Tag Archives: Facebook

No thank you …

I have reached my boiling point with these so-called social media “friends” who scour the Internet looking for people with whom they allegedly want to become acquainted.

An individual who presented herself as an attractive young female asked if we could “chat.” I asked “her” what she wanted to talk about.

“She” said she wants to “get to know” me better.

I hit the ceiling. I responded with this: “I have more than enough actual friends with whom I have trouble staying current. I don’t need or want any more Internet ‘friends’ who have no interest in me. Look elsewhere. Good bye.”

I probably shouldn’t have responded to this individual … but what the hell. I just had to get it off my chest.

This is my way of saying, I suppose, to anyone on the hunt for pigeons to lure into some sort of Internet relationship that I ain’t your guy.

My new life remains a work in progress. I intend to get it all sorted out in due course. I’ll just have to stipulate that it won’t be via any sort of “come on” from someone who more than likely is not the individual “she” purports to be.

Social media: warning, warning!

I feel the need to use this blog to vent about social media and the threats they pose to individuals of a certain age and demographic … such as yours truly.

Here’s the deal. I am a 73-year-old male who admits to being a bit too involved with at least one social media platform; that would be Facebook. 

Lately, say, within the past four or five months, I have been getting these “friend” requests from individuals who send them to me accompanied by a picture of an attractive — in some cases drop-dead gorgeous — females.

I don’t know these individuals, obviously. It’s tempting to engage them and I am willing to acknowledge that temptation. I prefer not to do so, believing that there’s a chance that the individual seeking my “friendship” might be looking for something other than an individual with whom she can converse.

As those of you who have been following this blog know, I have been writing about the journey I have undertaken since the passing of my dear bride, Kathy Anne. My journey remains a trek without a clear destination, which I suppose brings me to the point of this blog.

It is that social media in all their forms can become predatory weapons for those willing to use them in that fashion. I am not a Snap Chat or Tik Tok participant, nor do I use Instagram all that much; Twitter is fading away and LinkedIn is for professionals and I am a semi-retired former full-time journalist.

I also am alert enough — and perhaps even cynical enough — to presume that the individuals seeking to become “friends” have no relationship with the pictures they send me via Facebook. Put another way, I am immediately suspicious of a picture of a gorgeous female, thinking that the sender of the “friend” request might be some toothless, hairy-backed knuckle-dragger looking to play a dirty trick on this old fella.

I know I’ll get to where I am intended to go eventually. This journey is taking its natural coarse and I trust the forces that are guiding it — and me. I am just trying like the dickens to keep social media temptations at bay.

So far, so good.

A flash from recent past worth repeating

The picture you see here takes me back. It was taken in 1961. It shows two presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy and the man he succeeded, Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Kennedy won the 1960 election by a razor-thin margin over Richard Nixon, who served as vice president in the Eisenhower administration.

What precisely are these men discussing as they stroll through the presidential retreat at Camp David, Md.? Beats me.

But the picture came with some text that someone posted on Facebook. It reads in part:

This is not a political post. I am posting as a service to Facebook users too young to recall such times. This is a picture of President Kennedy, a Democrat, and former President Eisenhower, a Republican … It hasn’t always been, “I won and you lost.” We used to understand that we are all better together than we are when grouped in opposing camps. Competition is fine, as long as you understand who you are competing against. It’s not productive to burn something down, just so you can stand on the smoldering ashes.

This photo seems rather quaint, but it’s also instructive to those who have no memory of how we used to function at the highest level of our government. Men succeeded each other at the pinnacle of power and the individual who ceded that power to his successor made himself available to provide counsel and advice.

We haven’t seen this occur in recent times. The most recent presidential election, tragically, has resulted in perpetuating hatred among Americans of differing points of view.

The cause of that ill will is clear to me: It comes from the defeated candidate for president in 2020 refusing to concede that he lost. His refusal has fed the anger that still burns among those who follow him down some path to oblivion.

I am no Pollyanna. I know there is a way to restore the collegiality that formerly existed between those of differing political parties. It can start simply with the defeated former president doing what is right. He could stand before a crowd of journalists and call put an end to The Big Lie, the one he repeats by telling us about phony allegations of “widespread voter fraud.”

It won’t happen. I just thought it helpful to show you how it used to be … and how it could be once again.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Watch out, social media!

Social media can be full of trickery, blind spots and occasional booby traps … which is why I like to use social media platforms primarily to convey thoughts I write on High Plains Blogger.

I kind of ran into one of those booby traps today with a post I shared on a private neighborhood group on Facebook.

The post had to do with an upcoming election in Princeton, Texas, where I live. The city wants to stage an election in November that will ask voters for permission to form a home-rule charter commission to draft a charter for the city to govern itself.

I wanted to share it on a neighborhood group to which my wife and I belong. I submitted the blog post, but it got kicked out. It was rejected by Facebook. The “administrator” of the group where I sent the item said the issue is publishing items on multiple social media platforms.

Hmm. No sweat. Now I hear that Facebook might be monkeying around a bit too liberally with social media content. It is “censoring” some items, one of my “neighbors” wrote.

Whatever. We live now in an era where social media has emerged as a primary source of information for millions of Americans. I have friends and members of my family to rely on social media to give them the “news.” The problem I see with that option is that they aren’t getting “news” the way I understand the term; they are hearing opinions on the news and if you agree with the slant, you listen some more; but if you disagree with it, well, you hit the road.

This the new age in media, my friends. It isn’t pretty. It is, as the late Walter Cronkite would tell us, “the way it is.”

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Let’s give this a try

I have just joined a Facebook public policy group that purports to lean to the conservative side of the great divide.

It came to me under the name “Michael Johns.” I joined, read the ground rules and now am awaiting final “approval” by a group “administrator.”

Johns describes himself as a national TEA Party co-founder and an analyst with the Heritage Foundation; he now works as a health care executive.

This could be fun, if they allow me to join. I did get the invitation from this group, so perhaps they want me as part of their group.

You see, I look at public policy from a different point of view. I consider myself a “good government progressive,” which is to say I believe in compromise as a way to further constructive legislation. I do tilt to the left, away from this group I have just joined.

They ask contributors to be “fact based” in their posts. That does give me a bit of pause. Why? Because one side’s “facts” might not comport with the other side’s version of the same term.

So if I post something I consider to be fact based, will the gurus on the other side see it in the same spirit as I have posted it? We’ll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I look forward to reading more conservative commentary. It likely won’t change my mind on the big, broad policy issues on which I stake my own political comments.

However, I am game … if they are, too.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Pandemic ‘not over’

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy today told us a horrifying truth. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over, he told Fox News Sunday.

“We’re seeing increases in cases, particularly in parts of the country where the vaccination rates are low,” Dr. Murthy explained.

I’ll embellish a mere sigh with an anguished “arrrgghh!”

We now hear Facebook firing back at President Biden who blames social media platforms for spreading lies about the pandemic vaccines. I am going to stand with the president on this one.

There needs to be greater accountability among social media outlets and the disinformation they distribute. Such as the phony claims of danger posed by the vaccines. There can be no denying the link between the surge in cases and the fact that they are occurring in parts of the country where vaccination rates are low.

It ain’t happening in regions where vaccination rates exceed state and national averages.

Hmm. Is there a message to be learned? Uhh, yeah. Get vaccinated!

These aren’t my ‘friends’

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have just finished chuckling  under my breath at a “friend” request I received on my Facebook page.

Why am I chuckling?

I admit that I probably spend too much time on Facebook. I use the social medium to distribute my blog; I have plenty of actual friends and even more than a smattering of Facebook “friends” with whom I have a casual relationship. Many of them are kind enough to share my blog posts with those on their networks. To them I say “thank you.”

What about these “friend” requests I keep getting?

They usually are from individuals who present themselves as attractive females. I delete them immediately for a number of reasons.

None of them provides me any background info on them. No places of birth; no work history; no relationship information; no educational background info.

A word to the wise: Do not bother to send me these requests if you decline to tell me anything about yourself.

One more aspect of these “friend” requests gives me pause. If they do not send me any background info, then I immediately grow suspicious that the individual whose picture appears on the request is actually, um, that person. Do you get my drift? Is the young woman in fact an overweight knuckle-dragger with half his teeth missing?

If you’re going to solicit me for my “friendship” on social media, at least prove to me that you are who you say you are … not that I will accept the request, mind you.

Are we clear? Good!

First Amendment vs. Facebook

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Let’s take a look at the First Amendment, which has been revived as a talking point with regard to Facebook’s decision to keep Donald J. Trump off the platform for the time being.

Trumpkins keep yammering that Facebook is impinging on Trump’s First Amendment rights of free speech as a U.S. citizen.

Hold on.

The founders inscribed a fairly narrow guarantee when they wrote the First Amendment to our Constitution. They wrote:

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” 

The most important and salient words of that Amendment are the first five of them. “Congress shall make no law … ”

That means Congress is prohibited from interfering in all those freedoms guaranteed by the founders. It says nothing at all about what a private company can do to limit Americans’ expressions. Facebook is a for-profit organization. It has every right to ban whoever it wants from its platform. It chose to act after Donald Trump kept fomenting the Big Lie about the 2020 election, that it was stolen from him. He used Facebook to promote the Big Lie; Facebook gurus decided they would have no more of it.

Does this inhibit Trump’s First Amendment liberty? Not one bit. He can still make whatever statement he chooses, meaning he is free to lie his a** off!

I had many discussions over the years while working in daily journalism with those who challenged my authority as a newspaper editor to disallow them from expressing themselves on our pages. I would reject a submission if it dealt in falsehood. I would tell the author of that decision. The author would respond: “But the First Amendment allows me to say it.”

No, it doesn’t. It does give us all the opportunity to run their own publication and to allow whatever they want to appear on its pages.

So, the fight over the First Amendment continues as Donald Trump and his minions try to make an argument that is as hollow as the lies Trump keeps telling.

The nation’s founders got it right when they said “Congress shall make no law … “

Fire him for keeps, Facebook

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have an idea on how Facebook should resolve this matter with Donald J. Trump and whether he should ever return to the social medium.

Facebook just needs to ban him for keeps. Permanently. Never again should he be allowed to spew the ranting lies that fly out of his mouth and off his fingertips.

There. How’s that?

Facebook’s board of oversight has ruled that the social media giant should keep him off the platform but admonished the company for failing to set a definite timetable for his return, or declare that he is banned for keeps.

I say ban the ex-POTUS forever!

Facebook took his account down after the Jan. 6 insurrection/riot/terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol. You remember that, yes? It was a hideous display of inciting violence by the then-president who continues to this very hour to promote the Big Lie that the 2020 election was “stolen” from him through rampant vote fraud. Well, it wasn’t stolen. Joe Biden was elected president freely, fairly and legally.

Here’s my version of the threshold question: Do you trust Donald Trump to stop promoting the Big Lie and to speak responsibly on Facebook? Here is my answer: I do not!

Donald Trump is arguably the most untrustworthy U.S. politician to come along since, oh, I don’t know if anyone else ever has approached this clown’s level of deceit, dissembling and duplicity. He cannot tell the truth. He is … a liar! 

Facebook has six months to decide whether to lift the ban or impose it permanently. Its oversight board said an “indefinite” ban wasn’t in keeping with Facebooks own criteria. It needs to get specific.

So, ban him for life!

No First Amendment problem

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A word to the right-wing wackos who are going bonkers over Facebook’s decision to keep Donald Trump off the social medium … for now: settle down and take a deep breath!

The Trump cultists in Congress are bitching about so-called First Amendment infringements because Facebook, a privately held media company, has decided it cannot allow someone to use its platform to call for an insurrection against the U.S. government.

That is what Trump did on Jan. 6. So it banned the former president. It decided to make a firm decision later on the extent of Trump’s banishment.

As for Trump’s First Amendment free speech guarantee, it is still there. Trump can yap, yammer and yeowl all he wants about the 2020 election being “stolen.” Of course that is just so much bullsh**. Trump knows it. I certainly do. So do you as well.

The First Amendment allows Trump to spew such nonsense. It doesn’t prohibit a private firm from exercising its own policy-making ability on who gets to speak out and who faces the muzzle.

So, right-wing blowards? You need to pipe down.