Facebook has become a disease.
About two weeks ago, I started “friending” all sorts of old dudes who, like me, play Santa Claus. I thought I’d get greetings and comments that would be kindly, cordial and in keeping with Santa’s reputation for benignity. Wrong. While I suppose most of these old guys were kindly souls, in keeping with their calling as Santa, a depressing number were bitter, bilious and hateful. I was treated to obscene, intemperate, emotional and illogical rants often accompanied by slogans of the basest sort. This stuff was all political and spoke almost exclusively of grievance. Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to harbor such cankerous thoughts without them doing profound damage to your soul. These men have become curmudgeons of the worst sort, the kind who will swat children with their canes and kick small dogs. How such men could put on the red suit is beyond me.
In general, I find people who use Facebook to spew are censorious and intolerant, and too often that has included me, sorry to say. Facebookers will post ignorant, illogical and factually wrong propositions, making them available for all to see like a leper displaying his sores. Obviously, they expect their nonsense to go unchallenged so when someone replies with a comment that points out the errors, they get the vapors and blame the respondent for the ructions that follow, promptly “unfriending” the interlocutor. In so doing, they cut themselves off from contrasting and contradictory views, thus contributing to some increasingly isolated and unrealistic views of the world.
On the other side of the coin, when the comments [to a post] are agreeable, the comments almost always ratchet up the intemperance and silliness of the original posting until the whole concatenation of posting and comments have worked themselves into a silly froth. This is the “echo chamber” which Facebook has become. Of course, Facebook isn’t the only social medium to have become an echo chamber. Please include Twitter and Google+ as well as all single-issue message boards and so-called “news” sites.
Well patient reader, I took action. Saturday afternoon, while beholding the whole deplorable display scrolling down my screen, I clicked the three little dots in the upper right-hand corner of all political bullshit and deep-sixed the whole damned lot.
I strongly urge everyone to do as I have done; purge your feeds of political crap. All political crap, even when the crap dovetails with your own views. The only way to restore a semblance of civility to the US of A is to dial it back. Stop trying to score points with one outrageous statement after another. You aren’t persuading others to your point of view, all you’re doing is pissing them off. Also understand that when you put a posting up on Facebook for all to see, you are, perforce, inviting criticism so you really have no call to bitch when the criticism comes.
Also recognize the political bullshit may be coming from someone who wishes us ill. (ED)