Why I Believe Curating a Left/Right Facebook Page Is a GREAT THING!

 

We have added and subtracted over 10,000 Facebook friends since starting my personal page in 2008. Because of my 14 years as an on-air Fox News personality, my page attracted a LOT of very partisan/hardcore right wing zealots. Long story made short--it was a shit show.

So . . . in addition to people I actually know and love in my bi-coastal and WANT to keep in contact with . . .  chose to add/accept people I think could add to my life journey via new/better understanding of different places/politics/philosophies (in addition to their food/animal/pet/travel porn contributions!). Even Trump supporters IF THEY ARE CIVILIZED and respectful. 

Key point: YES I am optimistic enough to believe my purposeful curation of a political NON-SILO can make a difference in my life and the lives of those who participate in this bi-partisan, non-politically silo'ed community experiment.

Key point: It's personal letters like this one from Virginia that reinforce my belief that participation in this bipartisan NON silo community CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE in all our lives

Virginia's Thank You Note

"Hi Tobin: I am writing to thank you. Some months back you said something about your fb wall being open to people who can disagree and still be friends. That really stuck in my mind and started me thinking about my life and who I have chosen not to be friends with due to political disagreement.

I live in San Francisco, and most of the City is leftist, which means I had cut off many people as potential friends. That was really lame of me. Plus, you might know that SF is a very small town. When Obama was POTUS, I knew dozens of people who knew him. Truly.

With your challenge in mind, about 2 weeks ago my husband and I were walking out at Crissy Field. I saw this 80 year old woman just dusting me. I immediately knew by the back of her hair and features that it had to be Nancy Pelosi. I said something to my husband, but he didn't get it. Finally I said it out loud that it was Nancy Pelosi. We turned around after she did and went over to say hello walking alongside her. It still makes me smile to know that Nancy is a real person. She lives here. She hustles when she works out. I even appreciated the few things she said.

I will never vote for Nancy, but she is now humanized for me and I have stopped "villain-izied" her. Plus, as a Christian, I had to fix my attitude.

But it all started with some words you said about people being able to disagree and remain friends. Thank you!!! Best regards, Virginia."

Thank YOU Virginia...for opening your heart and mind to people who are demonized and villainized 24/7 by the partisan conservative media and Fox News 24/7 to 50 million+ Americans everyday.

I strongly believe America needs a "Post-Partisan Tribal Media Reformation." What I mean by this is simple: After 40 years of mostly conservative partisan media's demonization of "liberals and liberalism" to 50 million+ Americans DAILY in the name of God/capitalism/freedom, there has now become an equal demonization of traditional conservative religious, political and cultural values from the left controlled media and entertainment world.  

To save our form of democracy, WE HAVE TO BREAK THIS SELF-INFLICTED CYCLE OF HATE!

Most research today says a majority of people who consider themselves/self-identify as "partisan right of left wingers" don't see the person anymore--they only see their political tribe as either friend or enemy. This human chasm has turned into a digital ghetto multiplied 10X by the rise of confirmation bias-based algorithmic social media that seeks to monetize user engagement by presenting news/commentary/issues that their algorithm says you respond and engagement with while excluding news/commentary/opinion content their algorithm says you don't engage with.

Key Point: Via evolution we humans are hard-wired to reject evidence that refutes the fabric of our existing tribal belief system and seek information/evidence that confirms that what we already believe. The technical term from neuroscientists for this hard-wired human psychology/behavior is "confirmation bias" and algorithmic social media has been carefully designed to exploit this innate human vulnerability. 

REALLY Key Point: In order to stay out of these dehumanizing partisan ghettos WE HAVE TO break the algorithm and interact with ALL kinds of respectful perspectives on our social media. 

This does NOT mean we have to keep disrespectful hyper-partisan/radicalized trolls, bullies and thugs. We have unfriended over 5000 "friends" who demonstrate disrespect to other community members or that call someone names/labels without cause or without contrary evidence; "you're a stupid moron" is an epithet not a respectful disagreement. 

The net result? People like Virginia feel free to share a story like this and NOT be attacked by radicalized/ignorant hyperpartisan trolls/bullies/thugs. 

IF YOU HAVE A STORY TO SHARE about how being open to politically or culturally opposite people on this site has helped you to be a better person or citizen...PLEASE SHARE!

Let me extend in this holiday season a BIG THANKS to ALL the Virginia's out there who make my Facebook page fun and interesting and a learning experience for ALL!

 

 

Blog/EletterTobin Smith