Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Culling Of Facebook

So I am about done with Facebook. Finally.

This weekend finally pushed me over the edge - well really, this weekend and the political campaign in general to date.  

There is a perfectly legitimate reason of course - Facebook (and Twitter) have completely destroyed the ability to discuss an issue in a meaningful sense.  They have "dumbed down" the discourse of the day into - at its worst - 140 characters.  Hardly the sort of thing that makes for the society of ideas that we claim ourselves to be.  And rather amusing (in a dark sort of way) that easy connectivity has lead only to an inability to speak among ourselves.

But recent events have pushed it further - now, unless you specifically come out in favor of or against something, you are on the other side.  There is no more "neutral" ground to be held.  And frankly, the level of hate - yes, that is the word I used - has become unsustainable.

I suppose there are options, like significantly changing whom I see - but frankly that seems like a lot of work for not a lot of benefit.  Just easier  and more realistic to cut the cord all at once.

I will probably still keep it for a bit - oddly enough, for something that has only become a part of my life for the past 9 years I am surprised how difficult the concept is of quitting for me to warp my head around.  But already I am checking it much less than I was; very soon I suspect I will not check it at all.

It strikes me as a little odd that I consider life without the thought of seeing the so many I do every day.  But let us be honest - if 90% of the seeing is causing me more pain and anger than joy, is it really worth it just for that 10%.  

But the fact of the peace that comes over me when I think about it tells me it is probably the right thing to do.


PeteForester1 said...

I had to do the same thing with Facebook (I never understood, not gave a damn about Twitter!). The tipping point for me was the day I left a comment on a "friend's" post in favor of Bernie Sanders. I was under the naive impression that an adult political conversation could be had on the subject. Boy, was I wrong! You hit it right on the head; the HATE that came back at me because I didn't think an avowed socialist was a good choice for president was ASTOUNDING! It was one of those "War Games" moments; you know; like when the kid taught the computer to play tic-tac-toe to get it to realize the futility of a nuclear war. I realized the futility of trying to have an intelligent conversation with a twenty-something "social justice warrior" living in mommy's basement. Then I realized how superfluous the rest of the Facebook content was, and decided to pull the plug. I ended up creating another account under a pseudonym, to allow me to leave comments on various websites, but that's it; no "friends," no posts, or anything else. Truly; dumping "social media" will be more liberating than you think!

...And that "liberty" can't be tracked...

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

The Ravishing Mrs. TB and I were discussing it this morning. My analogy is like meeting high school friends you have not seen in many years. You have 20 or 30 years of personal development behind you but you typically interact as if you were still in school. Why? I wonder if it is because that is how we know to act, that trying to engage over the last 30 years is difficult. Likewise with "friends" on Facebook: I meet many because of the activities I do but know them only in the context of that. We all have full backstories that never really come out in single events - but when they do, leave us more often than not with the inability to talk.

Twitter is odd to me. Twitter is actually sort of useful to track ongoing news events, but is useless to have discussions on.

It is not just the young either. Trying to have a discussion anywhere online (it seems) in the form and fashion of a true debate is virtually impossible in this current age of the other side always being evil (not just on the other side of an issue) and internet memes and "gotchas" being more important than thought and understanding.

To be honest, I am finding my list of even where I go on the internet to be dwindling down as well. If there are problems with discussions, there are probably problems with the information as well. Books are often better - and the webpages do not disappear.