Are You In Or Out?

Well, which is it?  Should we stay or leave?  Should we be a part of the whole mess and try to sort it out from within, or leave and plough our own furrow?  I am referring, of course, to that community beyond our borders that is Facebook.  I’ve been back and forth on this: I’ve been in and out and back in again, and slowly I’m evolving a way to be in Facebook but not of it.

For example, say a debate starts on a particular subject.  Very soon people line up on one side or the other and then the mud-slinging starts.  ‘Boo’ words and ‘hurrah’ words are brought into play and woe betide anyone who tries to enter the debate in a reasoned and calm manner: for some reason this is the trigger for people on both sides to stop attacking each other and start attacking you.  No matter how mild your comments, no matter how accommodating your language or how sensible your points, you will become Public Enemy No. 1.  Time to bow out.

So I’ve developed a strategy.  The moment an argument becomes polarised; the moment somebody starts slinging mud or hurling insults, I uncouple. In Facebook parlance, I ‘turn off notifications for this thread.’

Similarly, when a person I’ve friended starts being abusive or rude (not necessarily towards me) I turn off their notifications.  You can do this, I’ve found: it’s called ‘unfollowing’ and means you can stay friends but you don’t get notified when they post things.

So all that is useful and it’s a step short of unfriending and blocking, which I’ve done with one or two people but it’s an extreme step.  In one case it was because the person persistently posted comments which were either negative or irrelevant.  This I do not need.

Of course, this does not prevent an awful lot of junk appearing in my news feed, so a certain amount of ongoing editing is required.  My pet peeves at the moment are adverts which look like posts (the price you pay for Facebook being free, I guess) and pictures of dying children begging me to post an ‘Amen’ so they can be healed.  In some ways I find the latter more offensive than the former: it’s not only emotionally manipulative (‘if you don’t comment then you don’t care’) it’s also wrong-headed, as if God’s going to sit there and tot up the number of ‘Amens’ before deciding whether to heal the child.

So there you are.  In Facebook but not of it.  As for the EU, that’s another matter…

Kirk out

13 thoughts on “Are You In Or Out?

  1. im totally with you on that one, and im totally on the fence about the other one……….four months of lies, half lies, and misdirections before somebody makes the decision to leave us in with all of the benefits (cant think what they are really though, not at short notice) or take us out with all of those benefits (none of which I can think of at short notice)

  2. Yes, I think as far as the economic benefits go it’s probably swings and roundabouts. The only thing I’m clear about is that ‘going it alone’ is not an option in a global economy. I think if we were to leave the likely outcome is that we’d be influenced much more by the US than we are now. We already have half our foreign policy dictated by them so this is not an option I’m prepared to contemplate. For this reason I am voting to stay in

  3. As a Vulcan earthlings impress me with their ability to indulge in intense pleasure – but they seem incapable of avoiding intense displeasure. With regard to EU and Facebook, as a completely rational being I am incapable of solving such insoluble problems. So my advice would be to save time and money by tossing a coin in each case and making the best of the results. In that way no-one can be blamed if matters assume the shape of a pear and no-one anyway could plausibly maintain that the alternative results would have turned out any better – too complicated to say.

    Spock out

    1. Interesting idea.  Do Vulcans have a view on the EU referendum?  Or would you apply the same principle of tossing a coin?

      1. Same principle. The Queen tosses the coin: all the considerable expense of organising the referendum is avoided. All agree to make the best of the result. Very unlikely that anyone will have been able to predict how things will turn out, but nobody needs to. No guilt for not voting. No guilt for voting for the sake of it, not having the vaguest idea which is the ‘best’ choice: might as well toss a coin. Hang on, the Queen’s doing that for you. Let’s get on with the planning: Plan A and Plan B. Perhaps our friends in Europe could help us – we need to involve them anyhow.

        Spock out

      2. That’s a good idea but if the Queen tosses a coin won’t it always come up heads?

  4. Cogratulations! The last time a Vulcan laughed was on 9th June 1692. But as you know there was a lot of intermarriage taking place that century… But seriously though perhaps it ought to be the Duke of Edinburgh on a good day.

    Spock out

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