Thursday, April 10, 2014

Is this the right App for an Argument?

There are a few things that Facebook does really well. 
How else would I know how delicious your lunch looks,  if you didn't post a picture. 
How would I know which Wizard of Oz character I am or what my "Blues Name" would be or how cute your dog or cat is without Facebook.  
I love those old photos on Thursday, can't get enough of them.  And who can resist informative posts that end with... "Send this to 20 of your friends or you will get crotch rot in three days."  If this was Facebook I would now publish a picture of me with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek. 
However, high on my gratitude list of "things I like most about Facebook", is posts from my friend, Ann Anderson.  She is a wonderful person, excellent writer, one of the first stage managers for my Tony Award winning show, but mostly Ann is very funny.  I usually laugh out loud at her posts.  I don't mean LOL... I mean an actual laugh. I miss Miss Ann and wish she was geographically closer. That is another thing I like about Facebook, physical geography doesn't matter, we can all meet in this media middle. 
But, Facebook is NOT good at a lot of other things. The most egregious is substantive discussion of politics, religion or any emotional subject. Recently I wrote in this blog about my confusion when I "Liked" a post about someone's Mother passing away. Facebook makes that awkward social interaction instantly possible for millions.
If you are looking for facts and truthful information... you are looking in the wrong direction on Facebook. Unfortunately this is not general knowledge for the average FB user.  Political evangelist think they can sway the opposition with a paragraph.  Religious fanatics think they can convert a sinner with a quote from the Bible.  Facebook users seem to easily confuse debate with conversation or discussion with comment. A comment on a Facebook post is neither discussion, debate nor conversation.  It is simply a comment. Most people can't write a complete sentence so, intent, voice and innuendo are rarely present in the average comment. The odds of being misinterpreted in a Facebook post or comment are exponential.
Children are taught: count to ten before you say something that will make you sorry. I think we should count to more than ten before placing words on the Internet.  Why can't we dial down the tone of the Facebook discourse and celebrate our differences?  Let's not use the Internet to proselytize for exclusions but encourage inclusions. Let's celebrate our different views.
I am so glad that there are differences in the world.  Everybody can love a different color of rose, or have a different favorite song. We learn from our differences. And we can all agree that we may sometimes disagree. But if we continue to disagree on everything... that conversation stays the same and never grows. It becomes an argument:

Palin 
Is this the right room for an argument?

Cleese 
I told you once.

Palin 
No you didn't.

Cleese 
Yes, I did.  

Palin 
No you didn't

Cleese 
Yes, I most certainly....Oh I'm sorry.... is this the full half hour argument or just five minutes.

Palin 
Five minutes...

Cleese 
That's 20 dollars... Thank you...
Now, let's get one thing straight, I did tell you.

Palin 
No you didn't.

Cleese 
Yes I did

Palin 
No you didn't.

Cleese 
Yes.

Palin 
Wait a minute.. I'm paying for this session and this not an argument

Cleese 
Yes it is.

Palin 
No- it's not..An argument is not the 
automatic game of saying Yes/NO  Yes/No

Cleese 
Yes it is

Palin 
No it's not.  

Thank you, Cleese, Idle, Chapman, Guiliam, Jones  and Palin.
As you were,
Jay

4 comments:

P. Grecian said...

No it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

"And given that most people do not know how to write a complete sentence; intent, voice and innuendo are rarely present in the average comment." First, this is a grammatically incorrect sentence (ironically). Second, it's not "Face Book" or "FaceBook," it's "Facebook."

JAY JOHNSON said...

Dear Anonymous.... thanks for your anonymous corrections. Duly noted about Facebook... and Please give the reason that the sentence is grammatically incorrect. How else can we celebrate your wisdom.
Thank you for the correct use of the word "Ironically" and from now on, please use your name, state your qualifications and why you are acting like my Third grade teacher? IRONICALLY, you have proven my point about comments.

Rachel Kelley said...

Hey Jay~

The best thing about Facebook, is that you can locate people you lost contact with years ago. I met you & your lovely wife more than 30 years ago when you placed your 4 month old son in my arms!! Mom & I think of you all often & wonder where you are & how you are doing.

In fact, I am taking mom to see the new movie directed by Randy this coming Wednesday. I can't believe it has been 30 years! Time really does fly. Somewhere I have pictures of the Left-handed League.

Look for me on Facebook if you want. Rachel Nolt Kelley