I have had to stop and think about what I really get from Facebook these days. I'll describe my morning: 8am, I will sign into Facebook to see what the latest is.
By 8:01am I close it down because:
- If it isn't Pro or Anti Trump, it's...
- Pro or Anti Brexit, or...
- Animal cruelty, or...
- Another threat to our human rights, or...
- The terrible realities for people in Palestine, or...
- Another terrible crime committed locally, or...
- How our lifestyles are killing us, or...
- How we're bad parents, or...
The list goes on.
I sign in because I want to see:
- What my friends did recently
- Whose birthday it is today
- Find a nice tip on how to cook something
- Discover a new craft I want to experiment with.
Truth is, Facebook has become a place to get selective news, that reinforce the fears and outlooks I already have. And the problem with that is, it makes me feel worse, not better.
In real estate / lettings management, the value of property is determined not just by the physical property, but characteristics of where it resides. One determining factor of the where + characteristics formula, is the number of satellite dishes in an area determines what 'class' of people live in an area.
The idea is, that if you have cable or satellite TV, you probably don't go out much and expose yourself to local culture such as museums and galleries, go outdoors to develop hobbies and crafts, etc. It's a crude method of making a very dangerous assumption about an entire neighbourhood.
And still, that point has sat quietly in the back of my mind, and it's something I can't stop but notice whenever I go somewhere. And lo and behold, what I've seen seems to corroborate the generic comment: few people I know who earn significantly more than I do seem to watch TV. They're too busy doing stuff. Meanwhile those who are in lower incomes do spend the majority of their time watching TV - because, let's face it, I've been there, it's all one can afford. Barely, in some cases.
It pisses me off. And it makes me want to sit back and just disengage with it all for a moment to put my thoughts in line, to figure out what the trend is, and what the bigger picture is suggesting.
Recent rhetoric about the Internet being a negative impact because of the way we use it, not because of its inherent potential, only reinforce the deterministic and negative critiques I'd read in my early 20s, fifteen years ago. Meanwhile I am faced with an argument I can see myself having over and over again: am I simply plunging my head in the sand if I disengage with social communication channels?
My purist-leaning traits come to the surface roaring righteously at times, wanting to throw in words such as 'regulation' and 'management', 'conduct' and 'monitoring'. But therein come other words, such as 'creativity', 'organic', 'expression' and 'malpractice'.
It tires me.
Facebook tires me. It's relentless algorithm of 'show them what they like' is absolutely exhausting. I want to discover new things. I want to be reminded why living is fucking worth anything at all.
I want to wake up at 8:00am in the morning and read my friends saying "good morning", and "I'm looking forward to..." and "I hope you will join me in..." instead of alllllll the negativity.
It's partly my own fault, of course. I don't want to spend my time surfing the web, looking for alternatives. I kinda have better things to do... but therein lies the problem - lack of having sought out alternatives means my perception of the Internet is sustainably narrow.
So I asked myself what I DO want from the Internet.
I just want to see nice pictures. :) Things that make me smile.
I want to see new things I can try that are fun, inexpensive, and creative.
I want to see food I can cook or eat - preferably both!
I want to see my family.
I want to see my friends.
As for discussion... I want that to be in a place where I can make something out of it. In an organised fashion. And decipher actions. I am bored of the fact I've become yet another passive activist. Signing petitions, venting in comments, trying to change the world one click at a time.
I have to rethink the values that are most important to me. All I care about is... when I die, will I have done anything meaningful with my time here on Earth? Will I have raised children who can think by themselves and navigate the world using their own intelligent and wits? Will I have contributed anything useful to the world?
Why will I have been alive, if when I'm dead, none of it meant anything, to anyone?
Spending my time staring at Facebook and commenting on shit isn't really worth my time any longer.