Now that I’m a more-or-less full-time blogger, I reckon it’s time to get a few things off my chest about this form of recreation.
This blog has had its current name since the early fall of 2012 when I left daily journalism and pulled all my previous blog entries onto this current platform. With a lot of help from one of my sons, I have been able to share my blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, Google and LinkedIn — social media outlets that have served me well so far.
The Facebook sharing, though, presents at times a bit of an annoyance for me.
I share these posts on Facebook and they’re distributed among 400-plus “friends” — actual friends, mere acquaintances and even some people I don’t know personally but who are pals with others I do know. And every so often, these posts develop a lot of conversation on Facebook among my shared friends/acquaintances.
Why the annoyance?
Because sometimes these exchanges get personal. They’re sophomoric on occasion. They produce ad hominem attacks from one contributor onto another.
I wish I could control that kind of activity. Maybe this brief message to my fellow Facebookers will sink in.
A member of my family responded to a recent post about the New Jersey bridge lane-closing fiasco. Then an argument of sorts ensued between my family member and some others who hold differing views on the matter. Another respondent apparently wondered aloud why I don’t defend my family member. He responded with a few “maybe” suggestions, thinking maybe I believe he can take care of himself or that maybe I don’t want to offend my meager assortment of “fans.”
He can defend himself. As for offending my “fans,” well, they do a good job of offending others while being offended by those on the other side of whatever argument they’re having.
The truth is I have neither the patience or the interest — not to mention the time — to get involved in protracted discussions about issues on Facebook. My intent with the blog and other social media distribution outlets is to put stuff out there … period. I’ll let others take what they want from whatever I happen to say.
I’ll respond occasionally to someone who might misrepresent what I say while making some other point. I have been known to set the record straight on factual matters or just offer two- or three-word responses to someone’s statements.
I don’t have the stomach to keep going back and forth with someone whose opinion I won’t change — and who won’t change my opinion.
Long ago I learned a lesson when I got started in opinion journalism. It is that everyone views issues through their own set of principles, core values and biases. I have my own. Others have theirs. I’ll state my view and then move on. If it makes someone perhaps rethink a position on an issue, then that’s fine with me. Do I expect anyone to change their mind? No.
Meanwhile, I’ll just keep spewing out my take on issues large and small and add a few kind words when the need arises to salute those who have touched my life along the way. I also intend to write occasionally on life’s challenges, particularly as they relate to retirement and the onset of grandparenthood.
Meanwhile, let’s keep enjoying the ride together.