Okay, so facebook groups didn’t actually ruin anything. I’m still living, fully alive and very much enjoying my life. But I recently went through, and left, all but one of the facebook groups that I am a part of. I had joined some vegan pages, as well as a professional photographers one as well. These were closed groups that I was required to answer a question and get approved to join, so it’s not like a page I just followed and got annoyed with. These were closed and private groups of supposedly like minded individuals that I thought I would be able to get tips from, to help me progress on through my lifestyle. How wrong was I.
Now, I don’t know if anyone else had really had any bad experiences with groups, but I know that I certainly had. You think that I would have learned the first few times I had joined various groups, but nope. The first time I ever joined a group I was just starting out in switching over to eating more plants. I thought a vegan group would be perfect for me. I also still thought honey was a vegan food, so there’s that. But I was really excited, I thought being a part of a group would be so motivating. After I had joined though, I noticed just how vicious people online can be. I mean I had known people are like that online, I have experienced it first hand. I just wasn’t expecting a group of people focused on living a more peaceful life would be the most vicious online. The first things I noticed were people commenting nasty things. Someone was wanting to be vegan and had questions, making it clear that they had not fully transitioned yet. See in my mind that’s totally fine. I myself am not fully transitioned. We may not buy meat or dairy but we are still in a transitioning phase. But these comments that people directed at them were so rude. Calling people stupid, commenting links about how bad it is if you’re not vegan alongside rude comments as to how dumb they are for not knowing these things. I left that group very quickly. I could not believe that people who wanted to encourage others in this lifestyle would be so mean to people they don’t even personally know.
So when I found the zero waste vegans group, I thought it would be a better choice. And for a while it was. I got great tips, there were also people who were not 100% vegan. Everything was actually really nice. I had no regrets for joining this group. But then, the comments trickled in. Slowly, at first. But they grew in numbers. People commenting on how you SHOULD word a post. Claiming offense in things that weren’t even offensive. There always seemed to be that person who would start a fight over a post that had nothing wrong with it. ALWAYS! I had posted a question at one point on the page, and the comments that I got back were quite rude. Telling me how I should be doing things in my life, telling me how wrong I was, telling me in regards to my question that I was basically crazy. I had asked a simple question in regards to my life, and instead of answering the question or giving an honest valid opinion on the matter people thought they needed to educate me on myself, my life and how I did things. That was my last straw. No matter how I explained my reasonings, people were basically telling me I was being stupid over something that I was doing, that was really not any concern for them.
At the same time, I had joined a professional photographers page. As a photographer I thought this would be good, get some advice and tips from others. As soon as I joined I realized my mistake. People were commenting snotty things, mainly on the posts about people inquiring about prices. Telling people that their prices should be higher than what even the photographer themselves could afford. Saying photographers with prices lower than that were no good, less quality etc. As someone who is really striving in the photography community to provide quality services at a fair price this really got under my skin. One commenter was telling everyone how they would charge 125$ for one print. A SINGLE PRINT! And kept telling people that you need to have prices that high no matter what area you are located at because someone will be able to afford it.
Maybe that works for their business, but in the area that I live in no one would ever pay that much for a single print. And in the day and age of digital people are more interested in having digital copies of their photos. It’s not a bad thing to offer digital, but apparently you are ruining your business if you do so. So far, we are doing fine with starting up a new business while offering digital copies. And maybe that could be true in other locations but where I am located that’s just not the case, and honestly making money is not the first thought I have. I love photography, I love what I do and I also want to provide services and products that people also equally love. Products and services that are affordable and high quality. But if you said that in the photographers group people would probably die of shock.
So, a few days ago I went through and I deleted myself out of those groups. I didn’t like how I was feeling when I saw their posts. I didn’t feel like I was getting any help from them either. I felt really down when I pulled up the group page and when I saw the conversations going on. I don’t want social media to bog me down, and I don’t need it to make me feel worse throughout my day. Social media, to me, is a place to document my life and share it with those who I don’t get to see everyday. To connect. And to see how other people are doing as well. And the wonderful thing about social media is that a large part of what you see is controlled by the user. So I took control.
And this post isn’t to say facebook groups are bad. Some groups can be really awesome. They made a group for our teacher training group and I love that group. It’s a place to connect to all my training pals. But if the group you joined is making you feel anything less than happiness, you don’t need to be apart of it. And with the power to join and leave any groups we want I did myself that favor and just let things go.
It’s not about me, or them. It’s about what I need in my life right now. I don’t need negativity, and I am not afraid to do something about it. It’s nothing personal to those groups, but I can’t get on board with leaving mean comments on other peoples statuses. I can’t get on board bullying people. I can’t get on board with taking a holier than though attitude because you have certain skills. We all have our own opinions and thoughts, that’s what makes us so unique. We should be able to share those without being attacked, or people being rude about it. It wasn’t like people were commenting any opinions or questions that were rude or cause offense. People actually tried really hard to share things that affected no one. Yet people were still ruthless. I’m not really about all that in life and in social media.
So, I think I will just follow one more cat page or yoga page on facebook instead. Because that’s what makes me happy. And sometimes, clearing out negative things bogging us down in life is just what we need.