Watch the video here: A discussion on Facebook and its impact on the community
Hey there Nantucket, it’s Grant from the Nantucket owner’s manual again, and today I’d like to talk about Facebook. And the role that Facebook has been playing in our community. There is a lot of chatter going on, on Facebook. And a lot of people tune into it. We’ve seen this in the past. Right? 10 or so years ago, there was this little thing I started called yackon.com. And we used to get 6,000 visits a day. It was fun while it lasted. But yackon.com doesn’t exist anymore. Facebook came along and I needed to step away to make some money to pay some tuition bills.
So now, the place to get information and to talk about the news that you see, or the traffic that you experienced, or the angry person on the beach you met, or the rude person in line at stop and shop is Facebook. And one of the problems that Facebook presents to us as a community is that it takes away any of the restraints that normal social situations have built into them. Right? It means that people can be rude. People can be angry, people can get a couple of beers in themselves and just write something just ridiculous and scathing. And put it online and have everybody comment on it. And let’s face it, it’s not necessarily good for the community. Ask yourself if the community is unified or divided right now? There is so much negativity and name calling on Facebook — I’ve experienced it first hand.
And I used to lose a lot of sleep over the negative comments and the people who made them. Then something happened that allowed me to sleep like a baby. First I heard a quote Babe Ruth that brought everything into perspective: “the loudest boos always come from the cheapest seats.” And that’s 100% true on Nantucket. It’s the people who are not invested in the community, who don’t volunteer, who don’t care about the future of the island, who only go to town meeting to vote no on something. And then they leave. They are the ones who are making the loudest noise on Facebook.
Then something else happened that brought it into closer focus. I was reading this book: Belong by Radha Agrawal. And in this book, the author talks about people who are critical of others, and who are just rude and unkind — usually on social media. And she had a label for them. She called them the Mean Girls in the cafeteria. And here’s the thing. Most of them aren’t even girls. Most of them are men, telling other people why they’re wrong.
This is why the Nantucket owner’s manual does not play in the Facebook sandbox. If you want to discuss what we do and have an impact on our work, you need to leave the cheap seats and join our email list or join the discussion group on slack. I wanted the Nantucket Owner’s manual to be a way for everyone avoid the toxic nature of Facebook. We don’t feed the Mean Girls in the cafeteria. The cheap seats don’t have a seat at this table. Anyway, it’s an idea, we ought to talk more about it. Please support us on Patreon if you can. And visit us at Nantucket owner’s manual.com and of course, here on YouTube. If you click like and click Subscribe, then we will make sure that you never miss a video that we put out. Anyway, thanks. See you in the hidden forest.