August 10, 2018 by phicks2012
I joined Facebook for a specific purpose. I wanted to communicate with friends. I expected them to share details about themselves — the things they’re doing, maybe photos they’ve taken, and events that are happening and impacting their lives. You know. Real stuff! 😉
When I joined I never expected to have my live feed constantly flooded with re-posts of obviously fake and vitriolic political rants, advertisements for items of no conceivable interest to me, and endless requests for me to re-share things that I am only .01% likely to waste additional bandwidth by passing along to other disinterested readers. Yep, I was criminally naive!
Some (though blessedly few) people also send me (directly) videos that cause me to frown and sigh in total bafflement because I have no earthly idea why they think the videos will be of any remote interest to me. Note: I have even less time to wonder about this when they arrive via Facebook Messenger so that they show up on my phone at really inconvenient times — like when I’m driving in a state that now has a “Hands Free” law.
I enjoy photos and videos that make me laugh or that include — preferably in a humorous way or, alternately, displaying exceptional photographic skill — people I actually know. I enjoy videos that showcase impressive or moving music, and occasionally re-posts of really cool recipes or really unique and cool historical reproductions or archaeological or scientific discoveries. I enjoy consulting on Heraldry, seeing the results of Crown List or sporting events, and even the occasional cute baby animal video, but unless there’s funny, personal, inside joke involved I don’t necessarily require that they be shared to my home page. Especially if they’re close friends, posting to their own page or to a group I belong to is usually sufficient, and, I PROMISE YOU, if they share a political rant to my home page I will REMOVE it.
I love it when someone posts a picture of their spectacular new fighting helm, or of an awesome item they got at a really good price (especially if they share where they got it), or if they make me laugh at a tale of how beavers flooded out their driveway by damming up a creek, or make me smile at pictures of their kids (or themselves) elaborately done up for Halloween or Cosplay. I love it when I see pictures of items, especially things like furniture or spectacular garb, that friends have made with their own hands, or when they post their personal creative efforts of just about any kind — okay, well, as long as they aren’t “creating” atrocities like rainbow crocheted jock-straps, pink 50-gallon woven plastic Easter Baskets, or polka dot glow-in-the-dark birdbaths. 😉
I have some friends who, when they do Facebook Updates, almost always post about personal events in their own lives, entertaining or pertinent anecdotes about themselves, their children, their pets, or their friends, videos that are moving or impressive, and details on really cool purchases they have made. When I see posts from them, I know I’ll actually want to check them out. In short, I would actually want to “follow” them.
But some others, even a few people I really like in real life, seem to post a LOT, but rarely about anything personal. Instead they mostly seem to pass along angry, negative claims (mostly, if not always, either false, slanted or exagerated) of injustice, malfeasance, racism, sexism and political corruption, and claims and allegations of outrageous laws, government programs, prohibitions, and threats against gun ownership.
98% of these posts appear to be geared specifically to cause indignation and fury in the reader, and to stir up exclusively negative emotion. Why? Don’t some people already hate one another enough in this world without giving them further encouragement?
When I complained about this on Facebook and asked friends if, and how, it might be possible to get rid of some of these increasingly pervasive posts, most of my friends agreed that this had become an issue for them as well, and made some thoughtful, non-judgmental suggestions. One accused me of burying my head in the sand and being a “good little nazi”, but we won’t go there.
Look, I don’t get my “real news” from Facebook, and don’t need to be bludgeoned there, or anywhere else, with negativity. There’s enough of that on display in the real world every day. I absolutely do not need Facebook, or any other social media platform, to inform me of horrendous world events, nor do I need them to tell me how to think or how to react. I can make my own rational decisions about life and politics based upon real life, so if I want to block on-line social media propaganda (Russian or otherwise), I’ll bloody well do so without the slightest shred of guilt. So There!! 😉
Facebook keeps promising to reduce the crap, but in the meanwhile I’m trying something else that seems to be working, at least to some extent. I’m just blocking the “sources” of the rubbish, hogwash, hokum, nonsense, poppycock, bunkum, bilge, claptrap, and balderdash people are sharing, hoping that eventually I’ll have blocked all of the sites guilty of actually “producing” this dross in the first place, and that it therefore will cease to matter if any of my Facebook friends choose to “share” it with the world. No need to cut out the “middle man” if you can cut out the originator. Right? 😉
Think that will work? Well, I’m already seeing fewer and fewer absurd political rants (from both sides of the aisle), fewer corrosive social rants, and fewer NRA scare tactics, so hope springs eternal, right?
In the meanwhile I can always retaliate by sharing thousands of puppies, kittens, baby pandas, koalas, laughing babies, Irish step dancers, and ugly heraldry! I seriously have friend who can help me with the latter!!