Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Out in the open

Building on yesterday's post, there are trends in society that bother me, and that we should reverse.

is possible that if I am worried about abusive TSA agents or trouble in customs that it was stupid of me to post about it. The probability of drawing attention is low, but it does still exist. It might make sense to hold my breath and wait, but I am not that kind of smart. If I am thinking something, it's not really that I blurt it (usually), but I will keep thinking it and churning it over until it comes out.

I am sick of separate groups. I have been added to so many lately.

It's not that I don't see the point. I have made a few connections that I really like through some of them, and I have learned some interesting stories. There can be value in connecting. After I left the one Mormon liberal group because they were racist, I was still getting frustrated with the other one because they were so Sanders-blind. That made the pro-Hillary group for Mormons a breath of fresh air.

(I do worry a little about mentioning them at all, but there are so many others that I don't think I am actually revealing anything.)

That is one of the problems. The points of agreement may not be unifying enough. Like with one group just focused on good government (also Mormon), one admin admonished someone for commenting "spoiled jerks" on an article about Trump, because we are not partisan so there shouldn't be any name-calling. While that particular epithet was pretty mild, if it had been directed at a poster I would have agreed. If we can't admit that Trump is spoiled and a jerk at the very least, I'm not sure how effectively you are going to be able to advocate for good government.

They aren't all related to my religion. Some are local, and because of people I know. In all cases I get why they do it. They post the things they feel and they get rain of abuse and stupidity that makes them want to curl up in a ball or delete the internet (or both). The group serves a purpose for them.

But for me, I get online and I see 9 notifications, which I check carefully because I don't want to miss an interaction. I check, and none of them are interactions; just people posting. Then I turn off notifications, and then I might as well not be in the group because I see nothing.

If I needed the outlet, it would matter more to me, but I do say what I want. Granted, that has meant standing up to a lot of insults and researching and digging my teeth and feet in like the most tenacious bulldog ever. That was not fun. It seemed to work, because most people seem to have given up arguing with me, but then perhaps I have created an even more isolating echo chamber than those in the secret groups.

(And so many of the group members are related to their persecutors that they may not find it practical to go into bulldog mode with them.)

I don't worry about that as much as I could, because the truth is I use Twitter a lot more, which I find much better for information and even for connecting in some ways.

Twitter works for me, but a lot of people aren't on it. For them to arrange Facebook in a way that is somewhat gratifying and comforting makes sense, except this shouldn't be necessary.

They should be able to say the things they feel without other people rushing in to tell them how stupid and wrong and un-American they are. Why do we think it's okay to stamp out any dissenting opinions? Why do we think it's okay to make others afraid to speak? Doesn't that sound un-American?

It's just one more thing we get wrong.

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