Nothing Earth shattering or anything, but it has caused me to think about a few things in my life. So, dear reader, I have a Facespace account. It’s set to private and I have a grand total of 28-ish people on my Facespace. And, believe it or not, even with that small number, there are some people on my Facespace who I am not personally acquainted with. Weird, right? But, I suppose that’s how Facebook works. For the most part, I know and love the people I have as friends on my Facespace. For the most part.
In the year or so since I created my new account on Facebook, I think the person who has contacted me the most directly has been the nice lady who walks my dog — and my friend Mags when she comments on these blog posts. Yes, I have a few others who comment and like occasionally so I know they’re alive and kicking, but that’s about it. Everyone else has their own life and own issues. And I absolutely understand that. I’m totally not the center of anyone’s universe (except my own, and maybe Doug’s… ^_^). But what’s the purpose, dear reader, of keeping a social media account open to “keep in touch” with friends and family if the the majority of said people cannot be assed to keep in touch with me? Right now, it seems like the most social contact I get on Facebook is the drama unfolding on my local town’s Facebook Page. And I don’t know any of those people. Not to mention that so many of my friends and family are passionate people with very strong opinions. And they have people in their lives who also have very strong opinions, and those opinions, dear reader, are not open for debate or discourse. Knowing and loving my friends and family does not mean that I want or need to be sucked into the echo chambers that have formed around them and theirs. I despise echo chambers with every fiber of my being because they are irrational, and it saddens me every day to see my loved ones succumb to them. Yet here we are.
So, my small announcement is that I’m giving up the Facespace. I’m not deleting it like I did the last one, because I know there is a slight chance that I might change my mind. But I thought about this last night. This is the… what? second? third? break I’ve taken from Facebook this year? That’s because I can’t deal with the vitriol, hyperbole, and just outright hate that so many of the people I love are spewing. And remember, I have less than 30 people on my Facespace. These are intelligent, loving, and honest people and I know that they are being driven by emotions (and somewhat by the slight anonymity of the internet). And I also understand that a lot of what’s being shouted from the rooftops is because we do live in a changing world, and that brings out the worst in people. But I don’t just have to deal with the 28 some-odd “friends” on my feed. I have to deal with their friends too. Because that’s how social media works. And let me tell you something, dear reader, there is no way for anyone to say to them, “You know, you might be wrong about this…” because any sign of any disagreement is met with: “If you’re not with us, you’re against us!” If not from my friends and family themselves, then by the people they have on their Facespace. That, my dear reader, is an echo chamber, where any and all disagreement is violently disputed and viciously attacked. It’s not just me being attacked. It’s everywhere.
For example: there is a person on my feed who crows (on her own feed) about how she puts people in their place — in public — for things those people said or did that offended her. Then she wonders why we live in such a vicious world… Because it’s okay when she does it, she has “right” on her side. But if anyone else does it, it’s just awful, isn’t it? I feel free to point this out because I’m almost certain she doesn’t read my blog (why would she?) and even if she does, she won’t recognize herself as someone who cuts people down. Because that would be a horrible thing to do, and she’s not a horrible person. Just ask any of her friends. They’ll tell you. She is a beautiful, kind, and caring person — who just happens to tell perfect strangers — loudly and in public, and who’ve done nothing to her — what terrible and awful people they are to have conversations others might overhear. Any suggestions that she might… you know… let people have private conversations are met with hostility and attacks. Not by her, she’s too loving and caring. No, it’s her “friends” who will tear a person down for daring to tell her that she’s anything but right.
But I digress. *sigh* A little. That’s just one example. But it’s things like the above that make me need to turn off Facebook. It might be for a little while, it might be forever. I’ve already signed out, but I haven’t deleted it. So this and subsequent blogs will be posted to my page. And I’ll probably share stuff so Doug will see it. Don’t let that fool you, facebook friends. I’m not going to be signing in. Not for a long time. My mind can’t take it any more. I’ll be trimming down my WordPress feed too — for much the same reasons.