I can’t take anymore Facebook. I’m out. I’ve been beaten.
My intention is not to pile on Facebook while it’s fashionable. Well, this post might be – but not my behavior leading up to it. I’ve poked my head in to check on a couple of folks I knew were going through a rough time. I’ve tossed in a few random thoughts I figured might amuse a few people. But all of my recent incursions have been surgical – in with a specific goal in mind, and quickly back out. I don’t linger. I don’t browse. The app no longer lives on the home screen of my iPhone.
There are two reasons for this. First, Facebook doesn’t make me happy. As in, EVER. And second, I don’t feel like I accomplish anything there. I’ll try to explain, but first…
“Who in their right mind goes to Facebook to accomplish something?”
Well, if you’re really asking, I’d ask if you’ve ever shared or reposted something from the news that was AT ALL political. If you have I’d ask you: why? Simply to express your support? Again, I ask – why? Did you expect to change someone’s mind, or even plant a seed of doubt? My hunch is one of three things happened. A bunch of friends gave you an amen chorus, friends who didn’t agree with you ignored you, or friends who didn’t agree with you didn’t ignore you… and you’re not friends anymore.
I don’t know about you but I don’t take a whole lot of pleasure from any of those possibilities. In fact, I find this self-segregating aspect of Facebook pretty depressing. So in November 2016, in a misguided attempt to deal with this depression head on (insert dramatic theme music here) – I decided to focus my commenting energies on Facebook posts I didn’t agree with or support. I figured the world didn’t need another amen in the chorus, so I went out with high minded thoughts of engaging neurons (both mine and others), and offered a voice of civil and reasonable dissent.
Ask your doctor if poking a bear is right for you!
Yeah, it went about as well as you’d expect. No wonder Facebook wasn’t making me happy – all I was doing was going around picking fights. Well, I didn’t mean to pick fights. I could try to ignoring or blocking certain posts, but does the world need another Facebook echo chamber?
A few common themes kept coming up, and beating my spirits down.
Some folks were quick to say they’re angry about the tone in politics. They polished their independent bonafides by decrying the behavior of “both sides,” then shared a string of inflammatory posts… from one side. Did they loose their sense of irony? Didn’t they see THEY WERE PART OF THE PROBLEM?
Some (of the same) folks decried a biased (and therefore corrupt) “mainstream media,” then shared stories from some of the most blatantly biased corners of the internet. I’ll be damned if I was gonna read another post linking back to Ben Shapiro, Breitbart, Right Side News, Allen West, Gateway Pundit, or… crap, I think I’m gonna throw-up (my apologies to everyone I left out).
“FOUL! John, you only named right-wing offenders! What about the left?”
If you’re really asking you’re not going to like my answer. “They were doing it too…” has got to be one of the all-time worst excuses for bad behavior. What would you say to your child if they told you this after getting caught throwing rocks into traffic?
So that’s it. I’m done. I was barely strong enough to raise my own children. I’m not strong enough for a world of them.
See you back there next week?