I made the decision yesterday to walk away from Facebook. I don’t know yet if this break is temporary, as I’ve done in the past, or permanent, and I’m not wasting much time thinking about it.
Back in the day, FB was a fun place to connect with long-distance friends and family, reconnect with people from my past, and make new acquaintances. Now–as I’m sure you’ve observed–it’s largely a format for political diatribe, hate messages, finger-pointing, and laying blame.
There are positive messages as well–I don’t mean to imply that there aren’t–and people engaged in doing positive work on both sides of the fence to ease the turmoil that’s erupted in the wake of the latest U.S. presidential election. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the mudslingers are the ones who get the most attention.
So, I’m taking a break. I will continue to do what I can, in my own small way. I will donate to those causes I feel are worthy. I will speak out when I think I have something important to say. I will strive to be polite enough to give every side an opportunity to state its beliefs, and hope they will offer me the same courtesy.
And I will continue to hope, and to believe in the essential goodness of humanity. Perhaps one day soon, people still stop to draw breath, and think on these words, penned by Abraham Lincoln, who anticipated even then the brutal war in which the United States would soon be engaged:
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
(For a look at this in detail, please read this opinion piece from NPR.)