Oh dear, I’ve gone and done it again and I need to stop. I’ve gone and got sucked in to interactions on Facebook and now I’ve had to come off again. I’m not apologising for the views I hold but it’s not good to get sucked into unhelpful ‘dialogues’. Facebook can be – often is – a series of little whirlwinds and if you’re not extraordinarily careful you can get instantly hoovered up into exchanges which are potentially very destructive. Someone expresses a view which doesn’t accord 100% with what others believe and soon everyone’s weighing in with ‘So you believe that…?’ or ‘are you aware that…?’ or ‘how do you not realise that…?’ and before you know it this turns into ‘are you so stupid that…?’ or worse. Opponents are regularly described as ‘scum’ or ‘vermin’. I’m sure this has a knock-on effect in real life: yesterday two canvassers were attacked (they were Labour but it doesn’t matter who they were, it’s unacceptable) and it’s reported that yesterday a police officer ‘aggressively’ demanded a driver remove part of an anti-Brexit sticker on their car – on the M25 of all places!
You can attempt a reasoned response but nine times out of ten that just annoys people more. They want a reaction, they want fireworks, the big bang and they keep on prodding and poking until they get one. The only sensible thing is to withdraw, which I did until I found I was withdrawing from so many discussions that the only sensible thing was to leave Facebook altogether. Which I did.
But now I’m back. In October I joined the Nano group for support and encouragement – which it delivered – telling myself I wouldn’t look at anything else. O woeful error! for this is like giving up smoking and telling yourself ‘I’ll just have one…’ and before I knew it I was back taking part in those destructive interactions.
So for my part in that I apologise. But now no more. I’ll go no more a Facebooking, for Facebook’s been my ru-i-in…