Tag Archives: social media

#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 Internet, The Military, And Feminism – A Brief Interaction Between Two Facebook Pages

First things first, this is going to be another one of my shorter posts. The days ahead are packed so I’ve sat down to rattle something off on Wednesday night just to keep the content coming. Secondly, when it comes to the military and feminism I am very confident in my feelings towards one and very uncomfortable and unsure about the other.

I’m not one to bandy around words like “liberal” and “conservative”, proper nouns or otherwise, but in general the profession of killing others isn’t one that sits easily with me. To say that I think we can solve all of the world’s problems by just sitting down, talking, and hugging it out is a step too far, however. There is clearly a need for such men and women, with World War II being the obvious go-to example of when war is right [literal decades of video games have communicated how evil the Nazis were]. Not everyone can be negotiated with or see reason, no matter how badly we would like that to be true.

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Nazis are so evil that Nazi zombies are actually better, not worse, because zombies can’t be antisemites.

So no, at bare minimum I do not hate the military or its existence. That of course does not mean I don’t get uneasy about the whole semper-fi-oorah-[yes-I-know-those-are-both-specifically-USMC-related] mentality that appears to be a requirement of serving in the armed forces. It makes sense, of course, to want to foster an unbreakable kinship between people who depend on each other for their survival, but it’s also obvious that this kind of impregnable bond can lead to a lot of terrible things being covered up [see literally any recent news article about police brutality].

It should also go without saying that this club, if we can call it that, is primarily male. According to CNN as of four years ago only “about 203,000 [. . .] or 14.5% of the active duty force of nearly 1.4 million” is made up of women. Even without this statistic it isn’t surprising that the vast majority is men, and that such a male-dominated environment results in particular attitudes and opinions being fostered.

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Feminist-Grunts11bravo, U.S. Infantry Soldiers is a mouthful [and referred to from this point on as Feminist-Grunts], but also the name of a Facebook page I came across with a very unique mission. It claims to be “for Infantry dedicated to respecting women and kicking ass of chauvinistic a**holes,” which doesn’t sound like something I have any problem with whatsoever. It’s also run by a single “feminist female veteran” who describes the page as being a “parody account”. To dig deeper into what she means by that, she says:

“This page is really a parody satire project where I pretend that feminist grunts exist, that they run this page, and that they believe in fairness, equality, and that everyone regardless of sex, gender, race, class, religion, has an undeniable right to pursue whatever careers they want to the best of their ability.”

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Bernie Sanders VS. Black Lives Matter: How Is This Helping?

I haven’t been this depressed about writing a post since the attack on Charlie Hebdo. Even as my fingers move across my keyboard I can feel my willpower just oozing right out of me. And it’s not that the issues here aren’t worth talking about- they absolutely are. It’s just that the whole affair has been so…

pointless.

Let me just hit you with the hard facts before we jump into this morass of stupidity and futility.

This Saturday in Seattle Democratic-Socialist and presidential-hopeful Bernie Sanders was holding a political rally for his campaign. Shortly after beginning, a pair of protestors from Black Lives Matter (a nation-wide movement speaking out against police violence towards African Americans) climbed up on stage. The two protestors, for some twenty minutes, recounted grievances of the local black community and scolded Sanders for not having been vocal enough about police violence towards minorities. “…Join us now in holding Bernie Sanders accountable…” stated Marissa Johnson, one of the protestors.

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3 Things Christians Parents Can Learn From the Death of Leelah Alcorn

On December 28th Leelah (Josh) Alcorn committed suicide. In the Tumblr note she scheduled to upload after her death, Leelah implies that her parents’ strict rejection of her identity was one of the factor that led her to this decision.

I’m not a parent, so I don’t want to ignorantly hand out parenting suggestions. However, I do want to start a dialogue about this story in the Christian community.

Instead of offering my own naive words of advice, I’ve pulled out three quotes from Leelah’s note to focus on. Each of these three points highlight things Leelah seemed to deeply wish that her Christian parents would understand.

1. You can’t force your child to accept your beliefs

They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy…

– Leelah

I love what Jamie (the very worst missionary) once said on this topic. In her post titled “Not All Pastor’s Kids Are Christian. Sorry.” she talks about her own experience as a pastors wife, parenting a child who now identifies as an atheist. While Jamie expects their children to act respectful towards her and her husband (and their chosen profession), when it comes to their faith she only asks her children to be honest with her in their journey towards truth. She doesn’t ask them to pretend to be something they are not:

“Believing in Jesus? Receiving His redemption? These are not commands to be given by a father and obeyed by a child. They are a loving invitation from God to his people, every last one of His people, and He is patiently awaiting their reply…”

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Representation, As In, How We Present Ourselves [I Need To Get Groceries]

Today’s post is going to be a less cohesive than usual since I moved to my new place this past Tuesday night and have a lot to do on my one day off from work, with buying some groceries being very high on that list. Seriously, though, I need food.

[Very valid] Excuses having been made, let’s talk a little bit about how we present ourselves. This shouldn’t be hard seeing as you’re on the internet right this very instant, and you can make like a future employer and type your name into Google to see what pops up. Anything and everything found online, from that garish was-cool-in-the-early-00’s Myspace page to your I-sure-hope-I’ve-added-enough-job-experience LinkedIn account, is something that you can potentially be judged on.

It probably shouldn’t be, but it’s a lot for a single person to keep track of. Now imagine being a business or organization.

Just this week DC Comics faced an incredible amount of criticism due to some of apparel featuring their characters, in particular the vastly different messages that were being communicated in their boys’ and girls’ clothing lines.

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