A Way Forward in our New Society

On the large scale of history, internet social media is still in its infancy. We have been exploring its boundaries now for 20 years (even more for some early adopters). We have discovered what is valuable about it and what is ugly about it. Many have disengaged because of the uglier facets. But most remain, tolerating the ugly for the valuable.

We now have a new society unlike any in human history—one which spans the globe and which encompasses to full diversity of humanity—and we haven’t yet figured out how to order this new society. What was once considered unacceptable in society is now commonplace. We have entered a new Wild West.

But I believe it is time to establish order. The power brokers of the various platforms are trying to do this, but ultimately it is in our hands.

I do not have a person in my friend list who I do not love and believe to have sacred worth, but I’m finding that Facebook is not a healthy platform for me to be associated with some.

There are many people on this planet who never had a platform for their hate and disrespect. You may blame platforms such as Facebook for that, but the reality is that we control the scope of that platform with our friend lists.

For our new society to thrive and be of value, I believe we must not allow unwanted behavior to thrive by giving it such a huge outlet.

It’s unfortunate that Facebook as used the word “friend” and “unfriend” to describe our granting and denying access to our individual Facebook worlds. Because it makes it too personal as if to say “hey, being connected with you through this technology is not working out so I guess we can’t be friends.” Yes, if Facebook was the only basis for our relationship, perhaps that is true, but I have several friends and acquaintances who I connect with in positive ways outside of Facebook and just want to limit it to that.

If you consistently exhibit behavior which is preventing our new society from growing in positive, healthy ways, and you’ve been given ample warning, I will not “unfollow” you, because that does not limit the scope of your behavior and influence. I will “unfriend” you, not to tell you I do t want you in my life, but because it’s time for social media to grow up a little bit. It’s time to take a new step toward maturity.

This is not about dividing. I want diversity, but we can have differing views without the bad behavior.

I propose we all do the same.

Someone pees in your pool once? Say something. They pee in the pool again? Kick’em out. Maybe the lake would be a better place for them.

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