Thursday, August 23, 2012

Facebook Cleanup Time

Well folks, it's that time again.  Time to clean up some of my Facebook account.

When I first got onto Facebook several years ago, I was all ah ga ga about this great forum for social networking.  Alas, all too soon I found there were some serious pitfalls.

The main reason I originally got onto Facebook was to know and keep in touch with new family members,  the sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters of my many first cousins.  I am the family tree keeper in my family and what better way to keep up to date with all the new additions than by Facebook.  Plus, all those new photos, wonderful!

Later on I started to add friends and co-workers.  I thought (foolishly as it turned out) "what a cool way to stay in touch."  Alas, it didn't take me too long to discover this was a BIG MISTAKE.  First of all I didn't really want the housekeeping staff at the hotel to know all my daily ins and outs.  That was my mistake.  My second big mistake was not realizing that other people are on Facebook reading my posts that I don't even know.  Oh yes, PEOPLE I had not friended were reading my posts.

I think I wrote about this in a previous blog but I'll repeat it now.  I posted a video of two men (brothers as it turned out) dancing the tango.  Even though I'm gay I didn't post the video because of any homoerotic content but because of the fact that two men danced the tango better than any man or woman I've ever seen dance the tango.  Right after posting the video I get a message from my co-worker  saying "Give it a break Ron!"  At first I didn't understand what she was saying and let it go.  Then I got another rude comment stating that my GAY posting had no place on Facebook.  I thought she was joking.  I mentioned the comments at work and was told "Oh, that's her husband.  He reads and comments on her Facebook account."  WHAT?!?

I sent a comment back stating that his comment sounded a bit homophobic and that it was my Facebook account and if he didn't like my postings then don't read them.  Notice a pattern here?  Yet another person trying to control what I post.  Well, returning his comment with mine was a BIG MISTAKE.  The "conversation" quickly degenerated into one of the standard homophobe arguments that I was going to hell for being gay, that I should post such "vile" on Facebook, etc.  You get the idea.  All the while we're messaging back and forth my other co-workers are seeing this hateful trash.  I put a stop to everything by unfriended everyone at work. EVERYONE.

My eyes were opened to the dark side of Facebook.  I didn't go back on for months.

Slowly I returned to Facebook, but this time oh ever so cautious.  I still had family, and some friends on Facebook.  I also had some people who were my "Friends" who I have never met nor do I know personally.  Some were folks I know through my genealogy, which were acceptable to me.  Others?  If I didn't know the person I wouldn't accept their requests to be friends.

But now a new problem popped up.  You know how they say "You can pick you nose but you can't pick your relatives?"  Oh so true.  I would say most of my relatives are conservative.  Some are like me, progressive thinking liberal Democrats.  But we are definitely in the minority.  Most of my neighbors are conservative.  Quite a few of my friends are conservative.  I don't have a problem with that.  In fact, I used to be a conservative myself in my previous life until George W. Bush and his administration tried to take my veterans' benefits away from me in 2000.  That was when this conservative got "mugged" and saw that today's conservative Republicans are not your father's conservative Republicans.

I respect their views and I think most of them respect my views.  However, I do have a fair amount of "knuckle dragging conservative Republicans" in my family tree.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  The ones who hate President Obama so much that they can't see or think straight.  The ones who say they believe in small government but insist on putting government's nose in our bedrooms and private affairs.  The ones who view gays like me as second class citizens and say we had a "choice" in being gay and can change.  Yes, THOSE CONSERVATIVES.  The ones who think President Obama is a Muslim and a foreigner who wasn't  born in the United States.  The ones who believe that Adam and Eve romped with dinosaurs.  Yes, THOSE CONSERVATIVES.

So when I saw one of my relatives posts nothing but hate filled posts against President Obama and the Democrats, I tied to ignore it as long as I could because, after all, he was my relative.  But after awhile I just couldn't take the bile and invective anymore and I unfriended him.  Again, I retreated from Facebook, burned and disillusioned.  One friend told me "Ron, you've always been sensitive."  Yes, guilty as charged.

You know something folks?  As much as I'm tempted to post all my political views and rant and rave through my Facebook account, I don't because I know it is BORING and that I will never change any of these people's mine.  Hate is a very hard if not impossible hurdle to overcome.

It always amazes me that these people can't see that they are being bamboozled and lied to by the Republicans.  They believe what they want to believe and have their horse blinders on to anything that veers from what they want to believe.  They are hopeless.  I can't change that.

Lately I've been creeping back onto Facebook, lulled into a false sense of reason and sanity when yet another relative starts spewing the hate and bile that is today's right wing nut Republican Party knuckle draggers.  I've tried to ignore their hate posts. I've tied to look past them.  I've even put their posts on "HIDE" but to little avail.  Their hate seeps through.

So it is with some sadness that I have to go into my Facebook account this morning and clean it up by unfriending these individuals.  I have no use for them in my life and apparently they have no use for me because I have the double whammy of being gay and a liberal Democrat.  I will not permit myself to be discounted or marginalized because of who I am, whether they be family, friend or foe.

Life is too short to accept this nonsense.


anne marie in philly said...

I don't have a facebook account and I never will. it's crap like you describe that leaves me cold. I'd rather just stay in the background of life.

Bob said...

I keep my Facebook so only people on my Friend's list can read it.
But I also have a Republican Uncle who posts ridiculous stuff about "bama." He can't even be bothered to spell the man's name. But his posts i usually just hide from view on my wall.

Ron said...


I have severely cut back on my Facebook posts. I never post my current situation anymore. I don't want someone robbing my house and why should anyone know where I'm going anyway? I mainly keep my Facebook account to keep up with my more reasonable relatives and the photos of their families that I use for my family tree records. I try to stay out of contentious political discussions but sometimes I just have to respond to the stupidity.

Always good to hear from you Bob. I think you're one of the most talented and interesting bloggers out there.


Ron said...

Anne Marie,

Wise move on your part! Believe me, I've debated whether or not I should keep my Facebook account. I mainly keep it to have access to photos of family members.


Mark said...

I have those relatives too who say insulting things against Obama. And although I'm no fan of Obama and am probably more conservative than they are, insults are low class and I usually call them out on their remarks. I do it with love. It's the only way to guide them.

Amanda said...

I hate Facebook for the same reasons you are unhappy with it. So I post beautiful pictures, quotes that make sense to me ...Articles that I deem important and know some of my friends will find interesting...
I have restricted people, deleted others. I "like" a lot of posts and comment only when it is necessary, and never comment about politics. The reason why I stay on Facebook is because it is nice to see what some people are doing, where they are...
Just like blogging, I know who has had an education (and keeps learning), and I know who the political nuts, animal activists... are. I don't get offended, because I don't post anything offending (I hope). My big thing right now is to
warn people about Monsanto and GMOs, because it is important to me. Again, like blogging, it is up to me to post whatever I want. If you don't like it, don't read, don't comment, just move on. For my "real" friends, there is the phone, and emails.
Come to think of it Ron, I find it fascinating what some people write about even though I completely disagree with them.
Why do they believe this party and not the other, why are they so gullible, why, why...? I bet it wouldn't have been for Facebook, you would never have known what a "friend" thought about homosexuality, Obama... It might make us angry, but
I really find it fascinating.

Ron said...


I'm not a big Obama fan either but when I consider the alternative, there is no choice. At least President Obama doesn't work on making me a second class citizen just because I'm gay. If that was the only thing he did, he would have my total support. I could never support any politican who views me less than a whole human being. Today's Republicans would roll back the clock for equal rights for gays.