I am not going to lie… I was a facebook addict. Being an avid reader it was a wonderful place for me. I have always said that one of my favorite things is to visit a book store. I always feel like a kid in a candy store. I have also always asked for gift certificates to books stores, as I love buying a new book, but they can sometimes be pricey. My family never listens. But I digress. I found facebook to be endless entertainment. My newsfeed flowed with all of my favorite things. Stunning sunset videos from Paris. Beautiful art from facebook groups I was in, created by artists like me. Colorful photos of Disney parks. Sprinkled with updates from my friends. I had curated a lovely, colorful, happy newsfeed. Then it all changed.
One day politics slipped in. Everywhere. My friends posted their views, some I agreed with some I did not. The lovely groups that I adored would have posts about Americans not being welcome. People gave their opinion excessively. I would type my comment out, then think about it and backspace it to delete it. On rare days I would post it, and I would get backlash. When I say I posted a comment, it would not be a raging lunatic post, just a simple sentence or two on how I was feeling. Alas I could not do this. I sometimes would post asking what the other side thought they were getting from their side. I truly wondered if my opinion was wrong. I love to hear the other side. Perhaps they would change my mind. But even that would go sour. I found there was no place for me on facebook. My curated newsfeed had turned fustrating and no longer was enjoyable.
This worries me. I feel that one side is snuffing the other. We cannot simply harass, block, or silence one side. Unless of course that side is truly violent or wrong. But even then, how does that get chosen? Some of the awful things said by one side hardly get noticed, but one post questioning something causes an uproar. I do not think that there is free speech anymore. I think that it is now speech curated by wealthy software developers that do not see the danger in stifling one side. And it is quite scary. I know many, many people that are afraid to say anything, even something reasonable for fear of retribution.
Do people realize that in China you are heavily regulated? They determine what shows you watch, with none being shown that show revolutions, and they even change characters in story’s from monks to other subjects, to silence people. They watch people in their country, and it is far from a free state. And make no doubt they are watching us. Many countries are. Our implosion is not going unnoticed. And is is frightening. There are countries that have people to provoke us on social media. Don’t believe me? Do some research and see how they try to divide us.
I fear for my family and granddaughter with the state of affairs that we are in. We must do better. We must. We must try to be patient with others that do not have our view point. We must not post about how they “disgust” us. We must work to find common ground. Because what we are leading up to is not good.
I miss facebook, I am not going to lie. But I cannot return with the way it is. I am hoping with the new administration things will calm down, and I can return to my peaceful, wonderful newsfeed. I can only hope.