Unfollowing Social Negativity

I belong to a number of Facebook groups that relate to topics I find interesting. Books, plant based eating, solo hiking, road tripping, photography- you get the idea. There are tons of them and they are both small collections of people as well as large groups with thousands of strangers presumably trying to play nice with others.

Each one represents quite the social experiment but have potential to be exhausting and even toxic. I have been slowly disengaging from these groups and even leaving.

Earlier this week, a lady posted a picture in a mid-century finds group. It was a darling little cat broach that she bought out of the display case at a thrift store where she volunteers. The purchase was made fair and square as it had been made available to customers before she snatched it up.

Many people were happy for her but several jumped in and complained that volunteers shouldn’t be able to beat other customers to the deals. That’s what’s wrong with the world, according to one Negative Nancy. Volunteers get all the good stuff.


I’m guessing those doing the complaining on that post don’t do much volunteering.

In a plant based group, someone posted a picture of their scrumptious looking smoothie, excited about her healthy choice. A commenter immediately jumped in to say “too bad you’re ruining it with a plastic straw.”

The list goes on and on.

It’s always interesting to me how different we all are and how we view the world through such different lenses.

One person loves an author while another can’t tolerate them. Someone else thinks that the opposing political party is signaling the end of the world while their candidate should be up for sainthood.

I enjoy a variety of topics and opportunities to learn. Yet, some become so tuned into their own agenda, their own view of the world, it’s impossible for them to see what really matters or to even recognize the truth sometimes.

If you’re looking for a red car, you’re only going to see red cars. If you’re looking for trouble or bias or someone to pick on, that’s what you’re always going to see.

I left one plant based group this week because I realized that no one there even understood the definition of plant based and they weren’t interested in learning. Anytime the subject came up, responses began with “I think” or “I feel.” My response always was a Harvard article that analyzes the plant based movement quite nicely.

No one there was interested in fact and expertise. I’m not especially interested in uninformed opinions.

And you see it playing out time and again as people can’t tell you the simplest things about American history but are somehow experts on current affairs that are deeply rooted in history. They don’t bother to read the story, instead basing an opinion on a headline or on someone’s Facebook meme.

They don’t understand that scientists don’t change their minds. They get new data and learn from it, a practice the rest of us could benefit from trying. They don’t care that research has to be funded by someone and that a study paid for by one industry and villainizing another isn’t especially trustworthy.

I’m finding myself becoming cranky with the hive mind of social media groups and the willful ignorance of individuals. I don’t enjoy negativity and all around crankiness so this really sucks..

Consequently, I’m gradually clicking the Unfollow button or sometimes the Leave Group button because I’m simply happier without the group.

Sometimes you can actually add to your quality of life by subtracting.

And so ends my rant. Hopefully you will be inspired to cut out some of the social negativity in your life and that I’m not part of the purge!