As I have gotten older I find that the concept of “being set in your ways” is mostly true. I find I am most comfortable if I have a routine that I follow. My days go better if I wake in the morning and fall into my routine without disruptions such as robo-calls, internet outage, or work. I don’t mind work, I just don’t want to do it first thing in the morning. Another thing I don’t want to do first thing in the morning is to get upset by reading comments on Facebook. I used to look forward to “catching up” on Facebook, but not anymore. Here is how it was.
Each morning I would get out of bed, weigh myself, stumble into the kitchen and prepare my first cup of coffee for the day. Following that, I would quickly scan Facebook for updates from family and friends, maybe make a few comments, go to my email and process my inbox, get another cup of coffee, and move on with my day. This is the part about being set in my ways. I have followed this routine for a great several years, even before I retired. To assure I could follow this routine I would get up at 3:45 a.m. to afford myself enough time before having to report for work. That was truly being set in my ways. But now, that has changed.
Nothing worse for an old man set in his ways than to have to change those ways because of circumstances. The circumstance I am referring to is Facebook, and what it has become. I now find myself dreading that part of the routine which was “catching up” on Facebook. It is not as though I have changed, after all, I am set in my ways. I haven’t changed, but Facebook has.
Facebook has become a political cesspool of hate filled rhetoric, threats of violence, and name calling. It has become a dark, evil place that I dread visiting. I am not going to roll out that old refrain “why can’t we all just get along”, because it is obvious that we cannot. Facebook affords people the opportunity to hide behind their screens and say all sorts of hateful, and ugly, things that I would hope they would never say to another’s face. Facebook permits actions without consequences, or so it would seem. Sadly, there are consequences. My son has quit Facebook, and this has taken away the ability to have quick and convenient conversations, updates, and pictures of the grand kids. I realize there are other means of communication such as email and telephone but for various reasons, neither are as convenient, informal, or friendly as a Facebook encounter.
I also have a sister (who I love dearly) who no longer wishes to speak to me (or so it seems) because we have very different political points of view and apparently one or both of us are unable to reconcile these differences. The politics, or the different points of view are not really that important. Family and friends and love should always come first. I guess it is not right to blame Facebook, after all Facebook is merely the conduit that allows it all to happen. But I would rather blame Facebook then blame myself, or my son, or my sister. I can live without Facebook, but I cannot live without them.
The bottom line is this. Although I will remain a Facebook subscriber, my contributions will be few and far between. I will check in on Facebook most days, but I will do so with dread and caution and I certainly will not be enticed down the rabbit hole of political debate, with anyone, and that includes you. Thumbs up!
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
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