Local Facebook pages are great … until they turn nasty
There are a lot of local Facebook pages centering on things we care about. I love community pages that talk about local issues.
You've got St. George Word of Mouth, Washington City Matters, Hurricane Utah Community, Santa Clara Community News and Sharing, Ivins, UT Community Group, plus groups for Leeds, Toquerville, LaVerkin, Enterprise and more. Add to that Facebook Market Place for various local areas, neighborhood stops and even pages for various geographic church groups, and you can get a real feel of community even though it is all taking place on the World Wide Web.
For the most part, these groups are good, honest positive places to learn more about what's happening in your town or neighborhood. They turn into neighborhood watches, with news being shared and videos being posted about local crimes, lost animals and weird happenings.
But every once in awhile these groups can turn nasty.
In one group the other day the post was simply "Worst local restaurant. Go!"
Another asked if anyone had ever seen worse local government management.
A third spent time complaining about city policy, then asking for corroboration.
While I think these pages have good intentions, there are times when I wonder. Because they are run by private citizens and not the actual city or neighborhood they represent, there are times when things descend into, well, the cesspool.
Comically, there are those internet trolls who defend the negativism by saying it's all about free speech, as if neighborhood pages (monitored by private citizens) or even Facebook in general (monitored/censored by Zuckerberg et al) was ever actually about freedom of speech.
What we all have likely learned is that unpleasant people are even more unpleasant on social media and pleasant people are seemingly more tolerant to those Debbie Downers.
The truth of the matter is this: It's really up to us to take the high road, to act with class and dignity, to follow the Golden Rule. Even on Facebook.