Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Battle of Facebook Hill

I started a fight.

I didn’t mean to, really. It all started so innocently. A friend sent me a column from a popular journalist on a hot-button topic that I happen to have a strong opinion about as well. Feeling a “hell yeah” in my gut, I posted the link on my Facebook profile and went about my day.

By morning, my posted link had gathered 5 comments. One FF (Facebook Friend) from Georgia grumbled that the journalist was being a counter-productive dickhead. Another FF from Canada thought the FF from Georgia had lost perspective and wanted the dickhead to be President.

My initial reaction to the comments was flattery. People visited my profile page! I’m seen! A fleeting self-centered moment that was quickly forgotten considering what came next.

God came along.

That’s right, God entered the conversation, and not to be crass, but all hell broke loose. Pretty soon, I was getting email notifications every hour that another FF had commented on my link. Two FF’s in particular became engaged in fervent battle, citing federal law, lobbyists, and the Bible.

My feelings on the topic aside, I was seriously impressed. I was witnessing the power of Facebook. My little corner of cyberspace had suddenly become a forum for open discourse. The column from the journalist was no longer the center of the debate. This was about justice!

So to all the people who “don’t get” Facebook or think it’s just a waste of time, I say this. Facebook is an expression of what I love about America. It’s a democracy. People of all types, ideologies, and economic status are free to come together and say what they want to see. No one has to agree to disagree – they can just disagree.

I have FF’s who are die-hard Tea Party Republicans, apathetic teenagers, Mormon PTA members, and cross-dressing engineers. Facebook is a place where we can celebrate our birthdays or call each other heartless sycophants and still be okay. All profiles are created equal and everyone has a voice.

So I may have started a fight, but I’m not sorry I did. Here’s to continuing the discussion…

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