General views

Anti-Social Network

I’ve chucked in Facebook after it chucked me off one time too many. True story! Facebook kept throwing me off it’s anti-social site for saying the wrong thing to the wrong people, the wrong way. I went against community guidelines, which seem to be largely dictated by whoever you direct your comments at. I was first banned for 24 hours for having a go at an anti-vaxxer, calling them a misinformed moron is bullying apparently. So I became a banned bully.

Soon after, I was banned for 3 days for something similar when pointing out to a Trump supporter that the individual they supported was the worst human born in the last 100 years or so.

How you go about getting banned is being vocal in the comment threads of news stories. It’s why a lot of media outlets turn off the ability to comment soon after posting a news story, which inevitably results in lively debate, especially when it’s about Covid, or Trump.

My next opinion crime earned me seven days in the Facebook sin bin. Again, being a bully for castigating the terminally stupid.

I graduated to hate speech a year or so later. Hate speech in this case, was sharing the opinion of a person I once knew, after they had visited Australia for the first time. “What did you make of it I asked?” ‘Well Australia was fine, but the Australians? I’ve never encountered such a barely evolved human being’. He said. I laughed, as one does. I passed this reflection on, in a Facebook comment thread regarding Australians failing at something or other, probably something to do with the climate. This sharing of someone else’s opinion got me banned for hate speech for 30 days.

What happens then is that the algorithms of your friends no longer recognise you when you are let back out of Facebook jail, so they won’t see much or any of what you post, because Facebook decides what you are interested in, based on what or who you interact with, it hides everything else, except advertisements for items based upon something you thought about recently.

My final crime was again, bullying, for suggesting to someone who home schools their kids, that if they couldn’t grasp the simple concept of vaccine mandates not applying to someone schooling their own children despite having no qualifications to do so, maybe they weren’t best placed to educate their children anyway.

That right there, is bullying again, so off I was sent, for a further 30 days. I decided it was best to pull the plug altogether. Basically I was being banned in all intents and purposes, for thought crime. Free speech is moderated without context. Fuck Facebook.

The more I thought about it, I wasn’t using it for anything other than making observations as posts, sharing my opinion on stuff, commenting on news stories and watching pointless videos of amusing or interesting things that Facebook had decided I was interested in. I certainly wasn’t doing any socialising. I was simply opining.

In fact, Facebook was the only contact I have with 99.9% of people I know, outside work. Mostly I didn’t contact those people anyway, I just stood on a soapbox. I’m actually extremely anti-social. We don’t host anyone at our house. I don’t go to other people’s houses. We (my wife and I) don’t go out because we don’t like getting ripped off at pubs, bars, or restaurants which you do in New Zealand. By ripped off, I mean the prices of going out in NZ are astronomical. So we don’t go out.

We don’t entertain. I don’t meet anyone for coffees, or beers. I don’t belong to any organisation. I hate small talk. I can’t be bothered talking to strangers about the weather, or the Government. I get all the interaction I need from my work clients. I work from home so I don’t even have to interact with colleagues in an office. I travel about a lot for work and my car is my happy place, where I do my thinking.

I almost never have telephone conversations with anyone other than my wife, or if someone calls out of the blue once every couple of years or so. I certainly don’t make any phone calls except to book an appointment of some sort. I like my solitary existence, I love lockdowns. So, Facebook was an odd place for me to spend my time anyway. I’m not social and I don’t have a network and I like it that way.

I actually read a book for the first time in years. I might read another one.

18 replies »

  1. Was wondering why I wasn’t seeing any posts from you after your release from FB sin bin. I used to enjoy your sharp wit. FFB. Hopefully now you’ll get into your blog more often for those of us who enjoy your writing to enjoy your writing.

  2. Hi Sandy
    You don’t know me from a bar of soap.
    I hope you enjoyed the book 😀? I think you missed an important part of what you do – you observe before you opine.
    I guess Facebook provided another place to observe?
    I’m a little worried about you. Are you ok?
    I started reading your blogs when New Zealand one the America’s Cup in San Diego I think it was. You captured the excitement and played it back to us beautifully.
    Your photo blogs are inspiring, like the recent Eastlanders one.
    I hope something inspires you again soon and that the negative side of life does not outweigh that wonder you often express.
    Best wishes.. H

    • Hi Heather, cheers for that. I’m all good, living the dream. I’m extremely fortunate to have an excellent life and couldn’t be happier mostly. I was just making the observation that Facebook is anti social, rather than social.

  3. Kia orana Sandy, keep the blog going and forget FB love your writing. Heather I was like you inspired by Sandy’s writing during the Americas Cup way back when the world was less surreal. Sandy still reading from across the Pacific and hope to meet with you, Ursula and the whanau one day soon in your part of the world. Good choice of uni for your stepdaughter, all the best for her studies. Fran

  4. I am also in jail for 30 days for telling the truth, “cinders is a communist.”
    She was the head of some youth communist,
    robertson is also a communist.

  5. Evening from New Hampshire Sandy –

    I too started following you during the America’s Cup and have looked forward to your postings since.

    Personally, if Facebook were to go away tomorrow I wouldn’t miss it for a moment. OK, fine, I’d miss the cat videos and the railroad and model railroad groups I follow. But the drivel regarding politics? I filter away from that as fast as I can. Not worth the brain cycles to deal with the single-digit IQs on the platform. Even “useful” groups like our local road conditions and closings group devolve into left-right political diatribes which really don’t have anything to do with whether there is snow on the road between here and Woodstock. My wife and i agree – just too much stupid out there. Not worth commenting.

    We look forward to visiting your country someday. My boss is from New Zealand and he owes us some wine tours.


    • Hi Bruce, I’d love to visit New Hampshire one day. Always liked the idea of a great American road trip. I think I’d find the extreme division and polarisation hard to deal with though. I might drive across Canada instead. Plenty of wine to tour here.

  6. Reading a book is definitely better for the soul than Facebook or Twitter or any other ‘social’ network.I shall take a leaf out of your book, and do that more myself. Keep writing, Sandy. Keep taking those glorious photos.

  7. I am just barred from doing anything on fb ….for posting a memory from four years ago…so it was ok then…of a bike rack in Leeds!! Apparently something is not ok sexually with that..go figure!!
    It has its uses anyway. For keeping in contact with friends and family.
    Big family, lots of potting, printing, cycling friends, all spread around the world.

    HNY anyway…hoping for a kinder more thoughtful one

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