Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Is This the Golden Age of Facebook?

I feel like I am entering an entirely new world of hyper-politics, where everything, and I mean everything is about whatever is happening in Washington. Part of it is a natural byproduct of the Inauguration of a new President, especially this new President. So, I'm tempted to believe that it will soon pass. But with each passing day, that temptation gets weaker.

This morning, my Facebook wall is chocked full of politics. Sure, there is the occasional, "cut and paste this to your wall if you love your sister," sort of thing sprinkled into the mix, along with a few videos of someone mixing up the ingredients for a killer meatloaf, but mostly, its politics. Of course, when I put it that way, politics seems like a superior option! But, if I had fallen asleep for a few years and suddenly woke up this week and turned on Facebook I would be convinced of the following:

Donald Trump is about to destroy the world.

Betsy DeVos is an idiot, fool, rich, clueless elitist who wants to destroy the public school system.

Elizabeth Warren is a Goddess who is really good at destroying everyone who disagrees with her.

Al Franken, a former comedian, has suddenly been transformed into an expert on federal education policy.

Actors and directors in Hollywood are very afraid of what may become of them and us.

The guy we just elected as President has time to...tweet.

...and good lord is he thin-skinned!

The Inauguration is going to be overrun with the dispossessed, with protesters outnumbering celebrants 2:1

There will only be a relative handful of protesters but their number will be wildly exaggerated by the press.

Oh, and members of the press who are critical of Trump, (which is to say 95% of the press), are about to be rounded up and sent to internment camps.

That's the only conclusion I could reasonably come to if the world is accurately portrayed on my Facebook feed. Maybe everything I just wrote is true, all of it, true. Maybe some of it is overheated. Maybe some of it is hyperbole. But there can be no doubt that for a lot of the people who posted, it is very much their reality. I do not envy them. What a ghastly place this world must be if politics rules your world. It's a world of endless fundraising letters warning of always impending doom. It's a world  where the men and women on the other side are all blinded by dogma, full of hatred and animus, where only the enlightened men and women on your side can save the day...but not without your financial contribution of $10, $25, $50, $100, or more!

On the other hand, it's only Facebook. If I give it time, eventually politics will trickle away, one frantic, panicked post at a time, and before you know it, we will once again be contented with posting pictures of sunsets, puppies, kittens and our grandchildren. You know...the golden age of meaningless feel-good drivel!