Last year I took a three month break from Facebook. I even wrote a piece about it but never published it because it was one of those obnoxious “10 Things I learned when I left Facebook” things. Lately I’ve been wanting to sign off, permanently.
I could say it’s the manipulation of my newsfeed to elicit emotion but that’s only part of the problem. Facebook does that, you know? They fill your feed with either negative or positive things to see if you’ll post using certain adjectives. They have a huge psychological research team. It’s not a secret. I’ve listened to many interviews with psychologists who work at Facebook. Last summer my friend posted about her son getting lost at a baseball game and used the story as an example of how easily children can drown at a pool party. For the next few weeks my news feed was filled with stories about children drowning.
It’s a lot of things, but lately I’m having a very difficult time suffering fools. People sharing articles without realizing it’s from a website that spins propaganda. People posting fake statistics. Just entirely fake, as if facts aren’t a thing. Trump anyone? I mean really, when an entire civilization thinks that facts are up for debate, that we can choose which facts are true, we have a giant problem. This utter loss of intellectualism has happened to the world before. It was called The Dark Ages. Pick up a history book folks. You really don’t want to do this again.
Then there are the Christians using their religion to argue with each other about the whole Syrian refugee debacle. And all I can do is sit there and scratch my head and wonder why religion is involved in that discussion at all. Why do you need to be reminded your Jesus was kind, even showing compassion to lepers and whores? Are you such an awful, self-centered person that the only thing that gets through to you is Jesus? Jesus, love incarnate. But you, you as a human, you’re garbage without that reminder I guess. Without Jesus you would look at those drowning people fleeing slaughter and feel nothing?
This is not about your religious ideology. This is about being human. If you cannot show love outside of religion, then you’re not a good person.
I mean yes, we all get annoyed when someone posts something political that we don’t agree with. But if your world view is based in kindness and facts I will respect it even when I don’t agree.
But if you post propaganda, if you facilitate the spread of ignorance by pushing the ‘share’ button. I’m fucking done. I cannot be nice.
In the last week I’ve unfriended three people simply for posting ignorant shit. And I don’t mean things I personally find ignorant. No, I mean actual ignorance. The misquoting or twisting of facts. The sharing of articles from websites that can only be defined as propaganda. I have no interest in seeing the inner racism and ignorance of my online friends via social media. No thanks, I’d rather read articles about drowning babies.
Then there was the Planned Parenthood shooting.
So yeah, gun control and Planned Parenthood talked about together. What a fucking delight! Hey and while we’re at it, let’s have congress defund Planned Parenthood at the same time and throw in a massacre in California to boot! But wait, oh we’re not done yet!
Wait for it, wait… for… it…
The shooters are Muslim and have links to ISIS, or maybe they just “self radicalized” (because that’s a thing now) the way crazy people do when they get bored raising their beautiful baby girl.
Oh yeah friends, grab the fucking popcorn. Let’s do this shit!
I’m done. I really am.
It’s the first time in my entire life that it’s really getting to me. I’m waking up in the middle of the night. I’ve become every old man reading the newspaper at the breakfast table and muttering, “The world’s gone to shit.” I’m going on acidic rants while standing in the kitchen talking to my husband. He just nods in agreement and listens. Then he tells me that there are these people who actually believe the shooting at Sandy Hook never happened, just like those morons who think the holocaust was a lie. Apparently it was all staged in order to get the public to favor stricter gun control. [Yeah, that worked out]
And my brain explodes right there in the kitchen. Like gasoline on a goddam fire.
I go to bed seething.
I wake up in the morning and like a mental patient I log back onto Facebook to enjoy some more crazy.
Then it dawns on me that it’s not the news. It’s not the refugees fleeing evil while being labeled as having the potential for evil. It’s not the shootings, or even the never ending subjugation of American women.
Nope. That’s just status quo in America.
It’s the ability to actually sit and watch as America brainstorms with their 8th grade reading level and their inability to decipher the difference between entertainment and real news. I’m watching your thoughts friends, and I’m trying to remind myself of what I love about you. I’m trying to be tolerant. I’m trying to focus on your good qualities. I’m wishing everyone had really paid attention in their rhetoric class. I’m wishing you’d taken statistics, or logic and reasoning. I’m wishing you’d taken it, aced it, and remembered how to question information and the media.
But you didn’t. Time to go back to school America.
Educated electorate my ass.
Time for me to log the fuck out.