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Social Media - What's the Point? (Political and Sarcastic)

Posted Aug 28 2012 3:08pm
I've been a bit crabby recently.  Mostly when using Facebook.  But, not just then.  Well, a lot of it has been interweb-related.  And, in this post, I'll reveal more of my liberal bias than I have in a long time, maybe since my Masters Of War post in 2009.  If you don't want to risk being offended, leave now.

Maybe it's the election season.  Maybe I'm crabby because I'm not going to be happy, no matter who wins.  Our current President has been a major disappointment to me.  When people on the far right call him a socialist or a liberal, I usually laugh, and think to myself "I wish".  The people on the other side just plain scare me.

I'm not voting for the same person for President as you are.  Let's just say that if I make that bet, even-money, with every one of my blog readers, that I'd make a lot of money.  OK, I don't have enough readers to make a lot of money, but I'll make a profit.  I refuse to vote for mediocrity, especially when I feel like the mediocrity is self-inflicted.  Years ago, I shared season tickets to the San Jose Sharks hockey team, starting in their very first season.  That first year, we, the fans, didn't boo much.  We expected the team to be bad.  But, starting in the second season, we would boo the Sharks.  Why?  It wasn't because they were bad.  We booed them when they didn't try.  We booed them when they played like being bad or even mediocre was acceptable.

Maybe I'm crabby because my wife is still unemployed and my family and I remain without health insurance. And yet, we are way better off than so many people I know.  We can buy health insurance when we need to do that.  It's absurdly expensive, and the time window provided by COBRA is allowing us to hold tight for a little bit, unless we have a sudden unexpected health issue.  And yet, half of the people in this country seem to think that we should all live like this - with no guarantee that health care will be available if or when we need it.  Rationing.  Death Panels.  Infinite Waits.  Give me a break.

Maybe I'm crabby because too many people are trying to sell me stuff on social networks.  LinkedIn is probably the worst.  I use it to try to stay in contact with former and current professional acquaintances.  Maybe I can help someone find a job or vice versa in the future.  Maybe I can use an acquaintance to get a recommendation for a company to do some work with my company.  But, instead, people are finding me on LinkedIn and trying to sell me stuff - services, software, employees, consultants, etc.  One person recently found me on LinkedIn, called my company to track me down, tried to sell me something, and then wanted to be a contact on LinkedIn.  No.  I don't know you.

And Facebook is the worst.  I wish people wouldn't post stuff where a quick trip to Snopes can verify or deny the accuracy of the post.  After referencing Snopes, I've even been told that Snopes is a liberal web site and cannot be believed.

I've been unfriended on FB because I used an article from the NYT (mostly numbers and graphs - facts, which are well known to have a liberal bias) to try to make a point.

And lately, I've been unfriending people on FB.  I don't care if you like Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Obama, or Shakes the Clown.  If people are going to start throwing their political views at me, and think that I'm going to change my mind about a candidate, maybe I don't care about the rest of what that person has to say.  I have been judicious with this to some extent.  I have one really good ultrarunning friend who is Mormon, and is supporting Mitt and Ryan purely because of that.  We are also truly good friends, not Facespace acquaintances.  But, if you and I are "friends" with multiple degrees of separation, are we really friends?  Do either of us care about the other's political views?

I've unfriended a number of high school classmates.  I grew up in the bottom of the "T" that geographically defines the conservative part of Pennsylvania, a portion of the state often referred to as Pennsyltucky.  I don't know if that's an insult to people who live in PA or KY or both.  In these cases, my rationale has gone beyond what candidate people like.  It's usually because someone posted a bunch of talking points for one side or another.  One person was demanding a rational explanation for Obama's "You didn't build that" statement.  Anyone who has seen the entire clip knows that what he said was rational and made sense.  If you disagree with that, Romney has given a nearly identical stump speech in the past, so it's not like it's a one-way issue.

I'm tired of the hatefulness of politics in our country.  My kids are tired of it.  My son, as cynical at 19 as I was, hates them all.  It's hard to provide a valid counterargument.

If I'm going to use Facebook, I honestly want to stay in touch with my friends.  My sister is getting a new puppy this weekend.  A good high school friend just took her daughter on a trip to Paris.  The breeder of my first Rhodesian Ridgeback is now showing Basenjis and posting some great photos.  My niece has moved to Boston and is adjusting to a new world.  Friends from CrossFit post great stuff about workouts.  Running friends are going to interesting places and running.  Or just having great training runs.

I honestly don't care what Starbucks anyone is at, at any time.  I don't care what you think about Chik-Fil-A.  I'm not all that curious about what anyone is listening to on Spotify.

And I sure as hell don't care if you like Paul Ryan or not.

Maybe I'm just an old curmudgeon.  But, if you feel the need, please unfollow by blog, unfollow my dormant Twitter feed, unfriend me on Facebook - whatever you need to do.  Please note that I am posting this bit of grouchiness on a "pull" media, rather than "push".  In that way, only the RSS followers of my blog (single digits) will be forced to read this rambling rant.  The rest do so voluntarily, by choosing to come to this page. And, I've even warned them up front about the contents of the post.
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