gave him a verbal pounding, he came across looking like a drunken idiot.
    My point in mentioning that is to say that a person’s true colors often appear when they are part of a dispute. We can disagree without lowering the standards of appropriate behavior.

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