I think the internet is a fantastic tool. It's full of information (both false and true) and a great way to keep in touch with each other near and far!
I am a tad lost without the internet to be honest and I primarily have Facebook for the sole purpose of keeping in touch with my friends and family all at the same time. So much easier than writing out individual e-mails and not having to worry about how many photos I can send per e-mail because the file might be too large to send.
And you never find out until you click "Send"....
And something that I do - I probably spend far too much time doing to be honest - is supervising a couple Facebook groups.
One is an expat group page for the area I live in and the other goes hand-in-hand with it, as an English-speaking online flea market available for those in the same city.
I try my hardest to be very neutral about the stuff posted on both. Unless it's incredibly illegal (i.e. selling cigarettes, drugs or weapons) or incredibly rude - I tend to just skim through silently and contribute when I can.
**It should be noted I'm not the only admin...these are purely my experiences! This isn't me complaining about being an admin - but more of a sharing the admin-side of the fence!
But first (while I have it fresh in my mind) I have to share with you the cons of being a FB admin - there are a lot of nasty people out there!
Things like politics, religion and war are just 5 billion cans of worms that you don't want opening up in public groups or FB pages and it can be hard to tame it down.
And because it's a group full of expats in both - it can get pretty darn intense!
And of course because the internet being as awesome as it is - you can just say whatever the f you want and feel empowered!
Or you truly didn't "mean it that way" and it was just read wrong because this is written text - not face to face or "Voicebook".
Here's some examples of things I've come across in the past (almost) 3 years:
- Dude X sells Dudette Z an electronic thing and because it doesn't work - Dudette Z smears Dude X's business FB profile publicly (ensuring she tags him) - without admitting she's already sold off the electronic thing.
- "Where can I find ___?"
"Have you heard of Google?/Let me Google that for you..."
- How incredibly rude. I imagine the person asked where they can find X items is because they want the most reliable answer. From people with experience or knowledge of the best prices/locations to get X items from.
They're asking for you help - not for you to advise them to go Google something.
- "I don't like what I bought/changed my mind - can I get my money back?"
- It's a used items website - of course not!
- Try before you buy
- "The advertisement says it's free but when I contacted them - they wanted 30€!"
- "I want to buy that - but for a decent price."
- "You can get that cheaper from eBay/Amazon etc."
- "They called me a racist, fascist and started bashing me and my mother."
- "If you need the money - get a student loan!"
- Dude selling a "pocket sex toy"...used by the way...
- "Person didn't meet me/pay me.."
- "I rented my apartment out to Family Y for a couple days, as they had visitors from abroad, and when I got back into my flat - it was a complete mess. Also they short-changed me by over 20€. I noticed some of my coat hangers and other little things are missing too."
- Holy awkward - please call the police.
- "This guy has been a real jerk and making rude and racist comments etc."
- After a few warnings - he was removed from the group and came back asking to come back to the group a few months later. But this was after he called me a nazi (privately), arrogant, rude and some other words...
- Various scams/spam accounts and some people actually believing they can get a loan/iPad/expensive branded coat etc. just by e-mailing someone in a different country.
- Multiple LGBT, religious, political bashings, bashing of other countries, bashing of the country we live in currently...both publicly and privately....
I don't expect everyone to get along - of course not! It's a huge group with various opinions/cultures and experiences and I guess I'm writing this so people realize that there's a lot of crap the admins of whatever FB group you might be part of - put up with.
Don't like the price? Suggest one and if it's rejected - then hope the seller drops it down.
Don't like the item? You don't need to comment nasty things - and you certainly don't need to buy it.
Bought it and you don't like it? Unfortunately it's second hand. You wouldn't be able to return it to a flea market, shop (at least in Finland - if it works and it's not malfunctioning - you have to keep it or sell it off!) so what makes you think you can do it online?
Anyways, there are loads of positive things too.
- People helping each other out.
- People organizing events to help meet others and integrate new people.
- People discovering new places to eat or visit - thanks to recommendations or questions being asked.
- People getting rid of their junk/not needed items and someone else buying it. Yay recycling! :)
- "I saw the Northern Lights for the first time in my life - thanks to this group!"
- "I got my wallet back - thanks for the support! It was at the police station!"
- "I lost my..../I found a...."
- "How do I say _____ in Finnish?"
- "I have a problem and don't know how to go about solving it...anyone have experience with...?"
- "Are there other expecting foreign parents that had experience with ____?"
- "I need to dispose of some batteries and old phones that don't work...where can I do that?"
- "There's a memorial/charity service..."
- "Anyone able to watch my dog/cat/other pet while we travel?"
- Usually someone is able to! :)
- Notices of public events or amazing sales (as many people in our group are students and are cautious about their spending).
Other things we do?
- Check people's accounts to see if they are real people and not just spam bots - before approving or declining them.
- Organize events (or try to - we all have other lives outside of Facebook! :) )
- Organize contests
- Clean and organize photo albums of items being sold
- Mediate arguments between people privately.
- Ask questions ourselves :)
For the sake of getting this post up and online - I apologize my lists are probably skewed and my memory is quite limited these days! ;)
And I wonder how far I can use this experience and put it down as volunteering on a future CV? :)
Anyways, thanks for reading!