make it stop.

make it stop.

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  • November 6, 2017

A guy shot up a church in Texas today. Same shit, dif­fer­ent day. Sigh.

If you’re pissed about the gun con­trol debate (or lack thereof), sick of politi­cians who pray for the vic­tims but don’t do any­thing to pre­vent it from hap­pen­ing again, dis­gusted by the polar­iza­tion of pub­lic dis­course in our country…

Stop post­ing about it on Facebook. You’re mak­ing it worse. We’re mak­ing it worse.

Because here’s the thing (and you know this): You’re typ­ing into an echo cham­ber. No one who mat­ters can hear you. Your heart­felt rant, your clever-yet-sad state­ments about politi­cians’ inabil­ity to act, or your tear­ful pleas about the tragedy of AR-15s… the only peo­ple read­ing them are peo­ple who already agree with you.

And it’s prob­a­bly worse than that. The more we all post this kind of stuff, the bet­ter Facebook’s algo­rithm gets at mak­ing sure we don’t inter­act with any­one who dis­agrees. Every time we do this, we widen the chasm between red and blue, and we help foment the very things that are destroy­ing America.

And while it’s easy to blame Facebook, let’s be hon­est with our­selves. We’re the ones killing our democ­racy. Because we eat this stuff up. We love hav­ing our own feel­ings val­i­dated, our opin­ions affirmed, our world­views con­firmed to be correct.

But if you want this mad­ness to stop, if you want to actu­ally do some­thing about the evil mad­man in the White House, if you care about gun leg­is­la­tion and women’s right to choose about their own bod­ies and an econ­omy that doesn’t just serve the rich and people’s right to marry whomever they love… don’t post about it on Facebook. When we do, we’re not just wast­ing our breath. We’re mak­ing it all worse by dig­ging our­selves deeper into our trenches. We’re giv­ing Trump and the Russians and Fox News and InfoWars fer­tile ground to sow mis­trust and dis­unity and polarization.

Instead, go out and talk to some­one who does­n’t share your views. Write checks to can­di­dates in con­tested dis­tricts, or vol­un­teer your time to make phone calls for them. Go to a gun store and learn some­thing about these things you want to ban but that so much of this coun­try can’t stop buy­ing. Run for office. Just what­ever you do… stop fuel­ing the echo chamber.

(As for me, from now on Facebook is for snarky com­ments about sports, adorable pic­tures of my kids, and giv­ing tech advice to friends. No more pol­i­tics. Because I can’t trust Facebook’s algo­rithms not to screw up our coun­try even more and I refuse to be a part of it.)