Refugees, Vaginas, and Guns, Oh My!

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.

Thanks Facebook.

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 Facebook.

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.

monument

But you didn’t. Time to go back to school America.

Educated electorate my ass.

Time for me to log the fuck out.

9 thoughts on “Refugees, Vaginas, and Guns, Oh My!

    • Yes, you’re a wise woman. Unfortunately there are things where they “get ya.” Like many friends who ONLY do invites through Facebook. I tell myself that “real” friends will remember to text the people not on Facebook but often things get lost in the shuffle. Also, now with this blog, Facebook is a MAJOR marketing tool. Then there are the people that I only know through Facebook, an old professor, another writer etc. If I delete my account entirely I will lose them forever. It’s a bitch I tell ya.

      • Yes I certainly lost touch with people, some of those I am fine with and some are a true bummer. I found, however, it doesnt really affect my day to day living and, as you said, true friends stay in touch otherwise and not true friends – well, I just dont need em. Harsh but true.

        The blog, I agree, is another animal.

  1. Yes cousin! My stomach has been in knots over the craziness… makes me more determined to raise intelligent, courageous and KIND children for the future!

  2. Annie-I remember when you took that first break from FB, and I was saddened not to see or read about daily happenings with you and the kids. I thought to myself, who would want to stop FB, yeah it has its negative side but for the most part it’s so much fun! THEN I too got sucked into the political crap and trying desperately to express my views (mainly on work/union FB pages due to my company wanting to bring in new planes and change our contracts) I was begging my husband to read what I wanted to post, to help me get my point across even better and he said “why the fuck do you care what this imbeciles say or what they think of you?” and the light bulb went on. I LOVED the easy sharing of pics with family and friends from my past and present, the quickness of a reply that yes I do “like” what you are showing and saying…but in the end I was laying in bed rehashing in my mind all the shit I had read that day, the hours spent scrolling trying to find fact vs fiction and I too had to say enough is enough. Beginning of September around 10pm I just clicked that delete account-no words to anyone, I had to walk away-actually run away in terror to be honest. I didn’t like where I was spending my time and the negative thoughts that were consuming me.
    Those first few days were pretty hard, I’m not going to lie. And yes, so many peeps I only knew on FB and didn’t have their information, but I have reached out to those that I want to stay in contact (you can still use Messenger without a FB account) and I was very surprised how many of my friends contacted me or my family when they didn’t see me posting anymore!
    I thought at the beginning I would calm down and return to FB, now I don’t think that will happen anytime soon.

    • Yes, Steph I had noticed you weren’t on there. Back when I took the original break in January I came to realize FB feels like a physical place. As in, I felt like I had to “show up” there every day. After I left it felt like I had slipped out the backdoor at a party and no one noticed. It was freeing.

      At this point I’d love to delete my account but I can’t because it’s linked to my business page. In 2016 I’m going to explore other avenues of marketing and if they work out I think I’ll definitely be deleting my account.

      And the realization you had, the way you describe it, that’s EXACTLY how I felt.

      But now, Instagram, that’s a helluva good time. lol

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