In some ways, I'm a bit of a music nut. My life feels like it has a soundtrack... or maybe it's just a case of there always being music in the background, when I work; when I write; when I drive; when I garden.
It might have been back in the 1990's I first told someone that "Music is my mind-altering substance of choice." That still holds true.
I'll be the first to admit that what I tend to listen to is a bit esoteric. Don't expect top-40 pop. Don't expect classic album rock. Don't expect generic heavy metal. My genre choices pretty much defy categorization.
But that's not the point I'm trying to make here.
The point is that I often like to share some of the tunes I am listening to. But sharing music is an interesting and often thankless experience. Maybe even a lonely experience.
The vast majority of folks will click on a link to a tune they "remember" or are familiar with, but very few will take a chance on something they've never heard of before.
After a while, I pretty much stopped sharing music on Facebook, perhaps because the pointlessness of it made itself so evident.
The heart of a poppy, in extreme close-up
I stopped, because I experienced pretty much zero interaction with what I shared... and whereas I was often looking at other people's music shares, I just didn't have the interest in following up on some tune that was eternally on the radio, six years ago.
But that's the nature of social! People respond to the "me too" sensations of seeing something known, rather than curiosity at learning about something they've never seen before.
Of course, this wasn't exactly why I largely faded away from Facebook.
That mostly happened in 2016-17... due to the sheer unpleasantness of human nature I saw displayed — in glorious technicolor — during the 2016 US Presidential primaries and election... and the start of the Trump Presidency.
Bunny in our back yard...
Endless fighting and bickering... long time friends feuding and blocking each other in this public arena, simply over their political leanings. 20-year friendships ending over "draining the pond" and "pussy grabbing."
It is not in my nature to think someone an idiot and condemn them, simply because they don't think like I do. I even explained this to many folks I thought were good and reasonable people... and was surprisingly often met with some variation of "You're just one of those wishy-washy liberals who lacks conviction... and the fact that you're not FIGHTING just shows that you REALLY aren't convinced your choice is right!"
I guess traits like "courtesy" and "respect" have become "very 20th century." Or something.
I just don't happen to think that "Verbal Abusiveness" is a sound or desirable debating technique. Clearly, I am not relevant to the majority of the world.
Many moons ago, I found myself in discussion with an "activist" who was enraged about something to do with Exxon-Mobil and was trying to organize boycotts and demonstrations at the company's branded fuel stations.
I asked her what she was hoping to accomplish... the inevitable answer was "change!"
I suggested that change comes when you render something you're opposed to powerless in your life.
Blowing up or protesting what you don't like typically will make a LOT of noise while resulting in relatively LITTLE change. 100s of years ago, when the villagers showed up with pitchforks and torches at the landowners' castle, the landowners mostly just built taller walls.
Blowing up refineries and picketing fuel stations will also create a lot of "noise."
Riding an e-bike and charging it from solar cells... renders the entire product you're protesting against irrelevant, thereby taking the power of what you dislike away... true change comes when a viable alternative becomes more attractive than that we have grown tired and disgruntled with.
For a While...
... I was more active on Facebook. I mostly fooled the algorithms that exist to serve each person up a version of their own personal echo chamber by reading (and "liking") equal amounts from both sides of the story.
We're not supposed to do that, in our 21st century paradigm of polarity. Choose a side and worship it fanatically, while condeming anyone on the other side.
In time, I recognized that people on all sides of the argument were being rude, crude and socially unacceptable in their approaches... while all selling themselves the false narratives that they were the ones taking the moral high ground; the high road.
I realized that BEING right had become more important than working towards a right OUTCOME.
Alas, everybody's shit stinks... and the only way to move beyond it to (A) recognize that it's shit and (B) admit that yes, it does stink. And maybe, if we all get together with our respective manure, we can come up with something that fertilizes the earth... for everyone.
In any case, I went from being a pretty active and "involved" person on Facebook to being mostly a shadow, occasionally sharing a few posts of others... occasionally putting in a small public "plug" for ventures I was involved in.
Change happens when you choose to make something irrelevant...
That's pretty much all I have time for, today. But there will be more to this story, in weeks ahead.
Thanks for reading!
How about YOU? What are your feelings about Facebook? Still using it? What keeps you there, if you are? If you left, were there specific reasons for that? Comments, feedback and other interaction is invited and welcomed! Because — after all — SOCIAL content is about interacting, right? Leave a comment — share your experiences — be part of the conversation!
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Created at 20200707 16:14 PDT