Recently, one of my posts regarding censorship of information and information stealing, mysteriously vanished from my wall. I ‘used my inside voice’ to thumb my finger at those who might wish to silence me and they in turn reminded me that my freedom of speech is limited as it’s their show. I am minimized and asked to exit stage left, respecting the irony of complaining about the fact that I do not have the right to publicly criticize those who have given me the means to do so.
Like it or not, we are encouraged to ‘like’, not dislike or disagree. On Facebook there is not even an option to ‘dislike.’ I think that’s a little creepy. Even to one who rarely thinks it necessary to focus on the negatives.
It seems that the masses continue to be nudged towards highly defined and subjective appropriate expressions of behaviour, for better or worse, by whomever happens to be sitting in the neo-liberalist socio-political self-appointed thrones that resemble the 1950s post war mentality.
Facebook has a built in Pavlovian response mechanism; immediate worldwide approval is possible if one knows how to mark one’s words and thoughts appropriately. The ego is fed when the inner politician pontificates.
But what are we trying to do? Create a massive cult of well-disciplined yes-people who spin rhetoric bordering on political propaganda, who boast with horrible grammar and spelling?
Speaking potentially unpopular truths has amounted in the assassination of some of the most amazing forward thinkers of all time. We all know that lighting the darkness can make those who like the darkness of ignorance blind with rage. But we are talking about fascism, here, and yes – even on the seemingly harmless scale of face book – the dismantling of our collective ability to be critical in reason and thinking is inevitable if we do not allow honest freedom of speech.
The underlying fear derived from history, I know, lives in the dormant cells of our thoughts, actions and even keystrokes. On a smaller level, the fear preys of one’s desire for approval, to fit in, to conform and to remain inside the traditional or acceptable lines of what’s considered socially normal. On a larger one, it preys on one’s fears of being singled out as a shit disturber, an anarchic thinker, a backwards boat rower – someone who ‘might be capable of criminal behaviour’ – which is now, by law in the United States, an arrestable offence. The scale which this fear plays on is an enormous as the growing population of face book users.
I love the joy of flower power and all the positive comments that are presenting on Facebook lately. There is a movement towards the something a little brighter than the ‘easy’ button of apathy. This movement kills fascism, hate and fear. But being genuine and peaceful is not always flowery and pretty. Sometimes, it involves uncomfortable feelings which must be expressed, if only so that the truth can be heard by others who yearn to hear it.
Behind every emotion and perhaps every Facebook post is a person: an honest, raw and real being seeking connection to others. We would not have created social networks and then joined them if this were not true.
So I say, say what you feel, so long as your intention is not harmful. Public opinion is not the same thing as popular opinion. Do not underestimate the power of expression. We are the venue. Even if threatened with loss of privileges, we will find another way. With each additional participant, we are increasing our potential to consolidate revolutionary thought through communication. Some of it’s ugly. Some of it’s ‘too real.’ Some of ‘sucks’ as my dear friend pointed out.
But it all serves a purpose. With each new post, we write history. So let us write what matters, and post it like we mean it.
Click here to see Post It Like You Mean It – Part 1.