Tag Archives: controversy


That would be Friggen Facebook, not Best Friends Forever.

But I agree with the bazillion fb users out there, of which I am a mere 1, that there ARE a lot of good uses for fb. Case in point: Amazing  true story of Jacob Boehm, 22-year old Stanford music student who wandered off while traveling alone in Malaysia. Family & friends panicked when they lost all contact for six days. His parents in California created a fb page asking if anybody had seen him. Within 24 hours he was found on a remote jungle hike where there was no cell phone reception. If you were to map what happened, the connections criss-crossed the globe as fast as only cyberspace can carry. The Borg side of fb!

NOT included in good uses is the amount of time I waste cruising through fb stuff. I know I’m not alone, but OK, that’s personal time-wasting choice. What tops my list of WTH?Why-didn’t-you-use-your-brain-before-posting? are the unintended consequences of re-posting.

First I’ll say it’s already a peeve of mine when otherwise really nice people ask me to ‘post this as your status.’ What if I don’t want to re-post it — for reasons legit or other? At a minimum I am not a nice person. More likely I obviously don’t give a shit about kids with cancer, the environment, or the latest tragedy somewhere. Likely I should rot in hell for my unadulterated shortsighted selfish behavior. Do I judge too harshly? Perhaps a tad.

But consider this, if I like apost  and want to re-post it I will — all on my own. Maybe it reminds me of the chain e-letters and their antecedents via snail mail that openly threaten life, limb and one’s first born. But fb is more insidious. It carries behind it the weight of unspoken but public humiliation. Seriously, what kind of person ARE YOU???

Anyway, that’s not what tops my list either. It’s this.

Let’s say you happen to be an ecologist, democrat, foreigner, or welfare recipient. Someone posts something so odious, so utterly heinous, so downright stupid, selfish or mean-spirited that your ‘oh no you don’t’ juices start cascading in waterfalls. Sooooo you re-post it to let loose your wrath, intelligent counter-position or righteous outrage. Fine — except for the unintended consequence.  If it’s an outrage for you it’s likely to be contraversial enough that some folks, bless their evil little hearts, will feel just as strongly for as you do against.

Re-posting it will make their day. Effectively this is giving plenty o’ free advertising to a position you never even wanted to know existed. Usually with a picture included to be even more attention-getting. This might even help it go viral when all you really wanted to do was squeeze its greedy little neck and drown it somewhere it wouldn’t be found for thousands of years.

So what to do with that righteous anger? Honest, there is a better way. Educate the world — even via FFB — about your position. Get up on that cyber stage and grandstand your beliefs. Forget the anti’s. Put out your for’s. Ignore the con’s. Explain the pro’s.

Who knows? Maybe someone will get angry enough to re-post it.