Critical Mass

TSTIt’s Tuesday.   Top Sites Tuesday #208 and the subject is Facebook.  I am a casual Facebook user.   Bud has his personal page, here, and his alter ego, Older Eyes, has a page here.   I (Bud) post on Facebook a few times a week, maybe a family picture or something I saw at the park.  Once in a while, I’ll link to an article I found interesting.  Everything I (Older Eyes) post on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog shows up on Older Eyes page and because Bud likes Older Eyes (it would be quite odd if he didn’t, don’t you think?), Older Eyes’ posts show up on Bud’s home page, too.  Sometimes if I (Bud) especially like one of my (Older Eyes’) posts, I comment and share it on my (Bud’s) timeline.  Got it?   I (Bud) have never worried about having a million Facebook friends.  I almost never ask anyone to friend me and I pretty much ignore Facebook’s suggested friends of friends.  As a result, in four years on Facebook, I’ve gathered only 74 friends.  In the Facebook world, that makes me somewhat of a recluse, I suppose.  Older Eyes?  Well, he has only nineteen likes but he doesn’t get out much.  He’d appreciate if you’d drop by and like him, though.   Being a blogger under a pseudonym gets to be a little like having a split personality, don’t you think?

Just as in real life, my Facebook friends are a diverse group.  I don’t choose people of particular religions, particular politics or particular positions on social and lifestyle issues.   And in real life, that’s fine because we don’t talk about those things.   But here’s Thought Number One: A funny thingfbook happens on Facebook.  The same people I know from real life … family, neighbors, old friends, blogging friends, 12-step friends … seem to be much more opinionated.   I have far-right conservatives and far-right liberals offering me opinions on politics.   They tell me that Obamacare will lead to ruin and that it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to our country.  We need more government and we need less.  Someone actually posted something implying that Sandy Hook and the Boston bombing didn’t happen as reported, that the government is lying.  People tell me that guns are the root of all evil and that without them, we’ll lose our freedom.   There are people asking me to Like if I love Jesus and making fun of the religious.  People want to show me pictures of what they eat or drink.  There are hunters and PETA people… guys eating game they hunted down and others not eating anything that had a mother. They tell me Genetically Modified foods will make me sick and corn syrup will kill me … then someone else posts the tiramisu they had for dessert.

Fortunately, I’m sixty-nine.  I have no need to challenge … or even read … every opinion.  I’m OK with your religion and your politics and whatever it is you think it’s safe to eat.  I can chuckle at your misinformation or just pass it by.   If you want to show me every alcoholic beverage you consume, I’ll try not to assume you’re an alcoholic.  If you post something really dumb, I might hide it.  Occasionally, I’ve selected Show Only Important posts for friends that litter my pages but the truth is if Facebook actually did that, all pages would be blank.  Mostly, though, I just let the posts that annoy me disappear down the page.   It’s good for my character to remain so open-minded.  Still, there’s Thought Number Two: Could we just tone down the opinions just a little bit?   I’m afraid my Facebook page is reaching Critical Mass, that I’ll sign in one of these day and it will explode in my face.  And I can’t afford a new monitor.

So, tell me, am I the only one who’s noticed this?  And while you’re at it, please click my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #208.


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12 Comments on “Critical Mass”

  1. jenihill Says:

    Okay – I confess. I got a good chuckle today out of your post (Critical Mass) and your comparisons of all the varying bits of advice (if you want to call it that) via your posts and/or commentary online. I know the feeling all too well. Sometimes someone will say something and you think “What kind of batshit crazy person believes that?” and then, you get something else that makes you think that maybe there is a shred of evidence to it and other times, it may fit right into your own opinion slot too. Can be frustrating, slightly humorous and now and again, when it matches one’s own opinion, it can increase the ego a bit too, can’t it? But all in all, most times, I try to read and then, let it fly on by.

  2. Coming East Says:

    I don’t really look at Facebook except to make sure my post linked up since that’s the only place some of my friends look for me. Maybe I’m just not that social. I want to believe what I believe without having to convince or defend. Don’t know why some people feel they need to shove their opinions down our throats. Anyway, that’s my opinion, and you’d better believe it.

  3. cherperz Says:

    I am a Facebook underachiever. I think there is a constructive use for FB. Great that people can connect and keep track of family and friends, but I agree with you that it has become a venue for political opinions, religious leanings, and people’s preferences for all products. As with all things related to the Internet there is a lot of over-sharing, TMI, and rude postings. I try to take the good and ignore the rest.

    click

    • oldereyes Says:

      I just don’t understand why people post some of the things they do. Do they really think they’ll convince anybody of anything on Facebook? And people showing what they eat and drink just cracks me up.

  4. Trina Says:

    I am an avid Facebook user, but like my blogging I try to keep everything to a nice mellow, not in your face, kind of post. When I travel I post way more, but at home it’s all work and who want to read all that LOL I agree that people like to post a ton of political and religiously motivated stuff, I suppose I lucked out that most of my friends share similar opinions on politics and religion so I don’t get a lot of the bickering. However I am mostly annoyed by the so-and-so likes walmart ads.

    Clicks!
    –Trina

    • oldereyes Says:

      Oh, yeah, I forgot about the ads. And the so-and-so scored 40 points for “spigot” in Words with Friends. At least the Farmville stuff seems to have calmed down/

  5. Wolfbernz Says:

    Hi Bud,

    I agree there are a lot of political point of views being shared on FB. I refrained about post my trip to the gun show just I didn’t have to hear the political backlash about how gun kill people. It’s crazy, but it’s also nice to read some of their loud on FB opinions that I missed when we were talking 😉

    Click!
    Wolf

  6. Patricia Hembree Says:

    Most enjoyable post, as always! Thanks! Personally, I’ll let you “tell” me your always interesting thoughts in your special way…the joy in reading your blog. So, you’re safe from me at least. Ninety-nine percent of the time my thoughts are only foisted upon an unfortunately captive group – family-friends (just a couple of whom use FB.) Oh! Sure got a kick out of you saying you could be considered a FB recluse, by number of “Friends” standards on your personal page.


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