Frickin’ Facebook

I shouldn’t have announced I was leaving Facebook 21 days ago, on September 21.

I had good reasons for deciding for ditching the platform. They’d been building up for a long time. Such as Facebook’s deference, and even financial support, for Trump. A long history of failures to keep political disinformation off of the platform. And – the straw that broke the blogger’s back – Facebook’s pathetic response to justified criticisms that it is furthering the messages of climate deniers, either through its actions or lack thereof.

Even so, I wish I would’ve decided to announce I was mounting a time-limited protest by staying off of Facebook for a couple of weeks, instead.

Leaving was a mistake, so yesterday I jumped back in.

I realized it doesn’t always make sense to withdraw from a system (or platform) because it it sometimes isn’t doing the right things. And sometimes it’s important to fight from within that system. It’s like fossil fuels – I would be 100 percent renewable if I could, but as long as I’m in a system that puts an electric vehicle out of reach financially for my family, I’ll need to keep using our minivan. That’s not hypocritical; it’s reality. At the same time, we’ll continue to cut our carbon footprint in as many ways as we can and fight to accelerate the inevitable transition to renewables.

And the truth is I missed a lot of what I’d been seeing from people I respect and who are fighting for the same things I am. And – egotistically – I missed sharing IV Words blog posts on Facebook and in the various groups to which I belong.

I still believe Facebook fails in many “alternative facts” kinds of ways; the good reasons I had for ditching it in the first place remain, and they need to be addressed. However, for now at least, it’s a communication tool I’m not ready to give up.

I believe it was the late Speaker of the House Thomas (Tip) O’ Neill who used to say that when you realize you were wrong, admit it openly, publicly and move on. Don’t speak of it again unless absolutely necessary.

So here’s me, moving on:

I wish I hadn’t left Facebook.

I am back.

Nothing more to see here. Move along.

(Facebook! Frick!)

Black outlined graphic indicating copyright 2020 Martin C. Fredricks IV

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