I have long railed against social media. I hate what Facebook has done to good decent people who suddenly feel loosed to say whatever spews out of their mind simply because sitting behind a laptop keyboard feels anonymous.
But I am a creature of change. I embrace new technology and try my best to understand shifts in culture and mindsets. So it was with great trepidation that this morning I dipped my toes in the waters of social media. I opened a Google+ account. It lasted about an hour.
I refused, and still refuse, to participate in Facebook because I see no redeeming value, no positive outcome from spending yet more time each day reading what is the literary equivalent of vomit, things better left to digest and eventually, discretely, remove from the mind. Facebook, from all that I have seen, is little more than a bully pulpit for all that is banal, trite, trivial and unsavory that is stored in the human mind. There are some things that are best left unsaid. And I have seen, and heard too many stories of people who have gotten themselves into deep, deep doo-doo through Facebook. I don’t need it, don’t want it, and refuse to participate in it.
I keep struggling with this decision because I see how people are connecting differently today. Honestly, I know folks who would get over offended by a home visit, mad at a phone call, and refuse to answer an email. But I hear them talk, talk, talk about posting on Facebook “walls”. So as a Pastor charged with the responsibility of reaching out to those in need, I can see how Facebook, Google+ and others might be beneficial if used properly. But there’s the problem, is there a way to use the services properly, and without introducing yourself to content you do not want to interact with?
I tried out Google+ because of their claim that users have more control over content than on Facebook. And it made sense that since I use Blogger, Google Calendar, G-Mail and an Android Phone, Google+ would be a seamless experience. Only one problem, though.
On my front page, AFTER I had invited friends and colleagues to “link” to my account, I noticed the main, center bar of information contained a block called “What’s hot on Google+” The top story on it was a picture posted with an obscenity in bold letters. Google+ does not allow you to remove “What’s hot on Google+” I tried. I pasted code into my ad blocker, searched and searched for hacks and solutions. Nothing. My wife joined and was excited to start. The offending content popped up on her front page too. I deleted her page at her insistence, and then deleted mine. If you received an invitation from me, sorry. I’m through.
The closest I’ve come to social media (and I don’t use it socially) is Twitter. And I’ve posted around a dozen tweets in nearly three years. Just not worth it. I have too much on my plate as it is. I don’t need more drivel to read, and more obscenity thrown in my face without my ability to control it.
Ok. Enough with the old geezer rant.
I’m going to type something on my old typewriter