the fun is gone

Political Discussion on Social Media

I didn’t like the cat videos.

But now I miss them a little.

Righteous indignation and straight out hate abounds on Facebook now, a result of a bitter election between less than stellar choices (OK, that’s my opinion, your mileage may vary).

But here is a universal truth, no matter who won the 2016 Presidential Election, based on the results, about 50% of the country would be complaining and protesting and causing a stink. And now we’re divided.

And we are ugly.

Every single one of us.

Pick your party, pick your platform, pick your nose. Ugly. All of it.

We are NOT talking about a healthy debate among mature people. On social media, that just does not happen any more…if it ever did.

If we looked at ourselves on Facebook as we do our children, if we saw the kind of rants and vulgarity….really foul stuff…we would send ourselves to our rooms without dinner and all our Christmas toy would be taken away for a month.

The prevailing attitude: if you’re not FOR me, you’re AGAINST me.

Can’t we see this about our own behavior? Can’t we stop ourselves?

While it isn’t the only battle ground for this hate speech that we seem to be getting so good at, but the stump speech convenience of Facebook allows it’s participants to tee off on their rant of the day (or hour). Vitriol abounds and if you’re not spewing it, you’re receiving it…or at least reading it.

Those who spew the vitriol will claim that they are defending their right to free speech, to defend (their version) of America from the bad guys (i.e. anyone who disagrees with them…again, which ever side you want to take). And if someone recommends curbing bad behavior, the recommender doesn’t ‘understand the seriousness of what’s at stake.’

Um, yes we do.

But we also see the absolute useless of changing people’s opinions on a life or death matter via social networking. The shared information on social media…and often mis-information…is not creating awareness but it is creating wariness.

We see people treating politicians (of course, only the politicians that they like) as if they are trustworthy fighters of truth, justice and the American way. The shortest answer I can give here is they are so not. Some of the ARE trying. Some of them are just trying.

We see that to make change you must get involved in the actual process (i.e. real life, not social media). Because of the pathetic pool of talent from which to pick leadership of any kind, we ended up with the choices we did. The worse news is that anyone with ANY common sense doesn’t want to swim in political waters.

People like me do not turn a blind eye to the evolving truths of the world. We are not uniformed. We just work to effect change in less obnoxious, divisive, dismissive and hurtful ways.

facebook iconI cannot decide how this plays out for Facebook. My theory is that usage may be up on the service because some people believe they are furthering their agenda/cause (and I think serving their egos) by posting as many rants and rant-like links as they can find …often without vetting the link’s accuracy (again, on either side).

However, I think Facebook may see (and likely not report) that said usage is up because of active use by a smaller total number of people. I believe folks like me are standing further away from Facebook.

We don’t sign in as much or at all. It’s not social, it’s not fun, it’s not relaxing. No idea how many people are doing this besides me…it’s just a gut feeling.

And to be clear, that withdrawal is not Facebook’s fault. It’s because of the content of the social media service’s users. And as you may have noticed, ‘users’ begins with ‘us’.

I pulled the Facebook app off my phone weeks ago. I have spent significantly less time on the service. I’ve tried ignoring and unfriending and unfollowing but the poison still permeates.

So I stay away more. In the end, that’s probably best anyway. Maybe I’ll connect more in real life. That’s what matters anyway.

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