So at the end of the day tomorrow I will be shutting down and deleting my final Social Networking / Social Media account – Facebook… which I’ve had since at least 2006. It was a decision that took a bit of time to work through; at a few points in the past, I’d strongly considered it only to be swayed by the idea of “but then I will loose contact with so-and-so”. The thing I’ve realized over the years is that if I can’t maintain contact with people because of my own (or their own) direct commitment to do so, forcing that process with on-line Social technology tools, maybe it is time to let go of certain contacts; the same way it is healthy to let go of some parts of my past.
But I’d be less than honest to not say that a big part of why I am letting go is the very nature of people I’ve encountered over the years. On the one hand, I have met some very nice people and reconnected with some friends through social media. But on the other hand, there is a blatant annoyance to the fact that a lot of people never really understood that when it comes to social settings (on-line included) there are some things you just shouldn’t publish and discuss. The two that I was always taught to avoid are politics and religion.
To be perfectly fair, I’ve not always been the best at skipping those topics myself, but I’ve gotten to the point where I realize that Social Networking brought out the worst of those tendencies in me… and it seems to do the same with other people as well. I’m not going into my feelings about any particular politician or party or anything here. I have decided, however, that being bombarded by that content has pushed me to the point of not wanting to interact anymore.
And my position on religion has changed greatly over the years, to the point where I can’t and won’t make organized religion a part of who I am. It’s not that I don’t believe in the possibility of God or anything. I’m not going to pass judgement against whether there is or isn’t. I sure as heck don’t have the ability to make that determination… and I sincerely doubt anyone else in the world does either. I will say, however, that nearly 40 years in, I just cannot see a value to participating in organized religion; nearly every Western-based one has proven to be lead by groups that contain, at the least, liars and connivers who have ruined the concepts of their own faith and demonstrated that it was more meant as a form of mind and population control than a genuine gathering of people who believe.
I don’t know what God would want, but I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t be the attitudes I see everywhere in the various organized branches of religions. So I choose to not participate.
What does that have to do with Social Networking and Social Media? I have seen yet another upswing in people attacking other religions, political opposites, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. It was bad enough when it was individuals posting that garbage on their walls and I ended up un-following and blocking a lot of individuals posts because it was tiring. For a time, that seemed to work. Unfortunately, people started then posting that sort of crap into the various groups and whatnot that I wanted to follow, and it seems like it just keeps getting worse.
Who you support politically / religiously / whatever has nothing to do with recipes for lemonade or N-scale trains. Yet I would see people posting that sort of crap all the time… and they’d claim it was subtle, but these people would apparently consider it subtle if you decided to stop termites from damaging your house by using nuclear weapons. What I’m saying is that this wasn’t the “Thank you, God for this day” stuff that is passive, and positive or at least can be taken as “this person is grateful for what they have and I can respect that”. No, it’s the “I need to push my version of belief in something that is an act of faith on everyone and if they don’t agree 100% they’re wrong and evil and it would be OK if they were bombed back to the stone age”.
You can believe whatever the heck you want to believe… but keep it to yourself.
When I unsubscribe to people who espouse that stuff but then still see it because they proceed to post it in common public forums, and keep doing it over-and-over, I choose to stop being part of those public forums. After seeing it in nearly every place I was trying to go to enjoy the actual topic in the title, I’ve realized that Facebook serves no purpose for me anymore.
And there’s more.
I’ve lost track of the number of data breaches that have explicitly or implicitly been reported with these social media services. I’m not blaming them for it happening. I know it’s hard to try to secure services like that, but frankly it’s just too much of a risk factor to stay involved on those services. It’s been a frustrating thing to see the sheer amount of data that is at risk from using a service that was meant to unite and connect people, but there you have it.
And of course, 1 or 2 jackasses that would best serve the planet by not participating in the natural cycle of breathing. I mean there is or are, specifically, 1 or 2 people who have harassed or annoyed my family and I for the past few years with direct evidence that they really have nothing of value in their lives. Facebook has served as their last means of conducting that sort of activity over the years, and if none of the other stuff about Social Networking seems worth holding on to, than this sure as heck is an even better reason to be done with the platform.
Don’t get me wrong. The idea of a platform to bring people together is a great concept. The technology to make that happens really is there. Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and other such services are mature enough to use… but I don’t consider humanity to be mature enough to use them properly; maybe some day they will be, but that sure as heck hasn’t happened yet.
I’m not sure where it started going wrong, but I know now that it definitely isn’t right. I will miss some aspects of these platforms, but I will not miss a great deal of the garbage that is out there.
So if you need to reach out to me in the future, you can do so through this site. If you want to keep up with my own doings, I’ll have them posted on here. If you want to know my views on topics… well, you can ask, but I’ll be reluctant to discuss some of those topics because they’re topics that I don’t feel need to be seen as a major part of me beyond what I’ve already said.
If you find that my reasoning is silly, or foolish, or you think less of me for not sharing your views – sorry to disappoint, but that’s exactly why I’m not discussing those topics further… it’s obvious we don’t see eye-to-eye on them, and I’d rather not discuss them at all given the choice.
Anyway, this will hopefully be one of the few serious (negative-sounding) posts I write. I’d prefer not having that sort of stuff out regularly. It’s not really what this site is for so hopefully the topic can be left to die from this point on.