A few weeks ago, maybe a couple months ago now, I decided to block a bunch of people on Facebook while I seriously considered deleting the whole thing. I did eventually delete it and I have been happy that I did because it’s too manipulative, time consuming and in general, it makes for a place where people with different opinions become cutthroat humans and take everything personally as IF all opinions and thoughts are directed towards those with different world views.
For some reason, it’s really hard to get away from it. I mean, I have gotten away from it and feel all the better for it because those people who I thought were my real friends, well, they really were just virtual friends and those long lost family members once again become lost because you aren’t important enough to be friends outside of a social media pocket. If you quit, you’d find this to be true as well.
So back to what I was saying. I blocked a bunch of people who had opposing opinions that were very strong. It’s not that them having those opinions was such a horrible thing but that they find mine to be worse and for some reason, when I stated my opinions, they were taken as a free for all for mental abuse, bullying, tagging me in things that I don’t associate with etc., and it seemed like it could never stop.
Whatever I had to say or think, sure enough someone who I thought was my friend would come and tell me how stupid I am or how off base I am. So because certain people have extreme views and are too sensitive to anything I had to say, I blocked them. Really, who wants to deal with people calling you a “snowflake, cunt, bitch, stupid, libtard…” every time you post something, even something as non controversial as a screenshot of the weather report. HOW does a screenshot of a snowflake in March because open ground for liberal bashing? It’s ridiculous.
Others, I blocked to spare them from feeling like they were being targeted as the recipients of opposing opinion. Some of these people don’t go around bashing but I do know how they feel and I do know that certain topics tend to put giant wedges between us so to end that before it begins to spare the relationship, I blocked them too and told them so.
Even then, it was taken poorly as IF having them as a Facebook friend is a must. It’s just Facebook and I never really cared if I had a thousand friends. My interest have always been in forming good solid relationships so my friends list remained pretty small through all the years that I had it but now that it’s gone, even the people that I have known for close to 20 years who were my best and closest friends haven’t spoken a word to me, no text, nothing. I am just a distant memory to them while they continue to base their social lives around a platform that uses their “likes” as an indicator of acceptance giving some people the mentality of having people to back them up so they can bully or troll or harass others.
It’s the same type of thing you’d see in middle or high school social settings where the jock gets backed up by his bros while picking on some kid who doesn’t have the same set of skill or financial advantage or ideal beauty (Mean Girls mentality). They tend to cluster together, gravitating towards those with very strong personalities that others can jump behind like a shield to protect them from any harm or wrong they might otherwise never be privy too had they no shield.
We called them cliques. In more palatable terms, we call them in/out groups and this has been playing out since the beginning of civilization because the groups with the closest social cohesion tend to do the best and drive the opinions of others because if they don’t then they become outcast and being thrown out is worse than being part of a rival group.
What’s worse is that this trend is happening with adults who should know better, people you wold think have gotten past their adolescent days, people who are supposed to be role models for young adults. But instead, the widespread use has done the opposite, worsening the social order by creating larger, even international cliques with a platform to move their opinions into every corner of the world increasing hostility where the long running idea of peace and non violence is seen as “fighting words” and “force” is seen as the means for peace. Yeah, work that one out.
It’s all assbackwords these days and people have forgotten their common sense abilities because they are willingly allowing their thoughts to be manipulated into a grand conspiracy where the normally peaceful gun owners are “up in arms” over this idea that people are coming to take them away leaving them vulnerable to abuse which then leads them to act out like adolescent children screaming “you can’t take away my toys” or worse resulting in violence.
The extreme liberal wing of said social groups somehow now have a very exclusive mentality where you are all in or you totally out because mixed views means you aren’t compatible with their platform.
The shenanigans has gone on long enough. As for myself, I have never really been one to take to socially exclusive groups. It’s never really suited me to do so because as an outsider, I could always see what it does. In high school I was never really one of any group, I did my own thing because my own thing is what felt right to me and doing so also meant that both sides always had something to say about me.
I always knew that neither were my real friends. I could talk to all sides but when you get home, I knew very well they all talked. They “slut” shamed even when that was so far from the truth. They convinced each other that I was “after their boyfriend” which also never happened and I would be cornered in a locker room to be punched in the face for no reason other then some made up jealousy from girls with poor self confidence or poor valuation of themselves.
I have always been proud of who I am and even though I have never really been sure where I actually fit in and have always kept a very small circle of friends that had lasted a lifetime (though mostly gone now), empathy has always been the root that has grounded me. Some call it morals some see it as something else. In any case, it doesn’t really seem to matter anymore.
The whole purpose of Facebook was to be exclusive. At least that was the basis from the movie made about Facebook years ago because MZ knew full well that social exclusivity is what gave people the sense of purpose, a feeling of belonging and caused cohesion of thought.
Perhaps, because he was young then, he did not really understand the dynamics of what he was creating and neither could anyone really know what it would do to social behavior with a scale in the billions and reaching world wide where cultures or social norms can be as different as night and day.
Eastern exposure to the West has created a lot of tension that had/has resulted in internet blocking, something the West feels in wrong, but is it? To us, it is because we pride ourselves on being able to say whatever we want, it’s a basic tenant of what it means to be free but in other cultures, it’s like being dropped onto a distant planet and trying to navigate it using only what you know. So this dynamic goes both ways.
To end my long rant about social cohesion and the inevitable socially deprived complex of people who don’t even speak anymore, parting with Facebook and Twitter and other such social media outlets will likely be the first step in restoring people to common sense and compassion towards each other because people have to get away from being manipulated. It is very hard to see this play out especially when leaving it has led some people to take it personally and “dilike” me even more for it.
I guess when the punching bag leaves, people get upset.