Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Politics and Pressure In Social Media – Please Make It All Go Away

At this point I am all conventioned out – and I haven’t watched even a minute of the Republicans in Cleveland, and I also don’t plan to watch the Democrats in Philadelphia next week. I am so overwhelmingly disgusted with the way the media – social and otherwise – has negatively influenced this campaign for the White House, that I am both done and undone. Truthfully, I have had enough; I just want it all to stop!

stop3But just like Al Pacino’s character Michael Corleone in The Godfather films – he wanted out but they just kept pulling him back in – I feel the same way now, especially when it comes to Facebook, texts, and emails that come from friends, friends of friends, and people who are my cousin’s friend’s uncle’s roommate’s childhood sweetheart.

Some of these people I don’t know from a hole in the wall – or is it a gap in cyberspace? Whatever the case, I am inundated with calls to do things. I get “Share if you are a real American” and “Stand With Hillary” – or alternately, “Stand With Trump” – and so on. I would say I am mad as hell and can’t take it anymore, but it goes way beyond that.
stop1Friends, relatives, and complete strangers are pushing their political agendas in my face on a daily basis. I get countless emails explaining why either Hillary or Trump is better than the alternative; I get texts as well, some of which are of dubious orientation. I am blocking more of these offenders than an NFL linebacker, but the smart phone is a gift that keeps on giving – junk mail, robo-calls, and more tedious texts just keep on coming.

Going on Facebook these days is for the most part an unpleasant experience. I used to enjoy going on FB just to catch up with people I don’t see as much as I would like or my relatives (distant or otherwise), but now a mixed bag of users has turned the site into an ideological war zone. I have seen friendships dissolve in the comments section of posts because the situation is so intense and divisive – imagine people who have known each other for 30 or 40 years allowing their relationships to be torn asunder by this combustive campaign rhetoric?

I am at the point where I scroll by almost everything because it is either political in nature or pressuring me to “like” or “share” something with which I have no interest in doing either. People are really pounding the virtual podium to the point of tediousness now. In the old days you could walk past the loons at Speaker’s Corner in London or in Times Square in New York and get away from them, but now in the virtual world they are omnipresent and oppressive.

I have been getting those posts where the person pressures me or tests me by asking me to “like this” or “share this” or “cut and paste this” in order that he or she will know if I am a “true” friend or not. I am so over trying to please or wanting to please people in regard to these things that I am also ignoring them, as well as people asking me to play online games. I have told people that I don’t play online games, but they keep inviting me. Grrr!!!!

des1I have explained to almost everyone that I am in contact with again and again that I do not support either candidate, and I would rather vote for someone who is no longer in the running – who also disappointed me greatly by compromising himself to support one “presumptive” candidate.

For the first time since I was 18 years old I will be not voting for President of the United States, and that hurts me deeply, but I have no choice because the candidates of the two major parties are such appallingly awful choices. I could write in a name – but I may as well choose Barney the Dinosaur because he would do an infinitely better job than our current crop of potential presidential timber (dry rot would be more accurate).

Yes, I could just stop using FB, delete my texts and emails, and try to move on, but that seems like I am being punished for not wanting to be involved in this process of mutual obsessive compulsiveness by devotees of either candidate (or unwilling to share things about illnesses, causes, or true friends, etc.). I’m getting really Greta Garbo about this social media quagmire now – I just want to be left alone!

Stop (2)So I am making my final stand with this post – I am asking for it all to stop, though I know it will never stop because social media is a monster that keeps feeding upon itself. I need to just go about my day and do what I need to do. I’m going to ignore these posts, try to scroll down, and maintain radio silence. I will comment on innocuous things like birthdays, anniversaries, and life accomplishments; otherwise, I am Silent Sam – the Invisible Facebook user – the Quiet Cyber Man.

I don’t like it this way, but that is how it has to be. This will be my last post that has anything remotely to do with politics until the die is cast in November. Once either one of these dubious candidates gets elected (unless Barney gets lucky), then all bets are off, and I may throw my hat back into the ring. Until then, I am going dark when it comes to this subject.

Until next time, Klaatu Barada Nikto!

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