Tag Archives: Facebook

#NotMyFacebook, or: Is Facebook For Political Discourse?

If you Google the question “What is Facebook for?” you come up with a short article by Mike Bantick for iTWire that bears the same name. Although it was published back in 2013 the basis for it is particularly topical, with the first paragraph relating the reason for it was written.

“Recently my brother told me he defriended a close friend of the family because of his overtly political posts on the social media website Facebook.  ‘That’s not what Facebook is for,’ he said, that got me thinking.”

Bantick then proceeds to list off a number of different answers gathered from friends and family, ultimately settling on a handful that he considers “the most truthful”:

“‘Referrals for products and services from people you trust, or know the value you place on the referrer’s knowledge of the requirements. Eg, games references, plumbers, mechanics, travel…. So useful and more personal than googling. You also then have wonderful reasons to catch up with people you may not otherwise.’

‘Stalking people and pictures of cats’

‘Annoying people with puns’

And, the one that resonated with me the most ‘Sharing sh&% for giggles…'”

The list has him implicitly agreeing with his brother. Facebook is for recommendations and, as the latter three state in various ways, for personal enjoyment. Not included among the social networking service’s uses? The dissemination of strongly held political beliefs or stances. Could’ve fooled me.
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One of the Reasons Our Guest Writer Left Facebook: Not-Quite-A-Counterpoint About Online Opinions

We, and I speak for both Gordon and Kat when I say this, don’t often reference our guest posts, as much as we appreciate them. A large factor may be because any responses or rebuttals from the writers to our commentary, though welcomed [we’ve had our own back-and-forths before], are less likely to be written and featured . The reason I open with that is because of Casey Bennet’s post titled “Why I Left Facebook“, which was one of the inspirations for this post as well as being an article I didn’t like very much initially.

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The reason for that was I felt it read more like a list of complaints, many of which could be applied to regular human behaviour.

To give credit where it’s due, he addresses any potential criticism
in his penultimate section “Life After Facebook“. Bennet states outright that many of the factors to him leaving “could have been avoided”; that he could have maintained his Facebook feed in a way that let him “[filter] out negativity and [focus] on what was actually beneficial.” He also points out that if that work is too much for you then it might not be worth, which is likewise extremely valid.

Of Bennet’s grievances against the social media platform what I’d like to focus on is the first, the very to-the-point “Opinions“.  Continue reading

Why I Left Facebook

“I killed my Facebook page years ago because time clicking around is just dead time. Your brain isn’t resting and it isn’t doing. I think people have to get their heads around this thing. All this unmitigated input is hurting folks.” – Louis C.K.

It’s been over 2 years since I deleted (not deactivated, big difference) my Facebook account.

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I had been a loyal and active member since 2006. I had posted thousands of photos, generated twice as many likes, had a business page for my photography, and met many, many incredible people from all over the place, some of whom I had never met in person until they let me crash on their couch when I visited their city. It seems a bit odd, considering all those connections, benefits, and likes, that I would just go ahead and make such a major decision like that.

So, what happened?

Facebook, when it started, was great. It was a simple news feed layout with status updates and the ability to upload and share photos — nothing more. Maybe there was a section where you could show us your favourite shows, music, and sports, but that was about it. It was fun, innocent, and a great way to keep in touch with old friends and family. Over the course of time Facebook began evolving, as most sites do — they began adding features like additional timeline content and games. Harmless stuff, other than those damn invites to join Farmville (I still hate you Farmville and I hope you burn in social media hell!). Even at that point, it was still a place to see what people were up to. Eventually I started spending too much time endlessly browsing my news feed and becoming more and more bothered about what I was reading. It was a sensory overload of everything you could imagine. People were fighting over nothing. Trolls were out spreading incredibly hurtful comments. People were using their high friend count as a way to push their opinions on others. I was seeing some very negative content coming from people who I had thought were genuinely kind. It was coming from all directions and it was too much to take. I tried the Facebook friend cleanse and deleted well into the hundreds. That seemed fine, but eventually I started blocking others who posted annoying posts/shares — I didn’t want to delete them, because well, a few of them were family, but their posts bothered me. It got to the point where logging in just wasn’t fun anymore, so I decided to pull the plug. Continue reading

The Real Meaning of Christmas Memorial Day

Well readers, it’s Memorial Day in America, meaning that you’re almost certainly going to stumble over one of these pictures today…

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These have a habit of rearing their heads from the depths of the internet whenever a holiday rolls around. Memorial Day. Veteran’s Day. Our sense of patriotic duty and military sympathy is so strong that we’ll even claim Labor Day “isn’t just a long weekend.”

And regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, your Facebook feed is almost certainly going to be drenched in emotional “tributes” to the armed forces.

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And it’s that last one there that really irked me. “The real meaning of Memorial Day.”

The real” meaning of Memorial Day.

Because apparently everyone’s been grossly incorrect about what Memorial Day means. Because the “realmeaning- like the city of Atlantis or the paintings of Botticelli- has been lost to mankind. Because it must mean something. It can’t be just a day for BBQs, right?

Well readers, yours truly has undertaken an intrepid journey into the heart of American culture to uncover that legendary “lost meaning.”

Here’s what I’ve discovered. Continue reading

How to Procrastinate Effectively (According to Kat)

I just got home from a mini get-away with a few of my best friends. While I had the best of intentions when it came to prepping this post ahead of time, here I am, a few hours away from when it should go up, feeling completely braindead. Rather than offer a poor attempt at the topic I had in mind, I thought I would bring you all along on my procrastination journey.

Step 1: Set up Your Space

It’s hard to focus when your work area is a mess. The night is still young, so you might as well start things out right by straightening up your desk.

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Step 2: Find Some Snacks

Obviously you are going to need sustenance to continue. You aren’t going to write anything of quality on an empty stomach.

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2015’s Cultural Battleground – Evan’s Account

EDITOR’S NOTE: We end this year by each taking a look back and picking our five best posts, explaining both their importance to us and to the world we currently live in.  Clicking the banner images will link you to each post, so as 2014 comes to a close join us in remembering how far we’ve come, but also how far we still have to go.

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Given the vehicle through which you’re reading these words the relationship between the internet and communication is never very far from my mind. It should also go without saying for those who spend any amount of time online that Tumblr as a community has cultivated quite a reputation for itself over the past few years.

While the sentiments found within this post are certainly nothing new [the squeaky wheel gets the grease, the concept of the vocal minority, etc.] I do think that it establishes them while also backing them up with hard evidence. At the very, very least it also lays out, for those who never cared to look into it, what exactly an “SJW” is.

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Another deeply personal post makes it onto this list, just like last year’s. As if letting you all read my current writing didn’t make me vulnerable enough it also featured a full op-ed from my college days [some stylistic choices make me cringe even now].

“It is difficult to be alone,” reads a since discontinued t-shirt from an AWOL webcomic creator. Those words have felt more and less real as seven years of being single has passed by, and what energy they offered I poured into penning some thoughts on the idea of marriage. Admittedly tailored more to those of the young Christian demographic it’s my hope that it helps at all with fellow single men and women in this group, as well as acting as a bit of an eye-opener for those who aren’t. Continue reading

3 Things I Learned During My 3 Weeks of Internet Deprivation

John and I moved back to Victoria at the beginning of September. I didn’t bother calling about internet set-up until we arrived. I figured it couldn’t be that long of a wait.

I was wrong, so very wrong.

Apparently, when all the students of Victoria are trying to hook up their internet, the wait can actually be quite long. Nearly three weeks long, to be exact. In those three weeks I learned a few things about myself. Since today is our first day with internet in our new place, I thought I would share what I learned with you.

1. It’s Easy to Fall Behind Without Home Internet 

It’s not like the internet was completely gone from my life for the last few weeks. I could still walk to a coffee shop or stay late at school if necessary. Unfortunately, since school started the same week we arrived, I almost only sought out internet when I needed to do some homework. It’s been particularly difficult to keep on top of my readings, since the majority of them have been online so far. I’ve spent several full days camped out at the nearby coffee shop just trying to stay on top of them. Then, this past week, I got sick.

Angrily, I continued to drag myself to the coffee shop in my pyjamas to finish my homework before they closed at 6 pm.

I’m an adult, and I have my own laptop that I can bring with me. As inconvenient as it is, lacking internet doesn’t actually prevent me from doing my homework. However, for a lot of young people without home internet it’s incredibly hard to keep up with their studies without home internet. This problem is sometimes referred to as the digital divide or the homework gap and generally tends to affect low-income households.

These numbers are based on an American study. You can find information about the digital divide in Canada by clicking here.

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