Saturday, June 13, 2020

Facebook, Connection, and the Truth

I spend too much time on Facebook. I know I'm not alone in this. I like it a lot...I may be alone in that...and I like keeping up with people I might not see or hear from otherwise. I love videos of cats and babies and wonderful music. I went to church on Facebook Live for weeks and belong to groups who are interested in the same things I am. I have a personal page and an author page of my own. I don't get my news from there, but I get a lot of how people feel about--and interpret--the news.

I don't know if it's the last days, do you? I've been reading it a lot, but I don't think it's up to Mark Zuckerberg, especially since he's already proclaimed that Facebook "shouldn't be the arbiter of truth." If it really is the encroaching end of time, what should we do? Personally, I think we should make the most of every day we have. Love each other. Listen. Practice kindness at every opportunity. Give. Seek understanding. Listen a lot and maybe don't talk as much. Be a helper. Laugh every chance we get. Did I mention listen? I think we should do all that even if it's not the last days.

A few friends from high school have posted requests for civil discussion concerning politics. They have invited people who don't agree to join in and say how they feel. These requests haven't included name-calling, untruths, or anything else our mothers would have washed our mouths out for, but time has taught me to keep scrolling if I know we're politically divergent. Because hardly anyone wants to hear opinions that don't mirror their own. (I include myself in that. Sigh.)

I worked the polls on June 2. I'd like to say for the record that many people wore masks, virtually all people were polite, and that there was absolutely no fraud or suppression involved. Also, the food served to poll-workers was excellent. I suggest you volunteer if you don't mind working a really long day for not a lot of money. It also gives you the opportunity to say, "No, they don't" when people post idiotic unfounded criticisms about voting.

I know it's not that way everywhere. Lines are hours long in some places. The numbers of polling places are strategically reduced in some places. Voting is made as difficult as possible in some places and impossible in others. The rest of the country could take a lesson from Macy, Indiana.

Facebook posts remind us of things. They sometimes raise important questions. But not everyone cares if what they post is true or not. If it's hurtful or not. They don't care about the ripple effect. So it's up to us to look things up. And then it's up to us to tell the truth.

Writer Jane Porter says, "...I can't unsee what I've seen...can't forget what I've read." She's right, and it gets harder every day. And yet. One of my favorite and most overused words is connection, and Facebook is still that to me. I still see pictures of nieces and nephews and 2020 graduates, of friends' new grandbabies, of teachers and librarians reading books aloud to children. I see other writers' book covers and reviews and post my own. So I'll stay on Facebook. I'll still spend too much time there--at least until social distancing becomes less...distant. If you're there, I hope you say hello.

Have a great week. Stay safe. Be nice to somebody.




4 comments:

  1. Great post! Exactly how I feel about FB--it's a good and a bad place, but I'll hang in there for the same reasons you do. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  2. Hi there my friend! You already know I spend too much time there too, but as you said, it's my way to stay connected & I love that I have it or I'd be pretty lonely. Thanks for sharing - sometimes your writing mirrors my thoughts, keeps me from feeling like I'm crazy knowing you & others feel the same!

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