Thursday, October 21, 2021

I double-dog dare you to post this!

     Maybe we don't need the law to rein in Facebook. Maybe eventually people will just get bored with it.
     I certainly am.
     Every morning I dump my column, or blog post, in the little "What's on your mind?" oblong, to afflict others with it ... whoops, so eager readers can find it there. For the clicks. And I at least try to look at what Facebook friends are posting, to see what folks are talking about. 
     But it's a fairly empty experience. People I don't know celebrating their anniversaries. Posting motivational poems. Sharing their vacations. Ads for stuff I don't want. And odd, out-of-left-field challenges. Like this:
     "Someone once said, “When you love someone with dementia you lose them more and more everyday. When they are diagnosed, when they go through different stages, when they go into care and when they die. ‘Rapidly shrinking brain’ is how doctors describe it. As the person’s brain slowly dies, they change physically and eventually forget who their loved ones are. They can eventually become bedridden, unable to move and unable to eat or drink.”
     A former college classmate, my age. Not sharing grim news of her own, but a canned chain letter. It ended:
     "There will be people who will scroll by this message because dementia has not touched them. They may not know what it's like to have a loved one who has fought or is fighting a battle against dementia. To raise awareness of this cruel disease, a special thank you to all willing to post to their timeline."
     Or ..... there may be people whose lives have been abso-fucking-lutely touched by dementia, and are all for "sharing awareness," but just aren't into tiny symbolic gestures, those happy pink ribbons that insulting suggest you can beat back bad old Mr. Cancer if only you keep a really positive attitude, and chafe against the I-double-dog-dare-you-to-post-this ethos that so infects Facebook. Like we're all in sixth grade. I thought of commenting. But that sparks all this Punch-and-Judy bickering that ends nowhere, and I just don't have the energy for that. I unfollowed her instead.
     Yes, it's good for people to be aware. And given how many people don't understand medicine, science, vaccines, who can't differentiate between an example and proof (Colin Powell dying of COVID despite being vaccinated is no more an indictment of vaccines than someone dying in a car crash despite wearing a seatbelt undercuts the advisability of seat belts) they need all the awareness they can get.
     But the flip side of awareness is over-stimulation. Everything, from everyone, all the time. The demonstrably untrue assertion that we can combat something just by lavishing our precious attention over it. That's sometimes true. But you can also combat something by focusing less attention on it. The less time on social media, particularly Facebook, the better. You don't need the government to tell you that.


  1. Thanks for this! I too am getting annoyed by this whole "raising awareness" thing, especially as it pertains to cancer. What sentient adult of normal intelligence is *unaware* of cancer? If you want my attention, much less my money, talk about specifics like encouraging screenings, funding research, helping with the cost of care, etc.

  2. FB apologists will say things like, “I know its evil but it’s a good way to share pictures with friends and family.”
    Zuckerberg and the like shuck their responsibility for all the nonsense that spreads on their money makers by saying they are just the platform and can’t really control what is posted.
    Why can’t they be held responsible? They are the ones who target the susceptible.
    Maybe some lawyer can teach me something. How about your kids Neil?

  3. Radio stations and TV stations are responsible for their brodcasts. Why is this platform any different? Now Zuck wants to change the name? Okay, whatever. He maintains that his out-of-control mosnter is really all about YOU. So maybe he should just call it Zuck You.

    If he renames it, does that mean I can't call it Fecesbook anymore?

    1. I don’t think you can equate Facebook with the broadcast media. Radio and TV stations are either producing or paying for the content they put out. They don’t provide a platform for any Tom, Grizz, or Coey to share their thoughts. Plus, they use the public airwaves. Facebook is more like a bulletin board. That doesn’t mean they can’t or shouldn’t have some standards about what their users can put out there, but it’s just not the same thing.

  4. When I first signed on to Facebook I made the mistake of having it on my cell phone. I hated it I don't need to be prompted to check out some stupid post.

    After I look at EGD I check Facebook every morning.

    A few months ago the annoying s*** on the book was really getting to me coupled with zuckerberg's face being all over the news and I nearly shut it off.
    But I don't really want to the things that I like about Facebook I want the other things I figured out how to purge.

    It's not easy and one of my kids had to help me but I don't see nearly as much crap as I used to almost none some days and I also purged my friends list down to less than a hundred and the criteria was people I actually know.
    Some of them post crap I don't want to see and I snooze them for a month and if when I get back on they keep doing that I snooze and permanently.
    If they DM me some stupid crap which has happened like these Mass DMs I unfriend them.

    You only have to look at what you want to look at and I'm glad it's not Facebook's responsibility to decide what I want to look at and if they allow me to tailor the site to my pleasure.

    These phones are evil the apps are evil hell the newspapers are evil. I just tried to avoid the s*** I have no interest in or annoys me.

    1. Your phone, like Facebook, is a tool. Like a hammer, it’s intrinsically neither bad nor good. Some people are more adept at handling the tool, and some people use it for more benign purposes than others.

      Whether Facebook is on your phone, tablet, or computer, you are in control of what you’re notified about. But it is a business, and they want you using it!

    2. I work with tools all day. None of them track my whereabouts. Collect data on my I terests and purchases. Tools are not funneling me to information sites or goods and services providers. Phones are used for evil purposes by corporate entities.

    3. You can, if you choose, prevent this data collection. If you don’t, it’s because you choose to exchange it for your own ends. There ain’t no free!

  5. I use it with about 50 “friends”. It may be kinda stupid sometimes but not evil. The people who learn the patterns and manipulations going on are smart enough to limit it or quit it. Trouble arises for the believers who get sucked into the vortex of idiocy.


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