So PolicyMic bigwig Jake Horowitz lends (digital ownership law confuses me) this picture to get me rolling on whether Facebook is the place to air out political opinions.
I don't have a single Facebook friend that works for the always fair and balanced Fox News, so I already agree with the striking and anonymous man in this status update. But I'll elaborate. Here is a nearly comprehensive list of things worth debating on Facebook:
- Are naugas real, and if not, then how is man capable of producing such fine material as naugahyde?
- Which Hemsworth is hotter?
- Why hasn't anyone improved dishwasher technology in, like, ever?
- Shouldn't the necktie just go out of style already?
- Which Hemsworth will have better a better acting career?
- Should Hot Cheetos & Takis have gotten any consideration at the VMAs?
- Should anyone keep watching the VMAs?
- How is this Hemsworth thing even a debate when the answer is always Chris?
These are acceptable debates for a public forum, requiring virtually no thoughts toward solvability, because how could anyone's status quo possibly be uprooted by another's adamant affinity for the nauga (it's a real animal!). You know what wasn't on the list? Anything even remotely political, sexual or religious.
Why? Because conversation on those topics — as proved by the completion of this sentence — are like the used condoms of social media fodder, unwanted no matter how well they work. Here's an example from my own feed.
Obviously, I edited this picture to protect privacy and make it more accurate. I know what you're thinking, but I'm not really a hypocrite for engaging. My time on Facebook is spent as an innocent Bruce Banner, trying not to make a scene, hoping that everyone just leaves me alone. But when I'm digitally poked me in the eyes with loud-mouthed (heavy-fingered?) ignorance, I transform into the logical Hulk! I want a peaceful, social media existence. It just can't happen as long as social media sinners are willing to throw the first stone. Stop it!
Look, I still believe the internet has the power to democratize us, which is why I enjoy a site like PolicyMic, a forum devoted to opinion. But Facebook is not the place to shoot off commonly polarizing opinions. You want tolerance? Really? Then don't post about how much you hate intolerant people. I wish Facebook had been around for the civil rights movement. There wouldn't have been any marches in the street. Martin Luther King Jr. would have shorted his speech to the tweet, "Had a dream last night. Blacks and whites were equal. #freedom." It would have received 97,134 likes and 250+ re-tweets.
Freedom of speech is a real thing. I dig it. But the 2012 election plus Facebook has turned into a Molotov cocktail of annoyance, just waiting for any of us to light it. It's up to all of us. Don't light the cocktail! Maybe only 10% of the people that read this will think this article is logical or entertaining. Maybe all 10% of those people will share this on their Facebook profiles. For the sake of my loosely-held integrity, I hope they don't.