Tuesday, September 01, 2020

She Ain't What She Used To Be

Remember the "old" phones? I do. Actually, I remember the ones on a stand, that required you to hold the earpiece in one hand and talk into a microphone of sorts on a stand. I even remember the number we were assigned. You'd pick up the phone and tell the operator what number you were calling--ours was 246--or, failing that, who you were calling. We were fortunate enough to have our own line, not a party line (where you had to make sure someone else wasn't making a call before you could make yours).

Those days are gone, like Frank Green's store where he had a soda fountain, sold newspapers, and had the phone number of "one naughty naught." Gone are the days when you hung your washing on lines in the back yard or even in one of the "new-fangled" contraptions that had lines strung on metal poles and rotated allowing access to all four sides. All gone.

Facebook was supposed to allow people to connect with friends and neighbors. I guess it worked, at least for the first few years, but in going through Facebook this weekend, my impression was that it had devolved into a medium for party (and partisan) political material, intermixed with adventures in cooking, some cartoons and memes, and some other posts. The comments were no longer benign, but in most instances gave rise to full-fledged arguments (despite my observations that few if any of the opinions expressed there were changed by arguing).

Anyway, even though authors are advised to maintain a social media presence, I find it more and more difficult. I'm not always able to keep up with the latest fads in social media--Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Parler, and on, and on, and on. And when I dare post something that reflects my opinion, all-knowing "fact-checkers" might take it down. So I'll plan to post my conservative viewpoints here on my blog, where (so far) they've been able to stand. We'll see what the future holds. What does it hold for you?


Patricia Bradley said...

You were so lucky to not have a party line. We had 4 on ours and our ring was a short and a long.

I do not like FB. They arbitrarily suspend your account it seems like just for the fun of it, and then there are those posts filled with vitriol--you're right, I've never seen anyone's mind changed on FB. I go when I have to, and I've blocked so many political posts that FB doesn't show them to me any longer. :-)

Priscilla Bettis said...

No FB for me. There's the political thing, but there's also the down-the-rabbit-hole effect. I try to do good blog posts, but that's the extent of my online presence.

Richard Mabry said...

Patrica and Priscilla--I wish I knew what was ahead, and could be certain that things on the Internet would be better in a couple of months, but my crystal ball's cloudy. Meanwhile, guess I'll just keep on keeping on. And as I go onward, the list of people I've blocked has gotten so great it's almost funny.

Diana Hardt said...

We had a rotary phone when I was a kid, but no party line.

The only social media site I've ever been registered on is Facebook. I'm not registered on Twitter, Instagram, etc. and have no interest in them. However, I see very little advertising when I log in on Facebook. A few years ago my Facebook account was hacked into. I never figured out how. I found out because someone was trying to change my password and I received an e-mail about it. A friend also noticed something weird about my account and let me know. However, I was lucky enough to get access back by resetting the password. Then I found out that the person had changed some settings in my account and removed some people off my friend list, but I fixed everything. Then Facebook suspended my account because they said that they had noticed suspicious activity, but then reactivated it after I answered some security questions. It never happened again, thank goodness. Sometimes, Facebook can be complicated.

Richard Mabry said...

Diana, there have been lots of changes in Facebook, and I don't agree with all of them. Thanks for sharing your experience.