Richard Paolinelli

Un-Social Media?

About this time last week I decided to shutter my social media as well as avoid – as much as was possible – the news. I wanted to get away from the non-stop barrage of election coverage.

So I stayed off, figuring I would sign back on Wednesday morning. The election would be over, the winner determined, the political ads off the air and life would finally get back to normal.

I made one mistake. I forgot that this is 2020.

So when I popped back online I was greeted with the continuing chaos that is the 2020 Elections. This mess is going to continue on through December – and maybe even into January – despite media organizations calling the race for Biden. This is going to dominate the news until then and maybe even beyond.

So be it. I walked away from politics in 2016 and never looked back. My focus is on writing and as long as the political circus stays out of my way they can do whatever they want. In the final analysis, they are unimportant.

12391200_1051842254836608_5427364927344955744_nBut what concerned me was the reactions I was seeing from Biden voters and certain Democrats. The first post I saw when I logged back into Facebook was a hate-filled screed from a deranged woman. She was calling the millions of people who didn’t vote for Biden “demons” and calling for them to be place on a list. Many agreed with her post. Others called for them to be “arrested”, “reeducated” or barred from having a job or voting until they had been properly educated. I assume this meant once they swore fealty to “rightthink” but with this level of crazy assumptions are dangerous.

I’ve had people I’ve never interacted with before calling me all sorts of names and threatening to put me on lists. Never mind that I didn’t vote for either Trump, Biden or Clinton in 2016 or 2020 I have been found guilty of “wrongthink” merely because I did not vote for their approved overlord.

e3c8d68a5601ade4367657611afbd096My return to Twitter was even more horrifying. And as the week passed, it only became worse. A sitting member of Congress is suggesting that people that voted for or supported the current President be put on an “enemies list”.  Some of the suggestions that followed as to what said list was to be used for is terrifying. 

I would suggest to the Notorious AOC and all of those who agreed with her line of thought take a long, hard look at the last such member of Congress that made such suggestions. Joseph McCarthy drove himself to self-destruction thinking in such terms. They are on the same path to their own doom if they keep this up.

There was one positive result that I noticed from my unplugging  from social media. My outlook on everything immediately improved. For 84 hours I felt really good about just about everything. It took all of 15 minutes back on social media for all of that to evaporate.

I am beginning to think that Big Social Media (Twitter/Facebook) might be doing more damage to us all than COVID-19 has. To that end, my approach to social media has changed.

Twitter is gone, from my phone and my desktop. My account there deleted by my own hand. It won’t be coming back. It is a toxic cesspool that should be labeled a hazard to the mental health of human beings. The sooner Twitter goes the way of Ultranet the better, in my opinion.

Facebook is being throttled by me as well. I originally signed up to keep up with distant family and friends. I have a secondary account for family-only which I will keep.

My primary account will be limited to writers and books groups. I’ve already dropped out of dozens of other groups. I estimate about 99% of my postings there will be to promote my books or the weekly features here on my blog. I will chat privately with my writer friends or post in the private groups we are in together. But that is it.

I have accounts on Parler and MeWe. You can find me there as those platforms have not gone full fascist as Facebook and Twitter has. I’m hoping that this makes my time online a lot more enjoyable than it has been for several years.

As for the rest of the world… well, I suppose all we can do is pray that this madness passes sooner rather than later. Otherwise we’re liable to end up with a world that looks like this…



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