Sunday, 20 December 2015

Facebook is the modern day news and it sucks

I recently stopped using Facebook for a month.

It wasn’t hard. I didn’t miss it.

I did this after a series of events which led me to be utterly frustrated with it, depressed by it and a little disillusioned by it.

I believe that we live in the age of discovery of the internet, indeed technology, that’s why many people are calling this era of human life on earth, The Technology Age. We are in an interesting position in that we have discovered and are using a great and powerful tool for worldwide communication yet not quite aware of any of the pitfalls or longer term harm we are bringing into our lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the internet and for a while there I really enjoyed the use of Facebook. Catching up with friends and family who live miles away from me. Sharing my news, reviews or blogs. It is a great way to network and an additional utility for the marketing of my own business. It has its uses.

But somewhere along the line I had also begun to use Facebook daily as a source of information and entertainment. And this, I come to reflect, was wrong.

I gave up the TV over 15 years ago now. A decision I took in a time where my then country house had no internet, money was tight and I had run out of new and inspiring music! I had slipped into a habit of switching the TV on most days after work and there I would sit, slumped in front of it for the rest of my evening off.  My life revolved around it and a pattern begun. I was not happy with this. The news in particular was starting to freak me out and piss me off. It was utterly biased. Always depressing. And never particularly helpful towards the meaning and function of my life. I decided to get rid of the TV as a short term plan to change things around in my life which turned into a joyful and beneficial experience I then turned into a long term, life time ambition.

The only time I missed the tv was when I was ill, and I just wanted to lay feeling poorly in front of trash TV. But that was all.

I do find I am hilariously behind the times with world events sometimes but that has never affected my life or the compassion I show when I did discover some new horrific worldwide occurrence. If there has been some terrible act of terrorism, famine or distress, I still meditate on it and send out love.

I found by not being aware of these daily atrocities allows me to meditate on world peace and feel the love within me radiate out, rather than feel sadness in and struggle to comprehend why people do such horrible things to each other.

Because of this no TV perspective that I hold, people have accused me of being deluded and of not living in reality. How is that so? Because I am not up to the minute, on the minute, with every waking drama of the rest of the world? Because I am focused on making my life good and whole and generalising my peaceful wishes?

And others have said that I need to know what is going on in the world.

But I don’t.

When I ask of what benefit is it for me to know all of the sad and disturbing acts of violation that are happening daily to people, the only answer I seem to get is –you must know, so you are aware.

But I am aware! The world is a freaky horrible dangerous scary place. And if I dwell on that, really think about all that, I am aware of the horror of humanity and I don’t feel very well. There is diddly squat I can do about it other than the things I chose to do; which are meditate on world peace, donate to and support activist groups, and focus on what I can change: myself and the world around me.
So I prefer to start my day positively, and I try, every day, to be a good person and to focus on that.

It is simple. Yet my life has been richer because of it.

And yet that darn Facebook slipped in and for a while there dragged me away from my positive daily focus. I would have a quick look while munching my breakfast. Or during my lunch break at work. And definitely when I was home from work and occasionally in bed before I went to sleep. All in the name of looking for a connection with friends. Wanting to see pictures and hear snippets of their adventures or share mine.

And what I began to find was that after using Facebook I would wonder, worry or feel anxious about something. Sometimes I was moved as strongly as to feel anger and disgust. Especially if people were posting from Britain First , David Wolfe Avocado , or simply from a place of total ignorance. I was getting upset and depressed frequently on a daily basis. Those moments of quick picture flicking for joy were fast becoming anxious moments of horror and disbelief.

People call you out on Facebook, saying ‘it’s a social network site, stop being so serious!’ when you dare to comment on the threads which are full of un-evidenced regurgitated shite and yet when there is a worldwide atrocity its all so serious with, ‘quick lets change our profile picture to the colour of their flag and post endlessly about how sad we are for them while simultaneously doing nothing to change anything.’ THAT is hypocrisy. THAT is networked apathy because you believe one automatic type click function on a social network site makes you involved. You might as well of sent a card. That’s how helpful that was.

As I said earlier, the internet (and subsequently Facebook as large as it has become), is a great and powerful tool. Yet with great power comes great responsibility.

Collectively or individually people are rarely considering their responsibility towards using this great power. They do not research who they are sharing from, they do not check the validity of statements and images. It is simply related on a superficial level of ‘awww aint that nice / sad / funny’ and recycled with no responsibility towards the true meaning or possible consequence.

As people always say to me, it’s a social network, take from it what you will and get out of it what you put in. To which I say, ok...however...

If you would place on your front window, open to the world, the same things you post on Facebook, than fair enough.
If you can be at a real life social gathering, say a party, and would be comfortable and competent holding conversation about the points in which you share, like, follow, post, then good for you.
You are a responsible, considerate and genuine human being.
Otherwise you are spilling unfounded views or regurgitating others in a public domain with no background, no back up nor any intentions to explain yourself or learn from others. And that on the face of it, my friend, is just fake.

It is social. We all have social responsibility.
It can be light hearted. It can be meaningful.
It can also be deceitful, hateful and harmful.

Which is why I am stepping out. Not forever or always. But predominantly and mostly.

I will still use my business page and have agreed a limit with myself for uploading info or trawling through info: no more than once a week..

I have turned to using Instagram & Flickr for sharing photos with friends and family. And have been enjoying that on occasion every couple of days for half hour. And that is All.

In the time I haven’t been surfing Faceache, I have written and received emails, watched the birds in my garden out of the window, read short stories and comics, skyped my family and gone outside to socialise. I hvae been really happy and content. No kidding.

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