Words do not always suddenly flow out and amazing things happen; it just doesn’t work that way. I am still enjoying myself immensely with this blogging experience. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed lately, though, and find myself frustrated. I’ve been trying to figure out why, when there has been so much going on in the news – and in general – that I haven’t been particularly motivated or inspired to write in response to the events as I want. The truth is, however, that I am motivated; I am inspired. I just have so much that I want to say, I can’t focus, and when there’s too much of anything, I have a tendency to sort of shutdown shop.
I blame FB.
Okay, so – maybe only partly. I really blame myself. It all started…
I joined FB for one reason, and one reason only. To have a place to post pictures that my family could get to…seriously. In case you are wondering, that is not a good reason to join. I did not want to join – in fact – I had joined a few years ago. I did not last more than two weeks. Apparently, I’d forgotten that experience. Oh, and it turns out that no one except my mother is on Facebook anymore, and she had a broken computer. Late to the party, that’s me.
Well, I thought I’d give it a go. I started with one friend, and for about two weeks, I was quite happy with such a number, and I was actually enjoying myself. I tried out a couple of groups, commented on a couple of posts. It was fun. Then I started getting more friends. And that was fine – they were trickling in nicely and slowly – and I connected with some old High School friends. I was still enjoying the experience. I ended up backing out of all but one of the groups, because the volume of posts that I could give a crap about was ridiculous. And there were things going on in the news, such as threats to cut Funding for the Arts, and for Public Programming…and I like that stuff.
Then it happened.
Someone posted a “quote” by Sir Winston Churchill (please note the quotes around quote, and think “sarcasm”)
And I quickly shared the post on my own timeline with my profound “Kinda says it all, really.”
I was proud of myself. (perhaps a bit smug)
For about a week.
Then I thought about how quickly I shared that post without confirming that Winston Churchill actually said such a thing. It turns out that there’s no record that he did say those profound words.
I am angry.
I am angry at FB for providing a medium for the posting of manipulative propaganda (because really, that’s what it is – if I see one more ‘for my daughter’ post, I’m going to…probably do nothing…and thank my mother.)
I am most angry with myself – for falling for it, and – strangely – I’m embarrassed.
I feel that I am better than what I consider such an irresponsible information exchange. I know better. I thought. It’s embarrassing.
My only consolation is that someone said or wrote those words. I still completely agree with the sentiment. Who knows, maybe Sir Winston Churchill said it in some aside at an obscure dinner party… or maybe some body who believed themselves a nobody, thought it, wrote it down, and credited someone whom he or she believed would have more credibility. It’s maddening.
I don’t really blame FB for the above situation; it’s truly my responsibility to fact check.
© L. Rose
I was originally going to title this post “I Blame FB…,” a little light-hearted look at my experience with social-media. I have been wanting to write about this for a while, and finally found the words tonight. In light of recent events, however, I kind of wish I hadn’t; it’s a little too light-hearted for how I’m feeling right now. The experience with the quote really did throw me. After that discovery a few other major news events happened and I found myself drowning in my own thoughts. I couldn’t write it out – notes all over the place – all of them useless and disconnected.
As always, I welcome your comments and feedback. Thank you for reading! ~ Linda
On a much more serious note, I can’t neglect to comment on the recent abuse of and on FB. In a horrific abuse of a public medium, the world has been exposed to far too much recently in crime videos (and fake news). In a perfect example of why I’ve been so quiet lately, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know how to formulate my thoughts in to comprehensible words. More importantly, I don’t have any offering on a solution. FB is merely a tool, something which was created with an intent to join people socially, and in typical human fashion, we have contaminated the original design… in every way.