Was ’16 that bad, or is it Facebook telling us to think that?

One thing I take into ’17, is to be mindful of what I eat. In particular, where the social feed is concerned.
If as the saying goes we become what we eat, then Facebook can be quite one dimensional in terms of diet. While Facebook has a staggering one fifth of the world’s population on its network, I don’t believe I’m getting the social reward or depth and range of that audience.

This past year, it occurs to me how dangerously myopic it can be, creating a posse of like-mindedness, that didn’t welcome in a counter view or create a democratic stage for assessment or debate.
Instead, it’s just a distorted game of pass the parcel, layer upon layer of the same sentiment, shared and reshared, endorsed by the ones we like and follow.
But not necessarily true or reflective of the wider reality or critical mass, which sits outside of our algorithmic clique.
And when the music stopped, we looked at each other, dumbfounded.

In this game, we all ridiculed Trump (liking his growing popularity through infamy and hair gags) and scoffed at the chances of a dark ages backwards move like Brexit.
We got both wrong at the  truer polls of real life.
But what’s interesting, is how Facebook is now algorizing it (Yes, I think i made that word up, sue me) as ’16’s fault.
Like ’16 had a motive and a beef and a score to settle. And most dangerous to assume, is behind us.
I should pause here to say that obviously Facebook doesn’t create this in some malign effort. It isn’t the creator of this. That’s us.
We amplify our own narrow mindedness amongst each other.
And punctuate it with trivial Animated GIFS to keep ourselves entertained.

The craziness of ’16 has been in the making for many years.
Trump. Yeah, the vote fell into this calendar year, but the sentiment already has grandkids. The same goes for Brexit. This stuff brews.
Let’s not be foolish to think that it happened in ’16.
If I use the other victims of ’16 to stress my point further.
David Bowie. He took a whole life to die. But more importantly, live.
The same goes for Leonard Cohen.
The year is incidental. The lesson is not.
The respect we ought to be giving to these occurrences –  sad, stupid or catastrophic – is not.

Let’s love them while they’re alive.
Let’s look beyond the heinous year, to the deeper behaviours and symptoms of the sentiment.
Let’s look at ourselves as a powerful unit of one, capable of determining reality.
And not just at each other (in FB) for council or condolences.

That’s what I learnt most in ’16.
Please don’t share it.








One thought on “Was ’16 that bad, or is it Facebook telling us to think that?

  1. Ahh Julian, always a stimulating, thoughtful read! Thank you.
    My experience with Facebook is, well, I don’t have an experience with Facebook.

    I looked at my Facebook feed exactly four times last year – once because the little red dot had 48 in it. (It was my birthday)
    Despite the fakery of content on Facebook, and the gullibility of the morons who use it as a news feed – (go and read some real commentary, how hard is it to download Flipboard or Medium? – 2016 (and 2015) were the two most difficult years of my life.

    2016 was bad but for different reasons, and I’m looking forward to 2017.

    Looking at myself as a powerful unit of one, this is what I learned;

    If you don’t understand your own emotional range you can’t meet your own needs. When you can’t meet your needs you get frustrated and that frustration can result in anger and ‘bad life decisions’.

    No matter how bad things get there is always a way to manage your responses. Your feelings and emotions are created by how you accept or reject (fight against) a situation. Never giving up is not necessarily ‘fighting’ an emotion or situation. It is about working on the external (the situation) and the internal (the emotions) one day a a time to create (not find) peace and balance.

    No one finds peace – it isn’t out there waiting for you. You make peace through your management of your self and your situation.

    Life happens to you.
    You can’t control what will happen. Thinking you can control your situation is a nice feeling, but in my experience it is not real – you can’t take it for granted or rely upon it.
    When it all goes South / belly up / to shit (when it changes), how you manage yourself and the situation is yours alone. This is what you actually own – this is the ‘Self’ that people are so desperate to find. This is not a lifestyle, job, relationships car, home, etc. You own what you can affect the outcome of – and the only thing you can affect is yourself – your emotional state and to a large degree, your physical state.

    Everyone is out for themselves. Essentially self interest is only self preservation. Altruism is a rare occurrence . Den’t expect to be supported in any way unless that person has something to gain (spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially) from their support of you. Trust is just your hope that things will remain in a state of control for you.

    There were other things but I’m tired of typing on my phone.

    Bring on 2017 and the opportunities that the flow of time affords.
    My blessings – if I’m capable of giving them – for a wonderful year to you and your family.


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