Let me start by saying that I find Facebook to be a useful and enjoyable thing. I have a modest-sized list of friends, some of them folks I met through blogs like Sadly, No! and who I think are quite possibly the brightest people running loose on the Innert00bz. On my list are old friends, some going way back to skool daze in Ottumwa, Iowa, some veterans of the rock bar days of the 80s and 90s, a few met at work, and so on and so forth.
Having spent a lot of time around the lefty political blogosphere, I tend to use my Facebook page as a blog. I post a lot of political, anti-woo, pro-rational thinking kinds of things, and various bits of political humor. What usually results is that I get a lot of brilliant, funny, well-informed comments and an enjoyable discussion. Of course, we don't all walk in lockstep, some of us are argumentative as hell, and occasionally an argument breaks out, even among people who generally have the same or similar ideals but differing ideas about how to get there. As on the blogs generally, there are hot button issues, and things occasionally get heated. This is the way I was raised, though, so it's not a big deal to me. As a child, I used to sometimes wait until all the adults were yelling at each other about some political matter on which they mostly agreed, and then slink down under the table, very gradually, then crawl under the table and out the back door, the carrots or Swiss chard having been successfully avoided.
But FB is not a blog. Most commenters are using their real names, as am I. Some of my old friends wouldn't know Crooks and Liars from Faux Noise or Max Blumenthal from Netanyahu. Some of them, may teh Flying Spaghetti Monster help us, have political views more in common with Glenn Beck than with me. As a result, all hell can break loose, frequently when I'm least expecting it.
Then there's the issue of not wanting to get in a huge-ass free-for-all fight on one of my friend's comment threads, for fear of causing a family rift that will bring trauma for my friend for many a holiday to come, or an unfriending rippling throughout a large group of friends. It can be a balancing act, and it's not necessarily good for the blood pressure.
At least I can retreat to my little Farmville paradise, or swim with the fishies, or dig for treasure. There's that.
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