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Facebook and Empathy


Sylvan

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I know it sounds like a weird topic, but I was wondering if any of the empaths on here get overwhelmed/affected by online energetic clutter, like on Facebook. I swear, sometimes it gives me just this generic malaise and anxiety when I get on there; it's like I can just feel this collective mush of people feeling or thinking things, but nothing is very specific, just a big wad of other people goop. It is for that reason I don't get on there very much and really slack in my FB corresponding. I don't know, it makes me feel too exposed or something...am I alone in this? --S

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I know it sounds like a weird topic, but I was wondering if any of the empaths on here get overwhelmed/affected by online energetic clutter, like on Facebook. I swear, sometimes it gives me just this generic malaise and anxiety when I get on there; it's like I can just feel this collective mush of people feeling or thinking things, but nothing is very specific, just a big wad of other people goop. It is for that reason I don't get on there very much and really slack in my FB corresponding. I don't know, it makes me feel too exposed or something...am I alone in this? --S

 

 

i feel the same way about facebook. i use it...but, sometimes i will go days, just to get away from the draining, negative muck that kinda gets on me and sticks for days.

 

however, fb is a tool...and, i use it mostly to connect with my relatives who live far away from me and to connect with friends who i may need to email or whatnot..also the event feature is very nice. I also like to post things that I have interest in....to introduce ideas that aren't normally out there..especially in our community. but..if you let the news feed get to you..its true...it can and will get you down.

 

not weird. i understand.

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I have facebook to keep in touch with family and friends and I just delete or hide people who post shit that I don't want to see and I have no problems...

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Please read a book called Blind Faith by Ben Elton , written in 2007. Its happening whether we like it or not. I remember someone being to by one not to air their personal problems on FB and others saying " thats what FB is for" Im not a huge fan and may erite once in a while but I certainly dont put my whole life out there as for everyone to suffer. Diluting empathy and changing it into something sinister. READ THE BOOK!!

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Please read a book called Blind Faith by Ben Elton , written in 2007. Its happening whether we like it or not. I remember someone being to by one not to air their personal problems on FB and others saying " thats what FB is for" Im not a huge fan and may erite once in a while but I certainly dont put my whole life out there as for everyone to suffer. Diluting empathy and changing it into something sinister. READ THE BOOK!!

 

Well lets hope we have the same optimistic ending this book has with the hope of us all evolving?

 

Personally, i love facebook. I have so much fun on there and it makes organising events and get togethers a doddle. To be quite frank, the bitchy cynic in me, enjoys those that over share and make twats of themselves on social networking sites, i have been known to take pleasure in their folly. I just snigger and take it all with a massive pinch of salt. None of it sticks to me. But then, i only log in to Facebook when i'm in the mood for it, i imagine if i was feeling the weltschmertz or having a down day, i would probably just avoid most people, which would include facebook.

 

I find facebook also reveals a lot about peoples nature too. With a cyber veneer between them and others, many behave differently than they might in the "real" world. Subsequently, there are people who have reveled themselves to be absolutely revolting, rampant egotists, self obsessed, bigoted, or having false persona and being personally dishonest. I would honestly prefer to know this kind of thing, so happily delete these types and am pleased the nature of facebook means i get to spy on their sordid inner workings! Similarly to Aloe though, I have various privacy and other settings where people that bug me just don't feature.

 

In terms of empathy, i find cities and densely populated places much more troublesome energetically. I often find myself feeling overwhelmed, frazzled and saturated. If i'm on a bender or something it's not a problem. When i'm drunk, i can tune off all that but London sober is not something I especially enjoy!

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If you use Facebook properly then it's not really an issue. There are enough ways to group your 'friends' that it's easy to keep some people at bay while getting regular updates on others. It's also quite a clear word "Friend" do you want to "Friend this person?" If they're a stranger the answer is going to be no, if they're an acquaintence it's going to be no as well. If it's an unrealisitically attractive woman who doesn't share any interests with me, has only been on facebook on three days and wants to be my friend the answer is going to be disappointing...

 

People who bitch and whine constantly on my friends feed get summarily mocked and/or blocked. Half the time the MY LIFE IS OVER statuses that appear are completely trivial in the first place, a broken nail is a common culprit. Only problems I air on Facebook are if I've had health problems as it's a quick way to update friends who I may have meant to be meeting in a few days, family who like to know what's going on and university lecturers so they can't complain they didn't have a prior clue as to why I missed a lesson.

 

Most the time I spend on Facebook is in groups - most related to my health conditions - as a lot of people only get trouble later in life with it and having someone who's been through it and understands what's happening to them can help them shape up and figure out what to move on with. Downside is there is a proportion of "god-squads", self-diagnosis experts and pity-partiers that turn up then I completely ignore them.

 

I'm generally the same in person as I am online, except the particularly dry humour should be more apparent in person... though I often lose faith in that as well!

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Honestly, I get fed up with people's incessent, oh-woe-is-me, me-me-me, can't-see-past-my-own-temper-tantrum, fall-on-your-feet-and-feel-sorry-for-me, me-me-me, pity parties. Fools wallow in their own shit and drama becuase that's where they're happy. They're be REALLY miserable if they had nothing to complain about. It's how they define their lives and who they are. People who want to change their lives do; people who don't whine. I am not patient with whiners and they get neither sympathy nor empathy from me. Let the fools suffer each other gladly, but don't expect to see me joining them.

 

M

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To be quite frank, the bitchy cynic in me, enjoys those that over share and make twats of themselves on social networking sites, i have been known to take pleasure in their folly. I just snigger and take it all with a massive pinch of salt. None of it sticks to me.

 

It is rather amusing isn't it? :devil:

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I'm not a strong empath but I can tell you that my friends on FB are just that - I *know* everyone on my friends list; a few I've never met in person but I've had conversations with them elsewhere online that have led to a friendship that would be just the same if we ever did meet in person. That makes my friends list rather short compared to a lot of people's. If there's any drama, it's drama I would want to hear about in real life. That cuts down on quite a bit of the "noise" I imagine you're getting off it. My advice would be to cull your friends list down to folks you really want to hear about/from and let all the acquaintances/drama queens go.

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Honestly, I get fed up with people's incessent, oh-woe-is-me, me-me-me, can't-see-past-my-own-temper-tantrum, fall-on-your-feet-and-feel-sorry-for-me, me-me-me, pity parties. Fools wallow in their own shit and drama becuase that's where they're happy. They're be REALLY miserable if they had nothing to complain about. It's how they define their lives and who they are. People who want to change their lives do; people who don't whine. I am not patient with whiners and they get neither sympathy nor empathy from me. Let the fools suffer each other gladly, but don't expect to see me joining them.

 

M

 

Ugh. This! I have been strongly considering deleting my Facebook account for a few reasons but the base of it is I am tired of the drama-whoring. Facebook seems to bring out the whiny self-centeredness in people. There is so much knee-jerk judgment and "listen to meeeeeeeeeeee" crap that I can't remember why I am there at all. Oh yeah, to connect with family and close friends that live far away. *le sigh* My friend deleted her Facebook account and went over to G+ (which I like a lot more) and said it was the best thing she had done in a long time.

 

Okay, I am getting way off topic. I'm not sure it is necessarily empathy as much as it is the nature of Facebook. It's a black hole, IMNSHO.

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Basically, I have my family, some friends, and people from work. Its a great way to update groups of people all at once, seeing as people like my granny and my mom don't have cell phones and they live quite a ways a way. As for the bullshit, I went through and searched for known trouble makers in my life and blocked every one. I periodically go through and delete people that don't speak to me or haven't in a while. That said, the only drama queen on there I can't delete because she is family...lol.

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I know it sounds like a weird topic, but I was wondering if any of the empaths on here get overwhelmed/affected by online energetic clutter, like on Facebook. I swear, sometimes it gives me just this generic malaise and anxiety when I get on there; it's like I can just feel this collective mush of people feeling or thinking things, but nothing is very specific, just a big wad of other people goop. It is for that reason I don't get on there very much and really slack in my FB corresponding. I don't know, it makes me feel too exposed or something...am I alone in this? --S

 

I can feel overwhelmed and/or affected in some circumstances online. Not just on facebook, but that has happened on forums too. Anywhere where there might be strong personalities, a lot of negative energy being pushed around- anything involving highly charged emotion...and a lot of it. This could mean a single person ranting or talking on a facebook page about something that has been charged with a lot of emotion, to two or more people arguing/fighting online and being nasty to each other...again a scenario where there is a high emotional charge attached to it.

 

If I start to feel affected, I try to just take a deep breath, log off & go do something else..or put on the headphones and redirect myself to music, or something similar that pulls me away from it. I find that works best.

 

The general feeling that you describe above, I have felt something similar-not all the time, but on occasion. I don't spent a lot of time on FB, and I don't post there that often either. Again, the general rule for myself is, if it starts to affect me, I log off and go do something else.

 

 

Anara

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I have facebook to keep in touch with family and friends and I just delete or hide people who post shit that I don't want to see and I have no problems...

 

oh...i love the hide feature. the best, i delete alot too. only thing is i dont like to answer the question..why would you delete me?so, just hide and block! love the block!

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I tend to find if someone is an ass enough to be deleted then I've probably told them to their face already.

 

Only *real* problem people I've had in the past are fetishists who want to discuss rather inappropriate things, and four specialist porn companies who wanted me to model for them. :bolt:

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Facebook - what to say about Facebook? Meh, whatever.

 

I originally set up a Facebook page when I came back from a holiday in Ireland a few years ago to keep in touch with people I met. That lasted for all of 5 minutes. Since then I'm lucky if I can muster up enough interest to check it once every few weeks.

 

I do understand the draining analogy, I have a couple of friends who's posts I might read and think "Ugh here we go again". Or they'll post some random cryptic 'poor me' line so that everyone will be what what what??? So over it.

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I tend to find if someone is an ass enough to be deleted then I've probably told them to their face already.

 

Only *real* problem people I've had in the past are fetishists who want to discuss rather inappropriate things, and four specialist porn companies who wanted me to model for them. :bolt:

 

 

I never had that issue with facebook, the freaks always found me on myspace though so I deleted that crap awhile back. I would definately delete my facebook if I was being harassed by pervy weirdos.

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I have a Facebook account and enjoy catching up with friends and family. However I am not the person who has her profile open to the public,I do not get friend request from people I don't know, I have under 90 people on mine and I plan to keep it that way.I know people who have hundreds of people on their page that they have never even met for me this would be a waste of time. I don't air my "dirty laundry" online nor do my friends and family, mostly it is a place to touch base, say hello, see current pictures, etc. It works better than snail mail:)

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I use FB almost daily. I avoid or delete people whose FB's postings just irritate me. Despite my cynical thoughts when I initially joined FB, I now find it quite fun and useful. But, BUT BUT .... i think it makes me a feel a bit manic! So, this is something I"m trying to monitor. I feel bombarded by so many ideas ... I tend to get distracted by all the exciting media out there. I am referring to all the groups and interests I joined ... so much interesting stuff but it overwhelms at times.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Believe it or not, this thread and many of your comments got me to thinking pretty reflectively about this whole topic, which led to me taking a couple weeks off the internet altogether (except for work emails and such). I am glad I did! I feel refreshed and clear of the bits of energetic internet debris that I was allowing to affect me.

 

One thing I noticed by everyone's replies was how much more responsible and judicious y'all are with your internet lives! While my FB has high security settings, I absolutely practice zero discrimination when it comes to who is my friend or not. Seriously! I have just accepted anyone who asked, never deleted anyone, and just watched the whole thing unfold like a curious spectacle, like it was some avant garde internet social experiment. I have over 500 "friends!" No wonder I am picking up on "clutter" and anxiety!

 

I realized part of the problem is that my job requires me to be a minor public figure. There are people who read my articles (not many, trust me) who then come looking for me on FB and I accept them. The schism between my public personal and private life is very blurred and I think I am very stuck in that department and need to build some clear boundaries about that. I am thinking about deleting my account and replacing it with two--one private and one public, and then sharing accordingly. I see the value in FB and other social media, but I also have to be responsible for taking care of myself and if I am picking up on too much random junk of other people's, then I need to eliminate it. I can't believe I've been so cavalier about the whole thing while whining about it at the same time.

 

Anyhow, thanks for pondering with me! --Syl

 

P.S. Anyone ever feel nostalgic for the internet of yore? You know, the sheer anonymity and novelty of say, 1997? The AOL you've got mail voice? Sometimes I think I like this site so much because of the anonymity. Ok, tempted to ramble and must stop.

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Please read a book called Blind Faith by Ben Elton , written in 2007. Its happening whether we like it or not. I remember someone being to by one not to air their personal problems on FB and others saying " thats what FB is for" Im not a huge fan and may erite once in a while but I certainly dont put my whole life out there as for everyone to suffer. Diluting empathy and changing it into something sinister. READ THE BOOK!!

 

Just ordered this!! Thanks!

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Only *real* problem people I've had in the past are fetishists who want to discuss rather inappropriate things, and four specialist porn companies who wanted me to model for them. :bolt:

 

Wow, you must have a more interesting friends list than I do!! If only I could get people from high school I don't even remember to stop posting they're prayer lists and home menus...

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They weren't on my friends list, and I assure you shortly after contacting me they weren't on Facebook for long, and their websites mysteriously disappeared :whistling:

 

If people are posting things you don't like block them or remove them - it's not difficult. If you have a 'public face' then make a public group or fan page that people interested can be directed to. Just because you have an online presence doesn't mean you have to mix your personal and public life. It just makes a mess of things, considering the number of fake profiles and bots that are on facebook just adding people as friends it's also very bad to just accept everyone as a friend, all it takes is Facebook changing how settings work again and your information can be available to a computer programme posing as a 'friend' to harvest it.

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Believe it or not, this thread and many of your comments got me to thinking pretty reflectively about this whole topic, which led to me taking a couple weeks off the internet altogether (except for work emails and such). I am glad I did! I feel refreshed and clear of the bits of energetic internet debris that I was allowing to affect me.

 

One thing I noticed by everyone's replies was how much more responsible and judicious y'all are with your internet lives! While my FB has high security settings, I absolutely practice zero discrimination when it comes to who is my friend or not. Seriously! I have just accepted anyone who asked, never deleted anyone, and just watched the whole thing unfold like a curious spectacle, like it was some avant garde internet social experiment. I have over 500 "friends!" No wonder I am picking up on "clutter" and anxiety!

 

I realized part of the problem is that my job requires me to be a minor public figure. There are people who read my articles (not many, trust me) who then come looking for me on FB and I accept them. The schism between my public personal and private life is very blurred and I think I am very stuck in that department and need to build some clear boundaries about that. I am thinking about deleting my account and replacing it with two--one private and one public, and then sharing accordingly. I see the value in FB and other social media, but I also have to be responsible for taking care of myself and if I am picking up on too much random junk of other people's, then I need to eliminate it. I can't believe I've been so cavalier about the whole thing while whining about it at the same time.

 

Anyhow, thanks for pondering with me! --Syl

 

P.S. Anyone ever feel nostalgic for the internet of yore? You know, the sheer anonymity and novelty of say, 1997? The AOL you've got mail voice? Sometimes I think I like this site so much because of the anonymity. Ok, tempted to ramble and must stop.

 

Sounds like you've recognized the issue and have a plan, and that's a great place to be in. :beerchug:

 

And YES, I miss the days when you could sign up for something and it didn't automatically try to link your facebook, gmail, or whatever all up to it. I like to keep things separate for the most part.

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  • 4 weeks later...

P.S. Anyone ever feel nostalgic for the internet of yore? You know, the sheer anonymity and novelty of say, 1997? The AOL you've got mail voice? Sometimes I think I like this site so much because of the anonymity. Ok, tempted to ramble and must stop.

 

Me, definitely! I find social networking a little intense, but I am an introvert.

Curiosity makes me like reading about people though, I just keep anyone who is overly negative hidden.. And rarely update myself! It's a bit strange to see old friends that update a lot and know so much about their lives but they know nothing of mine.

 

1997.. I have no idea how I browsed back then, I can't imagine waiting for dial up to load one page at a time, I rarely have less than 3 tabs open at a time now!

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1997...I remember that. I wasn't surfing for facebook updates I was looking up computer code to hack my computer games....at 10. How times change.

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