Monday, November 14, 2016

Me and Facebook (and Google+)

Facebook has sure been a hot mess this election season. Memes from fly-by-night "news" sites, often with names that suggest a Christian-ish source, often explicitly conservative, putting forth shear unadulterated lies and spreading evil rumors as fact. In other words, social media's persistent and prevailing sin.

These meme's get passed on by often by well-meaning but undiscerning people. If the meme seems to be anti-Hillary, then that's all the credentials they need, I guess. If you point out the lies, they proceed to accuse you of having fallen prey to the MSM. You're probably controlled or even brainwashed. Very little of the interaction over political matters have amounted to anything but name-calling and the demonizing of folks with different views. No dialogue whatsoever!

So that's not good. What little I saw of Twitter was just as bad, but Google+ less so. Are Google+ users just more discerning and thoughtful? Has anyone done any comparisons of social media to see if some of them are more prone to this sort of thing than the others? Just wondering.

Anyway, I have a plan of sorts. I'm going to hide all memes at the source which display sarcasm, hatefulness, lies, or obscenity. This is just a matter of clearing the field. It's no use doing battle by calling out every person who shares this stuff. I'm just going to clean my house of it.

And as far as positive steps, I am going to aim at thoughtfulness, feature Jesus-centric worldviews, and avoid any semblance of political partisanship. I'll do my part to elevate the tone, but I'm afraid that will mean going beyond the echo-chamber sloganeering, spite, and killer placards. I don't for an instant believe that little-me is going to have some huge effect, but I'll do what I can.

About that "worldview" stuff. I am a Christian, and my politics is rooted in my faith, not the other way round. This means, to give you an example, that since Jesus came to set prisoners free, I'm not going to advocate putting more people in prison (illegal immigrants, flag-burners, etc.). It accomplishes nothing much and runs the near-certain risk of doing real soul-harm. So I am probably going to eschew talking politics at all except as a work that follows from faith (see the Epistle of James on that matter of the relation of works and faith).

I use Google+ to pass on what I consider to be thoughtful articles, often in depth, longish reads. Facebook is something I'm more likely use to converse with loved-ones. I'm aware that this blog has few readers (each post gets about 20 to 30 hits), but if you're reading this and you want to connect with me on Facebook or Google+, go ahead and do so. I'd appreciate it if you let me know that you're coming from this blog when you do so. Let's do our part to raise the tone around here!

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