Political rhetoric and negative commentary give some people Facebook fatigue

Published: Feb. 2, 2017 at 3:51 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2017 at 11:14 AM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - There's more than one billion active Facebook users every day, and it seems everyone has an opinion: good, bad, even downright ugly.

"It's an open social media forum for a lot of people," said Jimmy Turner. "Some are just putting whatever they want and they can just hide behind certain identities so there is a lot of negativity unfortunately."

It's those negative comments and posts that have some, like Clark McLemore, de-activating their accounts.

"I'm actually one of those people. I do have a Facebook account, but I deleted it off my phone. I think it just kind of uses up too much of your spare time and it's kind of annoying to see everybody's opinions and to see people get in fights," McLemore said.

There's a name for this need to leave the platform: Facebook fatigue. It's when people are bored or annoyed with Facebook to the point they want to take a break. Dr. Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist UAB, said people are taking a step back.

"A lot of people talk about this as silly. They talk about this as ridiculous. How can something like social media and commenting get people so upset? But we have individuals who are so upset by some of the comments that they will literally be distressed, some become depressed, some become angry, some become anxious to the point that they have to shut it down. It doesn't happen for everybody but it happens for some people," Klapow said.

Klapow says to let your emotions be your guide. If you were once engaged on social media but now feel frustrated and angry, take a break.

"Just  backing off sometimes literally just for a few hours , maybe a day, maybe a week. I've seen a number of people literally take Facebook vacations for a week and they feel better. They go back and engage and they stay on board until they don't feel good again," Klapow said.

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