I have been a user of the Internet since 1993. For the young folks, that was before the World Wide Web and most things that we consider normal these days. I've learned a great many things in the 20 years I've been using this great and wonderful tool.
Perhaps the single most important thing that I've learned is that while the Internet is a wonderful tool for expressing ones views, it also lacks the personal connection that we all use to gauge the effect of what we're saying on others. It lacks the mechanism that provides the ultimate feedback when we say things that are truly hurtful: physical threat. Said another way, if I were to say something truly hurtful/hateful/mean to someone in person, I'd have to consider the very real threat of a punch in the mouth, right?
The Internet lacks this feedback mechanism. There are ZERO consequences for poor behavior. We've devolved into a society which alternately places too much and too little emphasis on what the masses say & think and marginalizes the truly beneficial connections to those around us.
My real reason for saying these things is this: Facebook has become the altar at which all these undesirable behaviors manifest. I've watched it become something fun, interesting and useful. I've also watched it become a cesspool of misinformation, hate and spite as well. I find myself going less & less and with the New Year, will be making a decision. Starting on 1/1/14, I will not post to Facebook any longer. I may check in from time to time, but it will not longer pollute my life.
If you want to find me, I'll be over here on Google+.