Facebook (FB) is today’s prominent social network, overtaking Myspace circa 2008, and as such, a widely exploited electronic process that allows family and so-called friends to stay in touch. At least that is the intention. One sends out and receives “friend requests” for acquaintances near and far. While most people seem to maintain a friend list of less than 100, others have thousands (count ‘em). A thousand friends? I mean, seriously, folks, get a grip. Comment: Anyone with 1,000 “friends” is probably trying to sell something. |
With Facebook, instead of writing individual letters one may write a “post”, and send it to all on their “friend” list. One may also send and receive photos and videos. Neat huh?
However, the prevailing human condition since the days of antiquity is to abuse and/or corrupt systems for one’s own agenda and purpose, no matter how well-intentioned the organism. It’s in our DNA—we’re dirtbags. And so it is with Facebook, especially since the 2016 federal elections. What a lightning rod!
Remember when you grew up, and were taught manners? (Hmmm, I may be dating myself.) Then one was taught there were three items of discussion NEVER to bring up socially; viz., religion, politics, and baseball. To do so was considered poor taste--gauche. Many of today’s Facebook-users either lack home training (i.e., manners) or just don’t care. They blurt out anything that fits their worldview—a worldview usually given to them by others (DNC, RNC, NEA, SEIU, et.al.)—with an in-your-face, end-of-discussion attitude. I find the lack of social grace among US citizens to be downright depressing. One bit of fallout is that the youngsters are abandoning Facebook in favor of Snapchat, citing FB has been taken over by older, grouchy people.
Off-the-wall posts include: send an “Amen” forward for some cause du jour; forward-this “whatever”-for-good-luck; try this recipe; etc. And then there’s the humble-bragging. This type of post typically contains a gazillion pictures of (choose one, some, or all): vacations (we had such a wonderful time); sunsets from their home (best in the country); fancy-schmancy meals either at home or at fancy-schmancy bistros (we also had a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne); the person on his/her birthday begging for compliments (you look so young)…the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong, some are heartfelt and innocuous with an intent to inform; but many are over-the-top, look-at-me attempts at self-esteem boosting—at least that’s my take. Even at that, the posts are relatively flaccid (if annoying) with the unintended consequence of many on their “friend list” finding unnecessary humor at the expense of the poster. Harmless enough, I suppose.
For me, by far the most irritating posts are from friends (?) attempting to foist their personal political views / agenda on me and everyone else on their list. Hey, folks, in my world that’s gauche! So far on my page, the leftwing bomb-throwers are whining, blathering, and name-calling at about an 80 to 20 majority as compared to their rightwing whack-o counterparts. The latest lefty celebration is about the FBI raiding Trump’s lawyer for information; the same FBI that crept away tail-between-legs when Hillary’s lawyer claimed attorney-client privilege regarding her “deleted” emails. The lefties see nothing inconsistent about the incongruity.
In the months leading up to the aforementioned election, post after post, featured videos of TV talking heads, media, and politicos, including the lame duck president, openly snickering at the notion that the candidate with the funny hair could win. They also firmly, fist-pounding-on-the-desk scolded, “He must accept the results of the election.” The opposing candidate—the media’s darling—was also featured sneer-laughing at the notion, citing those who would support her opponent were a “basket of deplorables”. Her followers immediately (in electronic and print media) piled on by labeling the followers of her opponent as idiots, woman-haters, racists, Islamophobes, etc. Here’s a question: If a political party is trying to win hearts and minds of middle-roaders, how does referring to them in those terms help? A caucus originally built on the back of the white (oh, dear, I said it) working man, has abandoned them, and become a bi-coastal party of academic elites, media, and Hollywood—an effete corps of impudent snobs.
Since the election, hate, discontent, and name-calling has reached (in my opinion) a zenith. There seems to be a faction of the populace that prefers to see the country fail rather than any part of the new administration succeed. Facebook is full of “not-my-president” and “resist” tags. If one wants to have a discussion with these folks, they are shouted down, ignored, and considered as enemies. I have some as neighbors. What they have in common is 1) bigtime sore loser mentality; 2) 24/7 irrational anger; and 3) completely devoid of ANY sense of humor. Here’s the kicker: they were like that before the election. But the other side has their moments as well. I know a staunch conservative from Southern California who has arbitrary anger directed at anyone not sharing his worldview. Upon seeing Facebook photos of formally dressed relatives at a Palm Springs gala, he went into full Alinsky / Castro socialist mode, accused them of “opulence”, and said he never wanted to see them again.
Well and good. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, right? The trouble for me is that a relatively small number of my so-called Facebook friends are almost daily proselytizing for their political agenda—both sides. The problem is that this “small number” comprises about 80-percent of the posts. I didn’t sign up for that. Oh, and all their facts are “TRUE” while the facts of their opponents are “FAKE”. I’m sooo not interested in their vindictive rhetoric, which I consider a complete and total waste of my life. However, I am open to face-to-face discussion as long as it’s a dialog and not a dual monolog. What I mean is that some people cannot get off from their particular talking points; that is, instead of actually listening to the other person, they revert to their monotone mantra “script”.
A departing axiom for my “friends”: All forms of socialism, communism, and democracy are frauds. History has taught us, based on the human condition, that a ruling class always emerges and enriches itself.
With that in mind, I have given Facebook the old Italian screw you sign (upraised-right-arm-left-hand-on-right-bicep). Un bel silenzio e tornado alla mia vita; that is, my days are so much more peaceful and serene now.
By your working boy, Vilfredo Pareto
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