Friended

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December 3, 2019 by phicks2012

I LIKE Facebook — generally. It enables me to establish easy contact with distant (or even not-quite-so-distant-but-chronically-busy) friends, to make plans, and to share information and humor.

I DON’T like being subjected to constant and irrelevant ads (Facebook is doing more and more of that lately), and I HATE being bombarded with clearly absurd and fictional political rants and misinformation.

I LIKE getting friend requests from actual “friends” (old and new), and I don’t mind getting friend requests from people with whom I have common friends and interests. That’s kind of nice, if the request is being made because they know who I am and want to form a closer connection — or re-correction.

I do NOT like getting friend requests from total strangers who simply want to blast me with radical political rhetoric, or to beg for money, or to perpetuate a scam, or to advertise something I really have no interest in helping them advertise.

I am politically moderate. I vote for the candidate rather than for the party (whatEVER that might be), and I do NOT pass along or share malicious political propaganda.

I do not donate money to people I do not know, and that I do not know for a fact actually, legitimately NEED it.

If anyone sends me a friend request, and I don’t actually know them, and we only have a very few friends in common (like 1-10), I almost never accept the request without further “research”. I generally will ignore the request until the list of mutual friends grows substantially, or until I check with actual friends to find out who the hell they are, but I also check out their home page to see what their interests are. If what I see gives me reason to think they are not people with whom I have the slightest thing in common — for example, if they are posting and re-posting extremist political, or religious, or social views — I probably will ignore the friend request permanently.

If I DO foolishly accept a friend request from a stranger (or from someone I went to elementary school with but haven’t been in contact with for decades), and I’m immediately hit with 1)a request for money, 2)a bogus grant offer, or other skeevy money-making scheme, 3)a spate of ads on my home page inviting my friends to LIKE that person’s business or author page, 4)a fusillade of nasty political balderdash, or 5)inappropriate and obviously bogus romantic or sexual advances, then I will unfriend them immediately. I mean — REALLY?

My Facebook filters are set such that what I see first on my news feed will come from people I’ve designated as “Close Friends”. Nevertheless, if I start seeing a lot of nasty posts, and either political or personal maliciousness — even from a “good friend”, I will first un-follow them and alter that setting to simply “friend” or “acquaintance” to reduce the flood of twaddle. If the crap persists in spite of this I will either unfriend that person, or block posts from that person or from the source the are parroting.

There is a setting on Facebook that enables me to block any posts that originate from questionable or offensive sources rather than from the person stupidly passing that sort of rubbish along, but it can be hard to find and doesn’t always seem to appear — or, it’s proving to be, at times, elusive. As a result, I’m still seeing posts either beatifying or vilifying extremist political candidates and/or views (and even moderate candidates and views) and passing along ideological claptrap, so if you know how to do this reliably every time, PLEASE let me know!

Frankly, I could grab up an unattractive photo (from some random on-line source) of any political candidate or celebrity, Photoshop in horns and fangs, and post the picture to social media claiming it as proof that he or she was an acknowledged and proven child of Satan sent to usher in the apocalypse. Nothing really would stop me from doing that, except maybe a legitimate concern that while most viewers with a shred of intelligence would know it to be a joke (and might pass it on only as such, accompanied by many LOLs, ROFLs, and bad puns), thousands of other gullible people with ulterior motives or perceived axes to grind would chose to believe it to be factual and pass it along as such to other equally credulous people.

Oh, I might do something of the sort if I made the post so patently ridiculous that no person intelligent enough to draw breath (or to walk and chew gum simultaneously) should ever take it seriously, but we all know that it doesn’t take a functional brain to breathe — or to create or parrot malicious drivel on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. As they say, “You can’t fix stupid”.

So, while I continue to like and use Facebook, if we are friends there please do not expect me to share or pass along 1)inflammatory blather, 2)begging posts (unless I know you personally and know for a fact you actually and desperately need help), or 3)pointless, humorless chain-letter memes — especially if I’m asked or pressured in any way to do so. Pressure will GUARANTEE that I will refuse to do anything of the kind, and I don’t need to prove that I am your “true friend”, a “good Christian” or “not in league with the antichrist” by passing along some idiotic meme. I also won’t believe for an instant that passing something along will guarantee good fortune, social acceptance, or an unexpected financial windfall.

If I post anything to my personal timeline it will nearly always be something I think will charm or pleasantly divert my friends, because — well, I want the people who see my posts to be amused and entertained — or maybe moved, not infuriated, bored, depressed, or disgusted.

Do I always succeed? Never mind. Don’t answer that! 😉

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phicks2012

phicks2012

I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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