Posts tagged " facebook "

For Your Own Good

May 16th, 2019 Posted by Susan's Musings 30 comments

I appreciate warnings. When I’m a guest at a meal and my hostess tells us that one of the dips is super spicy, I appreciate knowing that before setting my mouth on fire. When a friend suggests that I skip reading a popular book because it is filled with profanity, I appreciate taking it off my reading list. When my phone alerts me about an accident up ahead and re-routes me, I appreciate saving the time I would have sat motionless on the freeway.

But what happens if I find out that the dip wasn’t actually spicy at all. There simply wasn’t enough to go around and my hostess wanted to save it for her other guests. Or my friend knew that I would love the book which was actually unobjectionable, but wanted to write about it on her blog before I wrote about it on mine. What if the developers of my traffic app only wanted to route me so that I would pass a certain coffee shop that was giving them a kickback on each beverage sold?

I no longer appreciate the warnings. Instead I feel manipulated.

This is exactly what is happening on Facebook and other social media sites today. I was aware that years ago already, Google and YouTube restricted videos from Prager University warning that they were “inappropriate” for young audiences. If you have seen these videos you will understand that the translation of “inappropriate” is worry that young people might be exposed to conservative ideas and the fear that they may be intrigued to learn more about them.

Recently, however, I’m seeing more of this type of slanting of information masquerading as concern for viewers. Not by silencing  entities like Prager University, which at least has other avenues in which to disseminate its ideas, but by playing liberal extremist nanny to the interactions between individuals. This week, Facebook masked a photo that was posted by a contact of mine. Facebook feigned concern that the post might offend me, so that they wrote, “We covered this photo so you can decide if you want to see it.” There was an additional warning: “This photo may show violent or graphic comment.” Now, there are a lot of inappropriate picture that I wish I did not have to see. Many of them are on the covers of newspapers or magazines that are hard to avoid as you walk through an airport or check out from a supermarket. However, although, I don’t personally know this contact, I do know that she has never posted anything I would consider inappropriate. I proceeded to click on the “uncover this photo” tab.

If you have your smelling salts at hand along with a teddy bear to cuddle if your blood pressure begins to climb, here is the message I uncovered.

Welcome

You came here from there because you didn’t like there, and now you want to change here to be like there. We are not racist, phobic or anti whatever-you-are, we simply like here the way it is and most of us actually came here because it is not like there, wherever there was. You are welcome here, but please stop trying to make here like there. If you want here to be like there you should not have left there to come here, and you are invited to leave here and go back there at your earliest convenience.

I do hope you have survived this graphic encounter with words that are so out-of-bounds that social media know-it-alls will shield you from them. My first thought was that this should be sent to all those white, wealthy, liberal individuals leaving states like California and moving to states like Texas.

May I humbly suggest that you be careful whose invitations you accept, whose book reviews you respect and whose driving directions you follow. Most importantly, treat concern for your well-being from any politician, academic or media outlet as a clarion call to research more and make up your own mind. 

Nine verses that explain terrible ideas becoming popular once again.

Tower of Power: Decoding the Secrets of Babel

ON SALE NOW

Tower of Power

Let’s Hate Everyone

March 28th, 2017 Posted by On Our Mind 2 comments

One of the basic tenets of raising children (or dealing with adults) is to notice and reward good behavior more than catching and punishing bad behavior. Smiles and frowns are both contagious, but spreading one leads to a happier world while the other makes everything seem worse.

We seem to have a frenzied flap over something or other on a regular basis now – even leaving aside politics. The latest one I caught was over United Airlines enforcing the dress rules that they have for “pass travelers,” who are flying for free as relatives of United employees.

Twitter, the blogosphere, Facebook, Snapchat all reward busybodies and hotheads. These forums can obviously be used for good purposes and have been, but they encourage us to think that we have to step in and add our voice to everything we see or hear about. Inevitably, jumping to conclusions and lack of judgment become the order of the day. As well, those whose lives are emptier have more time (and need?) to be heard, often in strident and vulgar tones.

I recognize the irony that by posting here I am sharing my views on this on the blogosphere, Twitter and Facebook. I hope that doesn’t make me a busybody and hothead – does it?

Telling All on Facebook

November 16th, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 3 comments

Question:

I have a son-in-law who feels a need to confide in Facebook as if this is a close personal friend.  What would motivate a person to spill their guts on social media?

Susan T.

Answer: 

Dear Susan,

Society often swings from one extreme to another. I think that most of us laugh when we read memoirs from earlier centuries that speak of close family members not acknowledging a pregnancy until the baby arrived, but surely we have gone overboard in our ‘spill all the beans all the time,’ culture.

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How do I answer questions about homosexuality on Facebook?

June 23rd, 2016 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 3 comments

Question:

I’m debating a Christian on Facebook about homosexuality. I asked him, “What is sex for,” hoping to approach this from a Natural Law standpoint. His response was, “Sex is for intimacy and closeness, to become one flesh. The most common byproduct of heterosexual unions is pregnancy, but this is by no means what sex is for.”  How can I respond to this?
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