I have officially become a member of the Facebook Community and I couldn't be more unhappy. I realize that the Internet has become a gift to those looking for long lost friends and family, but sometimes the past is, well, better left in the past.
I joined Facebook at the behest of several friends. They were looking for me, and I can't imagine why. I always knew where I was. But, it sounded fun, so I joined. It was like going back in time, and WHAM! All those people you enjoyed the company of while in high school were there, with their not-so-high school-ish physiques (well, all but Paul DiGi...the bodybuilding is obviously still a hobby!) It was comforting to know that, although we all started at different points in the looks catagory, we are now in about the same place with our graying hair, our belly rolls, and our proud parent pictures.
What I didn't expect was to find the lack of attention everyone has in conversing. In a blog, I get to state a point, give the supports to that point and invite others to make commentary, pro or con. It is civilized, productive and reasonable. Facebook is very different. An opinion or thought (random, usually) is thrown out to the general community and everyone gets to throw their two cents into the hat. It's like I'm back home and all the opinions carry more weight than my own. There is no civilized debate, because they all flit from one page to another, randomly commenting on what so-and-so is doing, or something that came up in the news or some weird animal a widget declared them to be. It is all surface, and substance seems to be as rare as the Obama Healthcare Bill. Lots of talk, but in the end, very little meaning.
I did have one quality discussion with an individual I knew would be reliable, and one that went very wrong. It was initiated in response to the President's speech regarding healthcare. Now, this individual was always known for quick wit and biting remarks, so in fairness, I should not be offended. But I was alarmed at the sheer hostility when a person (namely, me) disagreed with his opinion. His opinion was, of course, that noone should die because they couldn't afford healthcare. I would agree with this statement, but I disagreed with the solution. This immediately made me the target of his wrath.
I began to realize, too late, that going on Facebook would also be time travel back to high school and all its immaturity. It became a game of taunts, as though we were all teenagers again. And due to the nature of Facebook, the conversations are started, and dropped as quickly as they start. Attention is distracted to the newest random thought a friend posts.
Now, I understand that intelligent debate was not made for Facebook. I realize that email is a better medium for this type of conversation. But it never ceases to amaze me how rude people feel they are allowed to be when talking on an internet. My own daughter has been known for biting remarks when sending an email. It is probably related to the ADD approach to the internet. We don't have time to reread our notes, and we click that send button before we consider how the other person might interpret our words.
So, I am returning to blogging my thoughts. I believe politics and religion are far too important to waste on random thoughts tranmitted through Facebook and Twitter. Some subjects need careful thought, reconsideration, and intelligent observation before replying. Reasonable discussions must begin with clear and cohesive thoughts, not random ones. And biting remarks only distract and hurt.
So for all you out there discussing the Healthcare Reform issue, I suggest reading the various issues facing Medicare payments and the government response. Look at the amount the government will be expected to pay in the next four years. It is the clue to why the panic is overcoming Congress.
And for those of you who would like to read more about the issue, here is a link to an article by the AMA about the projections of Medicare spending: http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2008/04/14/gvl10414.htm After you read it, you'll understand why the members of Congress are defecating all over themselves.
Then we can BRAINSTORM ideas. And remember...reread before hitting the 'post' button!