My disdain for Facebook is well documented. For me, any upside has always been overshadowed by the deep dark downside.
I’ve watched people I really like become people I don’t like so much after watching them on FB. I’ve been shocked to learn of some I respected spewing conspiracies, or revealing their secret, more extremists views. While others use it to exclude and mock their supposed friends. It’s like high school if high school was 1000x worse. And all of it has broken my heart.
When we moved to Spain I got off of Facebook. The expat groups in Valencia cured me of the platform. In groups that should be about helping each other navigate a new culture, a new country, often people were mocking or dismissive. Or down right mean. Going for the jugular on innocent questions or comments. I had a woman I have never met call me ‘a stupid bitch’ in the comments after I asked a simple question. Then other people who knew her piled on. What?!? Why?
In every context of life, I’ve always felt it was our duty to reach back and help those who come after us. Not to try to kick them down a few rungs, or push the whole ladder away. So, FB and I broke up. And my mental health is better for it. Especially during the elections in the US, and Covid. But now, it seems if I am to participate in the world of the rural ladies of Melide I will need to join FB. I shiver just thinking about it.
My friend, Conchi, is insistent if I want to expand my neighborhood social circle I must get back on FB so I can join 3000 women in my area who belong to the mulleres rurais de Melide (rural women’s group of Melide). A local non-profit.
This group has yoga, pilates, dance, and a host of other stuff. They sew, they knit together. They bake and help each other when tragedy strikes, or someone has a baby. It sounds amazing, right?
So today, I will make a Facebook account. Again. And I will do as Conchi says. She is right. I should put myself out there. Belonging will help with my Spanish and to build stronger ties to the community. I just wish there was another way, other than FB to do that. But who knows? Maybe this group is immune from feuding with each other on FB. Or from what I call ‘Facebook Mean’ altogether. Maybe, because its a small town, reputations will stop that.
I’ll give it go. But I draw the line at having the app on my phone. No posts of my toes on a beach. Or shopping in Paris. I’m using it only for local community involvement. We moved here for peace. The noise of the world can stay where it is. Because I’m only agreeing to the teeniest tiniest sliver of Facebook.