Social media turn ‘friends’ into friends


Social media, particularly Facebook, have this way of turning acquaintances into something more significant than that.

If we’re not actual friends in the manner I prefer to use the term, then at least we are able to communicate on a little higher level than just exchanging banal pleasantries and talking about the weather.

Take for example what happened today.

I ran into someone with whom I’ve been acquainted on Facebook, although we knew each other very casually in an earlier part of our lives. We shook hands.

“I enjoy reading your blogs on Facebook,” he said. “I don’t comment on political things because I know I won’t change anyone’s mind, so what’s the point?” he continued.

“But I guess you’ve found out that our community is full of comedians,” he said. We both chuckled at that.

I told him I don’t write these blogs to change people’s minds. I write because it’s therapy for me.

Some people climb aboard motorcycles for what one biker-friend calls “throttle therapy.” Others go to the gym and pound on punching bags for another form of therapy.

Writing is my bag, man.

I did it for nearly four decades back when I was working for a living. My full-time writing gig ended abruptly — and unhappily, for me at least — nearly four years ago.

I’m still at it. And gladly so.

Which brings me to my actual point.

This blog of mine isn’t intended to change anyone’s mind. I get that everyone’s bias informs their own world view. I also get that the media already are full of talking heads, “contributors” and “political strategists” who fill the air with their opinions.

The only time in recent memory I’ve heard of anyone mind being changed on an issue involved the Amarillo municipal election this past year. Former Amarillo College President Paul Matney came to our Rotary club and made a pitch for the multipurpose event venue. A friend of mine, a hard-nosed Amarillo businesswoman, told me later Matney’s presentation┬áchanged her mind from a “no” vote to a “yes” vote on the MPEV.

I wrote about that event:

A mind has changed on the MPEV

No one has come to me ever and said, “You know, John, that blog you wrote about what a bozo Donald Trump is really got me thinking. I’m going to vote for anyone now other than that guy based on what you wrote.”

I do not expect that to happen. Ever!

That’s not why I write this stuff. I do it because I like doing it. It comes fairly easily … now that I’ve been writing many times daily since my full-time job ended.

I appreciated my Facebook “friend” saying what he did today. It means a lot that he gets something out of these musings of mine.

But, no, I don’t expect to convert anyone.

I call myself an idealist on a lot of issues.

On this one? I’m a hard-bitten realist.

I won’t stop offering my view of the world. You can take it or leave it.

See you next time.