I read an article the other day about Big Data and what took place last year. It plays in really nicely with all the dystopian literature I’ve been consuming lately. And I swear I am not losing my mind. I feel pretty solid as of late. But I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m worried about the future of this country. This administration scares the shit out of me. And I feel like there is absolutely nothing I can do to slow it down. I feel totally powerless. I haven’t ever felt this politically powerless before. I always felt there were checks and balances and that “bad guys” with agendas could only go so far within the Federal Government before someone decent stepped up to say, “NOT SO FAST! You can’t do that! That is wrong.”
But that doesn’t seem to be happening anymore. And we the people, we have these voices and we can take these voices to the street and we scream and we can chant and stop traffic but it doesn’t do anything. It doesn’t change anything because the people we are asking to change, well, virtually ALL OF THEM seem to be who we’re screaming out against. They are all in charge.
I feel completely impotent.
I have always wanted us to discover extraterrestrial life, but now more so than ever. Perhaps if some third party steps in and says, “Wow, you people are right fucked up!” We’ll change. I mean, clearly we can’t rely on God stepping up and saying anything; we’ve given that dude like 200,000 years, six or so million if you want include our ancestors. It’s been idle silence from that bloke. I’ve given up on hearing from that bloke.
So, yeah. Alien invasion. Let them set our asses straight.
But that’s not what this post is about. Not yet. I have one in the works, but it requires actual research and I need to get my head in that space first.
This was about deleting Facebook.
I deleted Facebook because I found the article I linked to above deeply disturbing. And I can’t help but wonder how things would have turned out had Facebook (and Twitter) NOT played such a massive role in our recent election. (Brexit, too.) I feel like a toy, like a puppet, a pawn.
It’s all been very upsetting to me.
All those fake articles I saw being passed around all over Facebook. Total madness there. Plus, no one seems to be reading a thing anyone says anymore and instead they’re just becoming outraged or, worse, they have the opposition hidden from their timeline. (Guilty.) It’s becoming an echo chamber. So a few days ago, I re-followed every last person I had unfollowed and within a day I was thoroughly upset again.
This morning, when I stopped back by one last time to download my archives (yes, you can do that on Facebook!) and delete pictures of my kids, an extended family member was on there calling people idiots for protesting again and chanting “IMMIGRANTS ARE WELCOME HERE.” She went on to say that if we truly believe that, then we should invite them into our home. And so, I responded. One of my very last comments left on Facebook was one letting her know that I was one of the idiots chanting that very slogan on Sunday. I went on to reassure her that I absolutely would welcome a refugee/immigrant into my home. And I mean that. I am not sure if Toby would be onboard; we would have to discuss it, but I absolutely would open my home up to Syrian refugees. I have stated as much on Facebook and I am doing so here and now as well.
It’s the right thing to do. We are all in this together. Compassion and gratitude. I repeat these words to myself over and over again nowadays. I’m trying desperately to show more of both.
We aren’t idiots. And my extended family member probably wouldn’t have used the word idiot had we been sitting around a dinner table. (At least I hope not?) But Facebook has this way of allowing us to forget that there are people reading our thoughts and the more you take in, the crazier the thoughts make you feel. This is ON TOP of the fact that Facebook continues to gather information about us, information WE GIVE THEM and then uses it to manipulate us in return.
So, I’m done. I’m gone. I did post a note saying as much and a few folks reached out to me with email addresses and phone numbers so I can keep in touch. And I plan on writing a LOT more over here because this is a safe place, more or less. My data here won’t be used against me and no one can force me to look at any ads. And I won’t force anyone who stops by to read any ads. I won’t sell you anything. And I won’t gather any of your information and use it against you.
You have my word on that.
So, here I am. Full circle. I started writing here back in 2001. Kept it strong through 2009. Then social media took over and I ran off to embrace that, just like everyone else had. Well, I’m back. My thoughts will go here. And if no one reads them, that’s OK too. Because quite honestly? At the end there? I think half of my Facebook friends had unfollowed me anyway.
Raising my hand – I always read you here. And sometimes on Twitter. Came for Murray and the kids…stayed because I appreciate your excellent and thought-provoking writing (and Murray).
I understand the problems with Facebook. I find myself reading the fake news that some of my friends post, and it makes me angry. I end up wanting to respond, with lots of exclamation points and capital letters and all that. But I have refrained in 99% of cases, if for no other reason than the whole exercise gets my blood boiling, and having boiling blood is bad for me and my immediate family (read: those poor souls who have to live with that angry person). I am certain that I have not changed the mind of a single person, and the reverse is true.
Having said that, I have started to block a few people, although rarely — only those people I am not really friends with “in real life,” the people I haven’t seen since high school, the people who I added in the early days of Facebook glee that I could probably pass on the street and not recognize. I have also started blocking certain websites that some of my actual friends post from, because that way I have an opportunity to see the pictures of their kid/dog/vacation without the political vitriol. Obviously, that solution is only a partial band-aid, but it helps.
But. There are a few close friends, truly close friends, that have shown me how little we have in common anymore. And that hurts. It seems like we don’t agree on anything. It’s not as though I am so insecure that I need all of my friends to think, act, and believe exactly what I do, but when you thought that you were in the same general realm and you find out HELL NO, well, it hurts. I feel like I have a few of those close people becoming “not close” people. I can’t decide if it’s a good thing to have discovered the underlying truths or if I would prefer that we just keep on believing we’re close, even if the bond is based on “we used to work together and we had a lot of laughs and we hung out at each other’s houses and we like the beach.”
I hear ya, Milissa. I often refrain from getting into it on there because it does just make me angry. And I don’t want to be angry.
I listened to this book on tape recently about how to get back into some sort of strong, peaceful state. I listened to it while I was running. And on one of the days they suggest avoiding all news that is negative and/or upsetting. At least for a while and especially before bed. (It can ruin our sleep when we go to bed holding such ugly thoughts.) So this was what started the FB delete thing. Because a LOT of what I see there is so so very negative. No one is listening to anyone else anymore. No one reads anything. It seems that more and more the folks who should be talking (right vs. left) in order to hopefully change the course of things, have each other blocked or have unfollowed people. (I was SO guilty of this. I had almost my entire extended family blocked because we didn’t see eye to eye politically. And the volatile toward Hillary Clinton was painful.)
I want to try and make a change and being on Facebook wasn’t doing that. Instead, I think it was making me feel worse sometimes. Granted, I also had some amazingly fun, hilarious times on FB so it won’t go away easily.
I would like to quit FB but I’m torn about it. I go on there lately to speak up. To say, “That is not true!” when I see the lies and propaganda. To show the weak people who follow the crowd that there is another crowd to follow. I know I have changed SOME minds. Once in a while, someone who has been quiet, who I feared was a Trump follower, shocks me and says something against that monster. I think my outspokenness gives them courage. But I definitely get you. At the same time, it is making me sick. I am sick to know there are so many uneducated, ignorant, mean people in the world; in my very circle. I am sick that I do not like these people anymore.
What dystopian literature are you reading? I just finished watching “1984” again. Of course that book is in my library. But they’re playing the movie again on TV. It’s beautifully done, if you haven’t seen it. Ironically, John Hurt who played Winston, recently died. Now he’s trending on FB. If I was a religious girl, I would say that God works in mysterious ways. Does God want people to look him up so they watch the movie and maybe learn something?
Since January 1, I’ve read:
The Library and Mount Char
On The Beach
The Man in the High Castle
The Wolf Road
Just started Station Eleven today.
I didn’t mind the fighting too too much on FB, but the amount of info they gather and use against us or lure us in, that makes me uneasy.
Twitter does it too, but I guess not as bad. And Instagram is owned by Facebook now, so I may even have to delete that.
I will check those out. Thanks.
I’m considering it. It;s hard because I keep on top of local actions and meetings through FB but the amount of comments I’m leaving or reading that are upsetting is – well, upsetting.
I know. I was using it for marches and local events. But I’m hoping I can keep that happening via email and text. I don’t want to miss anything important. I’ll make my friend Corie keep me updated. :]
I’ll read your words wherever they are <3
I was just thinking. I think the reason I’m upset over Facebook the most is because I am in grief over people who I had know idea what was really inside them. Especially the ones who I thought “were nice.” It’s like a death.
I’m here and I’ll keep reading.