Social (Media) Distancing

Social (Media) Distancing

It's been about six weeks since I put up a post on Facebook that I was going to drastically reduce my participation on that site. And it's going pretty well. I hardly have the shakes any more. I should probably check my blood pressure, I'm sure that's gone down. I certainly feel happier.

Actually, that needs some clarification. I feel less angry.

For a while there, it was a real issue. I would get on Facebook or Twitter, usually first thing in the morning, just waking up. And I would scroll until angry. Maybe angry multiple times, even. I would roll my eyes at people saying things I thought were wrong. Occasionally, I would shake my head at someone saying something I thought was kind of dumb or misinformed. But most often, I saw people saying things to let you know that they were on the side of the angels, and anyone who disagreed with them was (by definition) on the side of the devil. I never failed to find someone being mean. I never failed to find someone cloaking themselves in relative innocence by pointing at the faults of someone else.

And I would always end up frustrated. I would be headed to work and having an argument in my head. I would try to think about how I would phrase something, or how I could explain it better. I occasionally despaired at the tactics and words that people who agreed with my position were using.

Mostly, though, I had friends who would find the absolute worst, most egregious thing that a political opponent had said or done, and they would put it on display. It was a virtual version of the Wayne's World "Get a Load of This Guy Cam".

The Infamous Suck Kut

I think that's a lot of people, though. We crowdsource our outrage, and when you have a bunch of people doing the searching, the most egregious and boneheaded things are the ones you see. Eventually, you think that everyone who disagrees with you on an issue must be that kind of boneheaded and wrong.

And I'm better off not seeing the latest atrocity against all that is right in the world. I don't particularly care what Prominent Dunderhead A is saying and how Well-Respected Ninny-Noggin B is responding, etc., etc., etc.

Nowadays, I do most of my socializing on Discord. I have specific people that I like to keep up with, and Discord fills that need most adequately. Not perfectly, there are a couple of people who have not joined Discord that I'd like to keep up with, and those folks are on Facebook.

So I occasionally go back and glance around. And the zero to nuclear outrage problem is definitely still there. But what do I miss? What am I missing? What's the real draw?

Well, the folks that aren't on another platform. There's a couple of those folks out there, and the only way to keep up with what they're doing is to go back to Facebook and see. (EDIT: This is a low number.)

And Facebook marketplace. I love Facebook marketplace.

And that's pretty much it.

Anyway, the blog now allows comments (possibly a grievous tactical error on my part) and eventually I'll figure out how to get an RSS feed out of it, and we'll see where it goes after that.