Carnes: Social media — love it or leave it
The changing of the guard in D.C. has prompted some to declare their disdain for all social media, vowing to never again participate in what they perceive as a one-sided, never-ending verbal debate over politics and issues of fairness.
Well bless their hearts.
Adios, so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye, but leave with the knowledge that social media outlets are what you make them, and nothing else.
I don’t use social media for political stimulation or confirmation, or any actual information that will affect my daily life or plans for the future.
I use Facebook to see things like “Eagle County Classifieds,” “Eagle County HAPPY Classifieds & Community” and “Eagle County Sweet Rants and Bitching.”
I use it to see the daily feelgood posts from friends like Heather Dorf Rawlings and intellectually stimulating posts from Bill Sepmeier.
I use it to enjoy humor from “The Far Side,” “Pearls Before Swine,” “Department of Hostile Sarcasm” and “The Onion.”
I follow bands, authors, sports teams, childhood friends from elementary school through college and local families and friends that have played important roles in having three boys born and raised in this wonderful valley.
It allows me to keep up with birthdays, new jobs, new pets, and even the occasional new baby photos, but mainly because I want them to look at mine, especially my first grandson.
Most of all, I am able to keep up with those same three boys of ours and their own lives, as they continue to grow and develop their own careers and families full of heartbreak and joy, highlights and lowlights, good times and bad.
For similar reasons I have used Instagram, Snapchat, What’s App, TikTok, and for my wife, add Pinterest and Reddit, among others.
I never bothered with the Twit Universe as he-who-must-not-be-named ruined it for me, but I did temporarily join Parler for its entertainment value until the Russia connection ruined that one for me as well.
Social media platforms are not government, they do not censor anyone, but each has its own set of rules, and either you follow them or you do not.
I choose to not miss out on my friends and family and to not join seldom-used platforms just to make a political statement that most social media sites would flag as inappropriate based upon their own rules.
Life is far too short.
And then again, it is my choice.
But for those who quit, know that you will be missed (well, most of you…) and we can still be friends.
The world has plenty of opportunities to debate issues elsewhere, if that’s your thing. Just look at the comments sections of news media sites, including our very own Vail Daily, which has taken to disabling comments at times to keep the same handful of evidently bored-but-anonymous readers from somehow twisting every single issue into a political left/right debate.
It’s the PeeWee Herman of comments, with “I know you are, but what am I” repeated ad nauseum.
We have very little personal control over what happens on social media sites, yet we have 100% control how we respond to it.
Choose it or lose it.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.