Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How free are we to say on social media how absurd we think we all are?

It seems that President-elect Donald J. Trump, who has made heavy use of a personal Twitter account to spread word of his thoughts (which I doubt consist of anything more than 140 characters at a time), is selective of who is permitted to read him.

Recent news reports tell of people who cannot read anything posted by the account of @realDonaldTrump because he has chosen to ban then.

THIS DOES NOT seem to be an uncommon notion. I have a Facebook friend who likes to use his account to post political missives (usually along the lines of how misunderstood Trump is) who recently declared that people can’t comment on his page unless they “friend” him and how he reserves the right to delete anything he considers irrelevant to his issues.

Personally, I think that amounts to people putting way too much time and effort into their social media accounts. Or perhaps they really believe they should be taken all that seriously. Although I also understand that my friend probably has many idiots who have nothing better to do than post obscenity-laced diatribes on his site telling him how wrong he is!

I have always had a rather loose attitude toward people responding to me when I write something – largely because I have always realized that people have the right to be wrong.

I feel pity for those who don’t realize the innate sensibilities of the stances I take when I write various commentaries. Either that, or I figure I already had my say on an issue by writing the initial commentary.

WHEN IT COMES to responses published on this site, the only things I delete are those from people who insist on using profanity. I can handle the fact that 100 percent of the populace does not agree with me. I just don’t need to contribute to the spread of obscene language.

Which means I kind of feel sorry for those people who feel a need to control the level of debate they are subjected to while taking actions that are meant to provoke a reaction. What’s the fun in writing thoughtful commentary if all you’re seeking is people who agree with you?

If anything, I’m curious to see what becomes of the Twitter missives sent out by Trump – which, by the way, was the focus of a Saturday Night Live sketch this past weekend – once he gets access to the presidential account.

As in the one now used by Barack Obama and his aides to send out messages to his supporters. Will knowing that his thoughts will now be archived for posterity cause Trump to tone down his level of nastiness?

OR IS HE going to resist using the official presidential Twitter account and try to use his own personal one; on the grounds that he wants more control over the process.

Which would be very similar to the line of logic that Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state in insisting on having a personal Internet server to handle the e-mail messages she sent instead of merely using the official federal government amenities.

Ironic if Trump wound insist on committing an act very similar in intent to the one that he repeatedly claimed during the campaign that she deserved incarceration for.

In my own case, I have Facebook (www.facebook.com/gregory.tejeda) and Twitter (@tejeda_gregory) accounts – although I don’t really do as much as many people do with either. I see them as serving a self-promotional purpose – usually to make people aware of the thoughts that are being published at this weblog. Which is why I let people say what they want – I’m amazed they bothered to post at all.

IN FACT, THE Twitter account has only been in existence for not quite two months, and I have fewer than 20 people “following” me. Largely because I see the medium as so limiting that it’s not worth much of my time.

Which makes me wonder about what kind of public official have we, the people, truly elected. A twit who Tweets? And one who thinks he can restrict with the whim of a couple of computer keystrokes who is allowed to read his thoughts. Most of which are insipid enough that I haven’t bothered to want to be among the “millions” of people who follow his account.

I’d like to think I have better things to do with my time and read him. I wish more people felt the same way, and not just about Trump.

“Social” media, by-and-large, is for use by people whose social skills are so lacking that I doubt we’d ever want to encounter them in person.


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