Affixing Blame on Tuesday

I resent Facebook. Facebook extracted depth from communication, replacing meaning with volume. Depth now splashes in shallow Facebook pools, trying in vain to find its way to the life-sustaining oxygen of conversation. Conversation that died at Facebook’s hand.  Conversation withered in the absence of air, replaced by meaningless chirps—the sorts of noises made by wind-up birds whose wings keep the attention of infants for a few moments while their parents try to breathe. But the parents don’t breathe; they perish while listening to the shrill noise of artificial love-bots.

You can’t have a conversation about suicide on Facebook. You can’t discuss the relative merits or shame of polygamy or marital infidelity. You can’t explore the wrenching heartbreak of realizing fifty years of one’s life were spent in a wasteful fog. You can’t even probe the psychological roller coaster of child-rearing in a way that mines real information in place of socially induced emotional obligation. Facebook and its brethren are, for lack of a better analogy, parasitic viruses that suck the life out of intellect. They calcify the flexibility of thought, replacing ideas with rigid shards of imbecilic dogma. They petrify creative ideas, substituting group-think for consensus and contempt for compromise.

The reason I remain on Facebook is that I am simply a member of the mindless flock. I go where like-minded idiots go to seek evidence they are appreciated by similar like-minded idiots who populate the flock. I go to lap up the news of the flock that would be absent but for the flood gates of Facebook, releasing a torrent of personalized entertainment pretending to be information. What an embarrassment! What a pathetic scramble, what an absurd scurry toward meaningless affirmation! The crap I post on Facebook is almost entirely superficial, as is the vast majority of crap most everyone else posts. The stuff that emerges from real thoughts goes onto private screens that no one sees or, on occasion in my case, finds its way here to this blog that a precious few ever see. They are the ones whose opinions matter, not the Facebook addicts who scroll through inane posts and “like” them only to attest they, too, have witnessed my (and others’) embarrassing pleas for acknowledgement. Yet Facebook, the heroin of the ego, won’t allow us simply to cut back. We must either go cold turkey or substitute Twitter or Instagram or some other such methadone wannabe of social media.

Isn’t it ironic that I pounce on the evils and addictive nature of social media while writing in a blog—a highly personal social media device? Is it simply a matter of resentment that other social media get more air play? Am I envious of the traffic numbers of other social media, just whining because my piece of the social media sphere goes unnoticed, while linguistic diarrhea in the form of Facebook posts is smeared up and down freeways and side streets and back alleys worldwide?

Here I am, again, mindlessly barking at the wind, bellowing at shadows cast by leaves blowing in the breeze. What the hell. It occupies my mind and my time. Better to argue with the voices in my head than get into a shouting match with heavily armed dullards driving against traffic in the Walmart parking lot.

I’m wound up of late. I don’t know quite why. I’m just angry and anxious to move someplace new, to be around people who haven’t yet disappointed me and whom I have yet to disappoint.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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