Are You Losing Your Best Friends Because of Facebook?

best friend charmIf you've ever been online (which, clearly you have since you're reading this), you know that the Internet can be a shitty place. When people aren't face-to-face -- or better yet, when they can hide behind screen names -- they've got balls of steel. And the same rings true for social media. Yes, it's your face and your name behind your profile, but still -- people feel protected when they're in the cozy confines of their home. Calling someone a "bitch" is much easier when you know there's zero chance of getting punched in the face afterwards.

But here's the thing: People are losing friends over this behavior. Like, real friends. A new study has found that the more people use social media, the nastier they get online. And 2 in 5 people have actually ended friendships altogether over altercations that have taken place on Facebook.

While I tend to believe social media is actually doing more harm for society than good, I don't think it turns you into a completely different person. It may bring out things that typically lie dormant in you, but if you're a bitch, you're a bitch. And if you're a dick, you're a dick. Sorry to be crass, but it's the truth. Think of the nicest, sweetest person you know. Now can you imagine him or her getting involved in some sort of social media war? Didn't think so.

Remember the old adage "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say it all"? Of course you do. Everyone does. Why don't we all try applying that to social media? No, it doesn't have to be all sunshine and roses and kissing people's asses 24:7 -- there is an intelligent way to disagree with someone and still remain friends. But to take below the belt pot shots at someone you're supposed to be friends with just because you're not in front of their face is a bad idea. Just don't "like" what they posted if you're not into it. In some ways, that can actually carry more weight.

You can be the coolest, funniest person on Facebook, but at the end of the day, if you piss enough people off, that's all you're gonna have. And that doesn't seem very fun, now does it?

Have you ever ended a real-life friendship over something that happened online?


Image via James Avery

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Tracys2 Tracys2

Nope. Made or strengthened most of my RL friendships online. Been online 20 years now. Sometimes I annoy people in RL (social anxiety and awkwardness I've had my whole life) and say some funny or eloquent things online and can revitalise friendships. It's great for those of us who are socially awkward, and in previous centuries would be living alone in a dark apartment or killing ourselves.

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

Not personally but it has happened to people I know.  I agree that social media does bring out the worst in some people since they are hiding behind a screen and feel it's their "right" to say whatever they want to say but again, if it bugs you that much, stay the heck off Facebook or Twitter.  I've reduced the amount of time I spend on Facebook a bunch and am glad I did; less drama and more time to do what I want to do. 

Haley Maya Unger

I have ended friendships over things on FB. All times they were just people I occasionally saw in a group and it took some things they said and did on FB to show me they were people who I really didn't want to let into my life as much as FB allowed. I ended the friendship on all levels. 

candy... candyw210

That is so childish

amnew... amnewlon8982

After years of Facebook, I tired of all the drama...so I quit. If I want to talk to someone, I pick up the phone and text or gasp! DIAL THEIR NUMBER...

Brenda Lee-Hartman

My sister in and I were best friends for the longest time till I lost her as a friend just a few days ago cuz of someother "WITCH" that isnt worth it!

Freela Freela

I've never gotten in an altercation with a friend on Facebook. I did consider 'unfriending' someone because her spouse was really rude and hostile and flat-out crazy in response to something I wrote about wait times in ERs in Ontario (from my first-hand experience- I live there.) Apparently for discussing wait times that I personally have experienced, I was a communist, a liar, and an assortment of other things that got progressively worse from there. I didn't end up unfriending her, but I hope never to meet her husband, and certainly don't 'chat' on her wall anymore.

mrs.M... mrs.MOM34

It almost happen to me with my husband...it got so bad ...that I decided to stay away from face book....it's too much drama for me ...People tend to b a little too tuff for me on FB now that's true.....

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