My mother was a very wise person, although I have to say I rarely recall her reading a book. She had a saying that people of my era will recognize. The two dominant means of spreading propaganda in my youth and well into adulthood were Time and Life Magazines. As my mother said, probably repeating her own mother’s words, “Time is for people who can’t think, Life is for people who can’t read.”
I have two major means of interacting with other people: This blog, and Facebook. Our friend and writer Steve Kelly recently quit Facebook, and I admire that. I cannot make myself do it. I am connected to my cousins, a few real friends, and some former classmates. I don’t want to lose ties with them.
But compared to this blog, Facebook has to be for people who can neither read nor think.
“Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired.” (Jonathon Swift)
Translation: Don’t argue with fools.
There is no point in putting up something more than two lines long, as it does not get read. There is no point in arguing with partisans, as they are not reasoned in and so cannot be reasoned out, as Swift’s quote is usually modernized to say. There is no point in bringing up anything we might discuss here on this blog, as it only produces ridicule.
So why have Facebook? Two reasons, as far as I can see: One, to spread jokes I like:
The other is to do the one thing I have vowed never to do here on this blog, to put up travel stories and photos. It’s boring, like in the past having to sit through someone’s slide show.
Some things I just don’t get:
That is a nice sentiment, and I don’t criticize it at all. What I want to know is how all of these thoughts and quotations end up on a stylized background in fancy color letters. Is there some website where I can make my own thoughts seem deeper and more impressive by doing this to them?
Another thing: Photos of food. One former FB “friend”/classmate would daily put up a photo of his lunch. Every day he would visit a bar and have beer and bar food. I and others were puzzled at our reunion at how he is a beanpole. I have to avoid things like beer, potatoes in all forms, chips and pasta and cookies, cake and ice cream, as the weight gain is almost immediate. I live like a Spartan. Anyway, photos of fried food, for instance, corn dogs, don’t come out well. At least he spared us his after effects, toilet shots.
The rest of Facebook – the weather, pets, grand kids … all good fun. But if there is a fake event, like for instance the Paris shootings, the (real) people behind Facebook event use Facebook to sell it. As I recall, during that time people were overlaying their posts with an opaque French flag to show our solidarity with them.
Had the Paris event happened while Time and Life were still our prominent propaganda sources, there would have been some very crisp writing in Time about the horror of the event, and a big photo spread in Life. Now they just slap it on Facebook and watch it travel around the world.
As I say, Facebook is for people who can neither read nor think. But has anything changed? There are 1,034 followers on this blog, and I treasure every one. I have 43 “friends” on Facebook, and I check that number routinely to see who has recently “Unfriended” me.