Oh Facebook, I wish I could quit you.
I have to write this over here, trying to do anything on Facebook is destroying my calm faster and faster every day. I’ll try to keep it short because I’m just reacting, I don’t have anything real to say for myself – or rather, I don’t really have the time. This is just a few thoughts I need to purge myself of.
I’ve gotten enough benefit from using Facebook that I find it worth the bother. It is a lot of bother though. I hate most of its infrastructure and if I could redesign it I would probably tear it all apart and start from the ground up. It’s honestly a terrible tool, but the only one with a critical mass of users, and as far as modern agoras go, that’s all that matters.
So it has let me keep in touch with a few people and it has connected me with people connected to career and creative interests. So all that is very valuable and I’d be loathe to give it up. I have to balance that good against the crap design whenever I get so frustrated I think of quitting Facebook.
The thing pushing me to walk away from Facebook now is politics. It doesn’t have to do with how Facebook is designed, and everything to do with how people are acting and what they’re writing on FB that’s trying every last bit of my patience.
I hate scrolling past awful, attack-oriented macros while I’m barely getting to work on my first cup of coffee. I hate reading what otherwise lovely and delightful friends and family are saying about people who disagree with them politically. I hate the joy people are taking at watching the opposition tear itself apart (NB, the opposition of *both* parties). I hate seeing the sincere comments people leave about wishing for actual violence and real bloodshed among Americans.
And I HATE that people aren’t taking ownership of their words and implications. When liberals take specific glee at the violence at Trump rallies and openly hope the Right’s love the 2nd Amendment comes to violent riots and EXPLICITLY wish for murder to “thin the herd,” I am sick to my stomach. When I listen to conservatives offering apologia for Donald Trump’s blustering misogyny and racism because “whatever it takes to beat Hillary” I am beyond disgusted.
Politics is all compromise. It requires working with the other side, that’s the whole damn point. Trust me, as a dedicated Green-party member and someone who very resentfully lives a capitalist lifestyle, I can tell you with certainty pure idealism leaves no room to actually do anything. I don’t care if you have to “hold your nose” to get somewhere with someone, the point is you’re getting somewhere, not digging deeper the same shithole we’ve been festering in for years. Compromise is necessary to civilization. How am I the only person who caught that in Government class?
What the hell are people thinking? Is that supposed to fix something? Is letting people know your disdain for them really going to set you up better after the election? Is venting your thoughts really going to make you a better person? Is it going to encourage anyone to “shape up?”
Or is it going to ingrain the meme of “liberals are X, and conservatives are Y?” Is it going to encourage more repugnant rhetoric that doesn’t always stay verbal? Is venting really about something you have on your mind or is it going along with what friends are already chanting? Is it going to inspire and give solace to people with short fuses and ready armaments?
I’m fucking frustrated. Americans, I know you’re better than that, I’ve seen it for myself. Generous and funny, creative and decent… I can’t believe that you’re going along with it. Is forgetting all about “by the people for the people” in favor of “us vs them” really what we need right now? You know that “they” are really us, right?
What the fuck are you people doing??