Is Anyone Listening?

One reason why people are fleeing Facebook

Recent posts on my Facebook newsfeed…

FB Friend 1:               Have you noticed that Facebook has totally taken control of comments                                              they don’t agree with? I think it’s high time to boycott!!

FB Friend 2:               I’m one of the many that will be deleting my FB account. Catch up with me                                          on MEWE, it’s very much like FB, very easy to learn!

There were more similar posts on my newsfeed, but this gives you a snapshot of the volatile temperature currently permeating throughout Facebook and other mass-social media platforms in recent weeks.

If America is seen as the melting pot of immigrants from across the world, our personal newsfeeds on Facebook can be viewed as the mirror of our individual neighborhoods—our own little virtual world, complete with former classmates, third cousins, professional associates, and the uncle who you pray you won’t have to sit next to at the next family gathering. But unlike assigned seating at wedding receptions, we can customize our interaction with our Facebook Friends with options like who sees our posts and the ever-faithful Unfollow option. 

While many will attribute the vastness of Facebook as its downside, its size can (and should) also be applauded for what is right about a social media platform that doesn’t cater to any one belief. But this thought process is not currently being shared by those landing on the far-right of the political spectrum.   

FB Friend 3:               Going to Parler. Tired of the BS big FB brother restricting what I want to say.

FB Friend 4:               The thing that bothers me about Facebook is that it is censoring the conservative voices.

But is there a difference between censorship and performing as a watchdog over conspiracy theories and what the conservatives themselves have penned as Fake News? While the world’s largest social media platform is now traded publicly, it is still a private company with a hands-on CEO who does not have to operate on the same standards as public institutions.

So as my newsfeed slowly shrinks from a wide spectrum of political voices to a more friendly common-voice, I mourn the loss of hearing from ALL SIDES. While these voices do not echo my own views, I believe it is important to hear opinions that differ from my own. And as my conservative friends move their battles to other social media platforms that support and encourage their principles, they are also fed a daily diet of sameness. It is bad for our country and dangerous for our future.

As temperatures cool as a result of time and distance away from the last general election, we must not think that the anger has simmered down—we just aren’t hearing it anymore. While we may all have a voice today, no one seems to be listening.

Heidi McCrary is a writer and a regular contributor to Moxie Magazine. Her novel, Chasing North Star is available now at Kazoo Books, This is a Bookstore, and online wherever books are sold. Follow Heidi at facebook.com/HeidiMcCraryAuthor

One thought on “Is Anyone Listening?

  1. People aren’t leaving Facebook though. And despite your personal biases, they don’t replace irrefutable data. People may SAY that they are fleeing Facebook, but every person I saw a month ago “leaving” Facebook for Parler is still an active Facebook user today. Conservatives pretended like they were going to take their ball and go home, but the very opposite happened, because they need to create conflict, and outlets like Parler are echo chambers.

    A very simple Google search would reveal many their party sources and data companies that reflect Facebook had their highest traffic quarter in company history in Q3 of 2020. I’m sure Q4 will be the same with the election happening. Such an authoritative voice you used for not actually providing any supporting evidence.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/

    Like

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