I’ve spent the last forty-eight hours pondering social media. To be honest all I’d achieved is a growing level of despair, until I had a moment of revelation.
Instead of giving up stuff and fasting for Lent, I’d say the way forward is to give up stuff and fast for the election campaign!
So it struck me that I’d give up political discussions on social media. If a real person raises the topic when we are met together over a drink then that is fair enough, but no political discussions on social media. There are several reasons for this. Firstly they’re a total waste of time, effort and electrons. (The latter could be better used elsewhere.)
Secondly the whole reason I started this social media stuff was because, sadly, I have books to sell. Screaming at somebody that they’re the spawn of Satan because they’re going to vote for the ‘wrong’ party doesn’t strike me as one of the better sales techniques. Well at least I’ve not had a lot of success with it so far.
Finally, life is too short to get wound up over arguments with people you’ll never meet and care little for.
So far, and it’s early days, things are going well. I’ve just avoided stuff. Indeed I have been a little cunning. I’ve not had to block anybody yet. But where they’ve merely shared a post by ‘Sad politically obsessed loonies.com’ I’ve blocked that page.
After all I don’t mind people I know having opinions, but be damned if I’m wasting my time over websites created by political parties and their HQ black propaganda teams in an attempt to sway people to their way of thinking.
Now obviously I’m not going to be hard hearted about this. If ‘Sad politically obsessed loonies.com’ ever showed any signs of trying to relate to me, engage me in discussions about matters of importance in the real world, then I’d be more open to them.
Obviously this demands a change of track from them. Their normal output tends to be ‘Our glorious party is composed entirely of persons who give their income to the poor, kiss the sores of lepers clean, and help infirm persons of all ages, genders and ethnicities across the road; while the other lot eat babies, sacrifice kittens to the dark gods of their ideology and if they win, then this is the last election you’ll ever have.’
If instead they were to post something along the lines of, “We believe that it is vitally important for the economy that people support our creative industries; thus we both urge and exhort you to purchase Jim Webster’s fine story, ‘Keeping Body and Soul Together’.
Should they do this I would certainly re-evaluate my approach. Not perhaps enough to vote for them, but certainly I’d give serious consideration to unblocking them on facebook.
Indeed if they were to go so far as to promise that in their efforts to improve literacy they would purchase a paperback copy of ‘Swords for a Dead Lady’ for every household,
then I’d not merely no longer block them, I might even be prevailed upon to share their posts.
Still when I stop to think about it, there may indeed unforeseen advantages to my policy. By eschewing politics my facebook wall will become a place of peace and joy. Let others turn their social media shop window into a battleground for crazed warring factions, with barely literate political nonentities spluttering marginally coherent insults at each other.
My wall will be a tranquil oasis, tempting the war-weary traveller to rest awhile, allow the bitter anxiety to drain from them, and perhaps even relax into a good book that takes them away for the insanity that rages in less salubrious areas.