Facebook has me feeling rather despondent about the nature of humanity, but as the word is in my blog title I feel compelled to hope anyway. Hope, however, is not for the weak of heart. Nor is hope a fixation on “pie in the sky” theology which ignores the problems of this world. Hope just has a focal point, and moves toward it. When a hopeful person encounters struggles on the journey, they do their best to help. So I’m going to try to help with the whole social media insanity. This is my social media pledge. I’ll probably fail at keeping it at some point 1, but it’s my best thoughts right now on the issues surrounding these platforms.
The Social Media Pledge
I will not share memes any more, even funny ones. They aren’t used to inform, they’re only used to mark tribal boundaries. Memes suck 2.
I will not share a post with the caveat, “I’m not sure if this is true, but…” We have the internet for a reason. Verify a story first. Only then may it be shared.
I will not use the reaction buttons on facebook. If I don’t have a word to share, my reaction doesn’t warrant the privilege of letting everyone know how I react to something 3.
I will not share posts from “news” sites meant to inflame political passions. Instead, I’ll search out more reliable journalistic outlets which are covering an issue.
I will not share, comment on, or react to posts which begin, “The main stream media won’t tell you this, but…” The “main stream media” has flaws, but it also requires things like verifiable sources to run a story 4.
I will not compete in the “so there!” games. “So there” posts are just like memes, they mark tribal boundaries and nothing else.
I will not feed the trolls.
I will not post angry.
I will apologize when I get swept up in the social media frenzy and act in a way that makes be a bad neighbor.
I will share articles from verified sources and encourage discussion.
I will write posts which lay out my thinking on a topic.
I will remember there are human beings on the other side of posts I see, even when I disagree with them 5.
I will comment on posts in a way which promotes dialog, even when I think the people with whom I disagree don’t have leg on which to stand. I could be wrong, and I must always stay open to that possibility.
- Like, today. ↩
- And I will miss making funny ones. ↩
- And I need to think about this for WordPress as well. I “like” a lot of posts on the blogs to which I’m subscribed, I may need to invest more effort into staying connected. ↩
- Even if they are unnamed. ↩
- And even those created by Russian troll factories are shared by human beings ↩
- In memes, almost always in memes. ↩
- “Pastoral” means, “Direct people toward water which won’t poison them.” ↩