Thursday, April 30, 2015

Am I Too Negative on Facebook? Oops, My Bad!

I often read my Facebook friends' posts, finding a great satisfaction that people I've known over the years reveal in their postings political and social views very much in tune with mine.

As for my own views, based on the "likes" and comments I receive when I share my blog posts, I notice what draws approval and what, usually through lack of reaction, doesn't interest them. I have a friend or two that decidedly do not share my positions on, say, politics. war, foreign policy, whatever. One friend posts his opinion and I'll often demur in a response comment, which is fine. When we run into each other around town, we're quite amiable with each other. Politics truly doesn't have to interfere with friendship.

But after reading this very interesting and thought-provoking article in Slate about how your social media presence offers to the world a window into who you are -- or how you're perceived to be -- I became worried that I might, because of my often heated views on the politics of the right, be appearing considerably grumpy, if not worse.

I am a happy guy with a pretty fulfilling life, despite how much Ted Cruz drives me up a wall, but you might not get that after reading one of my pieces. I use my blog to ruminate on things that a humanist like myself might find important in life. Beyond being an atheist, I find religion often to be a negative force in this world. For brevity, let me say that my views on religion are nuanced, but I can see how I may appear negative on the subject.

I make an effort to express positive policy outlooks, but all too often it's easier to say "Paul Ryan sucks!" than to explain in detail where our differences lie.

So let me apologize if anyone finds me to have a nasty disposition. It goes with the territory when one believes that the lives of our citizens could be improved by adopting policies that run counter to a certain, shall we say conservative, mainstream that is still all too dominant in our public sphere.

I think they're the bad guys, but hating on them doesn't make me look good. But there you are.

Read the Slate article if you haven't already. I was fascinated with the idea that courts might use social-media "faces" as evidence against you in a civil case. If we hide our unhappy lives from others, we might inadvertently misrepresent ourselves. We can't then say, "But Your Honor, I'm so much more miserable than that!" Your Facebook face is the face you've presented to the world, and you just might have to live with it.

Again, sorry, I'm a happy guy. Just keep Rand Paul away from me.

Just thinking about these people and the wars they started
can ruin my whole day on Facebook.

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