By Hans Ebert


I was talking with a friend recently about how Paul McCartney might have had a vision about the oncoming onslaught of social media when he sang, “All the lonely people. Where do they all come from?” on his song, “Eleanor Rigby”.

I exited Facebook the other night. It must have been the third time I have run away from “home”. It was a controlled spontaneous decision. Something very much like not hanging around after the loving has gone.

My return to the online delivery platform had served its business purpose. And though always good to share and break bread online with old friends, there was a danger of being stuck in the past and aimlessly absorbing anything and everything- and joining in the free-for-all sharing.

This need to be part of everything is what happens when having an addictive personality. And this time, the longer I was on Facebook, it just made me feel bloody old.

There was just too much reminiscing. I felt like one of the main characters in “Whatever Happened To Baby Jane”. And what, one day soon, might happen to the Kardashians.

This time around, I also made it a point to read some of the comments, because of the divisiveness taking place in Hong Kong these days and trying to separate fact from fiction and everything from friction. These were the triggers to take my password and bow out.

The comments were not just ugly, they were painfully naive. Carefully re-edited online videos to show what each side wants to show only added to the divisiveness and fan the flames of creating chaos and a lawless society. It’s become very much like “A Clockwork Orange”.

Does anyone in Hong Kong REALLY know what’s going on? Definitely not Chief Executive Carrie Lam. She’s lost. She’s probably numbed out on Xanax. Yet, social media’s prophets of doom and gloom and overnight experts on Hong Kong continued with their “righteous” indignation and extremely careful not to admit that perhaps nothing and no one is quite what it is. How just maybe, it’s all been a political scam.

Do these people understand the roles of the triads in upsetting what are “peaceful protests” and “solidarity”? Have they ever thought how difficult it might be for the local police to be pitted against brother and sister?

The kicker, however, to leave Facebook was realising how creepy it is- strangers appearing through the cracks needing something- many who were drop kicked decades ago. Many with nothing going on in their lives and thinking they can pass themselves off as your BFF.

Sidestepping these land mines becomes tough work. So does how “being” on Facebook can easily become a full-time job. How addicted it can be depending on how much you let it control YOU including affecting sleep patterns, mood swings and ignoring the needs of your girlfriend who suddenly thinks she’s living with a stranger in a strange land who’s lost the plot.

It suddenly clicks just how and why, especially on Facebook, those “friends” made on it by loners with fragile minds unable to absorb so much “napalm” that one finally cracks and, as the Doors sang, “break on through to the other side.”

One cannot say that social media, especially the very sudden epidemic of violence throughout the world hasn’t come about through online mind snap.

Look, the sharing of ideas online and being inspired because of something read on Adweek, Adage, NPR Music etc is a wonderful thing. Especially when inspiration is in such short supply these days.

There’s then always the inspiration of stepping into a past that did very well WITHOUT all this social media. Think about this. Much of the great music shared and appreciated on Facebook often comes from even pre-MTV times. It made us use our imaginations. It worked very well for many of us. Still does.

All this makes one think in a positive and fast forward direction. There’s no time for looking back. There’s no need to waste time trying to make converts of the terminally moronic.

Facebook? For me, it’s about making an about face move, closing the door behind me and returning to the real world.

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