He Who Shall Not Be Named

Very few things in life piss me off. But there are exceptions – one of which is playing out on the cell phones and computers around the world, thanks to Facebook.

(I post this not knowing what WordPress’s policy is about mentioning a certain name, but I can live with whatever the outcome is.)

If you watch the media everyday, the name of the CIA whistleblower that started this latest impeachment escapade with the President is kept from your knowledge. If you’re on social media and are following the impeachment proceedings, you know that there is a strong chance that person is a man named Eric Ciaramella, and that’s been known a few weeks now.

Everyone on the Democrat side of the aisle has warned everyone else not to out the whistleblower even though transcripts released earlier this week failed to redact that very name. The Constitution tells you that you have the right to face those accusing you of something – it says nothing or has not been amended to protect whistleblowers.

In their infinite wisdom, Facebook is now censoring posts with the name of Eric Ciaramella in them. I had one such post removed from my Facebook page but wasn’t warned not to do it again.

This is what the Nazis and the communists did – and I think regardless of how you feel about our President, at least stand up for our rights when they face a threat like this.

To those in America approving of such censorship – if history is any indication, you won’t get away with this.

To Post My E-Mail Address, Or Not?

What the hell. Since I look at all my “spam” E-Mail anyway – and I’m pretty savvy when it comes to what spam is and what it isn’t, I’ll mention that I can be reached at bigpaulyb2010@gmail.com. Copy and paste that sucker and you have my E-mail.

Yes, there will be some out there who will no doubt say that I shouldn’t do that. Opinion noted. Sometimes in life, you have to go against the grain and utilize some contrarian thinking.

I’m giving it out because of the recent deactivation of my Facebook account (by my choice) as I noted a few days back. I don’t know if the deactivation will be permanent or what at this point in time – so those of you from Facebook trying to reach me are hopefully smart enough to figure out how to stay in touch with me. If you’re not – you’re not, and you’re probably beyond help.

I see some big changes in the social media world coming in the months ahead – so I figure I should learn to adapt by my own choosing before other forces don’t afford me such a choice.

Deactivation Experimentation, Redux

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Time to do some housekeeping yet again.

For what I think is the fourth time in 16 months (but the first time in over a year), I’ve deactivated my Facebook page – so I’m again experimenting with life without it. Their recent statements about how users should have no expectation of privacy caused the recent return to a soured view of them We’ll see how that goes.

I’ve deleted my old Big Brother Diaries page – I have no intention of following the show when it rolls out later this month. I had great success in blocking out watching their second celebrity edition earlier this year, so I’m not one of these people who is addicted or can’t shut it off. When I saw some CBB news that had caught my eye, it was mid-Match – the season had ended weeks prior to that.

My main problem with BB is that Julie Chen remains the host of the show – plus the repetitive nature of their format. While she did nothing wrong during the whole Les Moonves fiasco last year, having her continue to host the show (considering her hubby sexually harassed some actresses of note) is like having the wife of a Colombian drug lord host an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. (Does AA still exist?) If CBS can’t figure out those are not good optics, they don’t need me watching their reality shows – so I don’t.

I’m making another “break” from the way I do things online traditionally, but I’ll save that for tomorrow.

We Have Ways Of Making You Talk

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Well, I said I wasn’t posting on Labor Day. What I didn’t say was I’d be posting the night before. Devious, aren’t I?

So I’m trying to wean myself off of Facebook yet again, my fourth such effort this year. Needless to say, the first three failed, right?

The experiment is a simple one, really. Not to post on my main page. I want to see how far the experiment goes before people notice I’m not saying anything. I’ll continue to update my “World Of Big Pauly Media” page, but otherwise – I’m staying quiet.

No, I’m not being cruel about it. It’s not like I am pretending I’ve died or anything like that. If anyone asks where I am, I’ll tell them. The purpose of doing this is not to be some sort of social network sadist – I’m trying to prove the point that we should be listening more to each other.

Facebook seems to encourage us to talk to each other. Sometimes, I think we just talk AT each other – and I tend to think there’s a discernible difference.

First, They Came For Alex…

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I think it’s perfectly normal that when the big events of our time and in our lives happen. that it’s fair to seek out answers – even from outlets and people you wouldn’t ordinarily think of.

The first time I ever heard of conspiracy entertainer/talk show host Alex Jones was back in 2004, maybe 2005. I had gotten a DVD through the grapevine of a symposium hosted by actor Ed Begley, Jr. and introduced by Jimmy Walter which had suggested that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job. The theories of the different presenters varied a bit – some were more liberal, some were staunchly conservative, but the purpose was to get your interested in the idea that 9/11 wasn’t what the media represented it being. One of the snippets presented on the DVD was a much younger and less raspy Alex Jones and his “Road To Tyranny” documentary.

I certainly don’t agree with everything Jones has said – for instance, there was a time when he called Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC host, “Mr. Maddow” on his shows. I thought that was grossly homophobic. I also don’t deny that he’s probably 100% accurate when he said he was an “entertainer” in a recent court appearance. Talk show hosts are entertainers by definition – they present premises in a manner that tries to get more viewers than a given host’s competition.

Where I draw the line is what the social media outlets did on Monday – censoring Alex Jones solely from Apple, Facebook, and YouTube among other social platforms. Why just him when there are dozens of other lesser-known hosts on radio stations and the Internet that do exactly what he does all over the world? Making one person a scapegoat when others do likewise – that’s always a slippery slope. Makes you wonder why it happens now, three months before the mid-term elections, and why it didn’t happen two years, five years ago, whatever.

I don’t like playing social justice warrior – but I took my little itty bitty shot at Apple in response. I took their podcast app off of my phone, and don’t intend to listen to any podcast anytime soon. A small gesture, but if they are going to tell me not to listen to such-and-such a show, why listen to any show Apple offers? They should allow me, their consumer, to make such choices.

Everyone’s A Critic

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I left Facebook a third time this weekend – but only for four hours. I’ve lost a few “friends” I’ve known a long time (as if they were really my friends anyway), and frankly, I feel pretty good about it.

Apparently, I said a couple of things to piss people off. Want to hear my treason? Stick around. First, I said that I had left Netflix in early 2017 and that I was glad I left long before they announced that they were giving Barack and Michelle Obama their own series. Then, I criticized the NFL for altering their kneeling policy during the national anthem – I felt by not covering other forms of protest in their new edict that they left a loophole in place so that the drama would continue or escalate into the 2018-19 season.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if the arguments were logical that I was a bigot or a racist, but these suddenly found critics had no such argument. (I pointed out I voted for Obama twice, reminding them I left Netflix long before the incident – and that seemed to confuse everybody.) In fact, a few people who I haven’t talked to on Facebook (nor want to) came crawling out of the woodwork for the attack on me. When I mentioned on Facebook that people were coming for me – more of them came, including an incident involving a former friend that will remain that way forever if I have anything to do with it.

That’s when I thought about quitting again – and after that, I realized my “enemies” took their best shot at me and barely scratched the surface. There’s hope for me on Facebook yet and after all. I will always listen to logical arguments – but if you don’t have one, don’t waste my time.

To Tell The Truth – Or Not

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Did it not strike you odd that Mark Zuckerburg testified on Capitol Hill yesterday, but the United States Senate did NOT want to put him under oath?

I’d say more about that dog and pony show yesterday, but if you’ve been following this blog the past few weeks, you should know what a sham I think it all is.

With their inability to put Mr. Z under oath yesterday, Congress – both Democrats and Republicans – showed their collusion. This also should be a “canary in the coal mine” to us commoners that they’ll fix things in a way that punishes us as if we were the criminals even though we perpetrated no crimes.

Just like 9/11 punished us and took our freedoms with the Patriot Act that was anything but patriotic. Just like Obamacare came to be nearly a decade ago, mandating citizens pay for it without any laws saying such a mandate was legal.

Congress and Facebook – they are one in the same. If they can find the way to screw you, they will. Hurry up and drain the swamp, Mr. President – if you can. On the Facebook front, yesterday was a very disappointing day.

 

Let’s Try This Again

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Maybe it’s possible I had the right idea a bit too early, but I’m going to try it again. I’m going to try again to part ways with Facebook in light of the most recent news headlines concerning how OUR information has been sold to third-parties by the social media organization.

Common sense dictates you don’t trust a fox with a henhouse, so why trust the same fox (Mark Zuckerburg) with the same henhouse (us) over and over?

The last time I tried this, I lasted 11 days. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about what triggered my return. Basically, when I “tapped out” on March 10th, I made the mistake of logging into Facebook. When you look at the scores of notifications that accumulate in ten days and see how “life goes on” somehow without you on there, it creates a sense of belonging and a desire to get back in with the in-crowd of “cool people” on Facebook.

Hopefully, I learn from my mistake this time. I started a new Instagram account, and I think I’ll keep that around so those looking for me have a means to find me.

Tapping Out

Well, it was bound to happen. I’m back on Facebook. I lasted about a half hour shy of eleven days and went probably a lot farther in my holdout then many could.

I hoped it would go a month, or get up to April 1st before I came back. But c’est le vie.

I know you all say Facebook will last forever, that it will never go away. I think they said that about MySpace about a decade ago. Guess what wound up happening?

And so, I’ll just chalk this up as training for the day Facebook does go away. It is kind of like that Hotel California song The Eagles sang back in the 70’s – you can check out anytime you like, but you never wind up leaving.

Updates And Upgrades

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Yesterday, I decided it was time I updated my backup computer that had been sitting dormant for over a year.

Did I mention it takes a while to update a computer you haven’t touched for that long, adding all the Windows updates that can occur in such a time span? It can really get monotonous, taking 12 hours to perform one of these upgrades.

If there is a moral of the story, I guess it is to update your computers in a smaller time frame, maybe every three months or so. After that, perhaps the time it takes to keep a computer in top shape begins to mount, I don’t know.

On my ninth day of Facebook withdrawal, all is well still.

Life After The FB

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The cool thing for those of you following along on this blog about not being on Facebook is that I’ll be blogging more as opposed to wasting time there.

I’m now a few hours removed from being gone from Facebook for five days, and I’m noticing pleasant changes in my mental attitude and general makeup. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything really – except other people’s drama.

For my Facebook friends finding these blog entries and wondering what happened and why I left – would it have made any real difference if I told you? You would all clamor for me to stay around, which is the last thing I wanted to do at the point I left. I may come back at some point in time, but that will be my decision as well, just as leaving was. For now, the plan is to go at least 30 days without being on there. If I go that far, maybe I can go another month – and another, and so on.

It’s nothing personal – it’s just business.

There is life outside the box, and I’m starting to enjoy it again.

The Day After The Day

 

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The computer I use at home – I’ve had this since 2012, still works well for me.

It’s been a little over 40 hours since I’ve deactivated Facebook. Yes, I know – I talk about this like I’ve quit smoking (I smoked briefly when I was 18 in the fall of 1989 – hated it) or drinking (I’ve probably been drunk a handful of times in my life – enjoy a good beer here and there), but I think that’s how you have to treat Facebook – like it is an addiction.

I removed the bookmarks from Chrome and the various Facebook apps from my phone. By the way, why do you need THREE apps for Facebook? That seems wasteful, right? Why not have an app that can update your pages, post, and message your friends all in the SAME app? Am I missing something here, or what?

About a year and a half ago, I mentioned a Star Trek TNG episode called “The Game” where everyone on the Enterprise gets addicted by a game because when you do well on it, it releases some sort of positive impulses to the user’s brain. That’s what I think Facebook has become – an unhealthy addiction.  If so-and-so from your childhood posts, it encourages you to post. If your best friend is a supporter of candidate X as opposed to candidate Y, you get feelings of repulsion, superiority, and inferiority.

Stop the madness – we’re better than this.

I’m feeling much better psychologically – though I sometimes find myself looking up at Chrome and looking for that bookmark for Facebook out of instinct. It’s just a matter of time before my conditioning of all these years breaks.