Over the past few years I have joined Facebook with a passion. A place to post funny cat pictures, make a political rant, and with any luck at least get people to think about some political issue. If I was passionate about it, smart about it, or had a fancy meme, maybe I could change some minds and attitudes. In fact, in a small way, I could change the fricking world!
I was wrong
It turned out to be a place to spew my opinion and any one who dared question it I would launch with hastily looked up data from dubious sources and convince them (or me) otherwise. What a waste of time.. I mean that. I have spent countless hours wailing away on cyberspace where most folks, like me, toss out their opinion based on what they have derived from whatever sources and then argue to the nth degree over essentially this point.
It is totally out of our control. I can’t change the political winds of this world anymore than I can change the time of the tide. and the same goes for just about everyone on the other side. We rant, we rave, we point fingers and accomplish nothing. Not one single problem the world is facing is being solved by arguing on Facebook. I manage to alienate people, piss them off, or just get a LOL and off they go. and nothing was gained. This should not be my focus, yet like a deer to a set of headlights, off I ride tilting wind mills again.
I won’t be solving the problem in fukushima, or the dog fighting in Detroit. I can’t stop the cat killings in China or change the heading of our country. I sit and watch what I consider an irrational fear of everything that this country has become. We bounce from one emergency to the next. Gun control because of the gun nuts, no gun control because of the bad guys. Ebola in Africa coming to kill us all, some Haji in Iraq gonna shoot us all dead, School shootings, dog shootings animal rapings, in fact, words in cyber space are easily ignored, or liked and life goes on.
I understand that as I am as guilty as the next person. I try to stay above the fray, to focus on the good things, the up-worthy posts, or the cute advertisements about some guy making a difference while still remaining anonymous. you know the one, the guy who gets soaked by a water spout and moves the plant under the water, rescues the dog and the beggars that he is giving money to, the little girl ends up in school. The ad is referred to as the “unsung hero”.
There is the point. He didn’t take a dozen pics of the little kid and post them on Facebook, he went home with a smile. What he did required action, not words. (Sounds like a song from Def Leppard)He didn’t go toot his horn about how great he was or what a good thing he did, he just did it. (and of course this is an advertisement, it is not real life). But the point has been made
But people do this all the time, take on a cause. Sometimes with success, sometimes not. I have taken on a couple, with mixed success. But each one had an effect on someone’s life. So, having some success has given me the desire to have a little more.. To help someone who can use it. To be “mindful” of other’s problems and do what I can to assist. I am not a world changer, not out to create a new order. Just out to make someone’s life a little easier. Give them a break, and maybe they will pay it forward. Maybe not.
I have become stunned at the amount of negativity on Facebook and the news in general. I know I shouldn’t be, as that is what sells. The next big drama, the next war, the next scary thing. Examples of that would be the following, you can pick your poison
- Global Warming
- Pot smokers
- Gay lifestyle
- American Taliban (hard core religious folks in the US)
- Venereal Disease (in any form)
All this negativity sells. The crap that the news agencies spew gets everyone in a panic for a couple of months, then it is on to the next made up disaster. I have tried to watch this without over (or under) judging. I have come to the conclusion that the news agencies rule the hell out of this country. They can start a panic, or create an issue where there isn’t one. Does anyone remember President Obama not wearing an american flag pin label on his jacket? The right would have hung him for being a subversive terrorist… oh, wait, they did that.
Back to my point. Somehow some obscure issue becomes front page news overnight with all the headlines screaming how we in the US are ALL about to die from Ebola! Measles! Terrorists! Bad Hair!
The part that I just find disappointing is that today? America has become paranoid and ripe with absolute chicken shits with zero spine. A group of people that get crazy about our politicians but never once have called their elected leader, or ever even sent them an email. I suppose that in addition to being a convict, a politician should have taken mind-reading 101. and THAT folks, is pointed directly at ME as well as anyone else that has this hanging over them. If we spent half the time writing our congressmen about our bitches and complaints, maybe something would actually CHANGE? So a new goal for me.. bitch as much to the politicians through their email as I did on Facebook.. (this should prove to be interesting) Make your congresspersons email as busy as your Facebook page.
On with the rant
A group of people that can go absolutely ballistic on another poster on Facebook, and god forbid that you agree with the one being targeted. I have seen people immediately stoop to cursing, ranting wildly, and in a sense, just lose their minds for a short while. Then I wonder what they are like in the real world. Is Facebook a place to put all civility aside and just run off until you spew out all your toxic garbage?
I have concluded that as much as I hate to admit it, I too have zinged those that disagree, after all, they dared to disagree with all the facts that I hastily looked up on the web, and since they are on the web, they MUST be TRUE!!!!! whoops, maybe not… dammit they were wrong.
In the meantime, the “shots across the bow” then label me as liberal, or right winger, or something else I can’t repeat here, after all this is a G rated site. Then everything goes up a notch as I am none of the above. My ideals have changed as the winds do, as the tide does. With experience and knowledge my opinions and actions have changed accordingly, and will do so again, I am sure.
So two weeks out and I don’t seem to miss the forray as much as I thought I would. In fact, I am finding less mental stress, more time to do things than bitch, and… working towards making my life better in hopes that others may follow. Will see what it all becomes. For those out there still pushing the envelope on social communication, a friend of mine, John Eberst, made a couple of suggestions should I ever decide to return to the social media world.
John, thanks for the quote: “What I decided to do is just not pay attention to any (most) conversation(s) that looked troublesome. I turn notifications off on posts if they degrade and I stopped a lot of the group feeds that I was getting. I miss some of the fun but I would get pissed off when people revert to name calling or some smug sophomoric argument. The FB algorithms seem to be good and now I rarely see things that make me lose faith in our species”.
Well said my friend, well said.