I saw a post the other day that I did NOT share on Facebook.
You laugh. You have seen my Facebook feed, and find it hard to believe there's something I didn't post. But when you see this, you might understand.
ME: [being murdered] tell my gf I love her
WIFE: [murdering intensifies]
My initial criterion for a post: is this funny? if it's not a joke, is it thought-provoking?
Pretty lax guideline: the internet is FULL of funny and thought provoking content, right? Ah, but that's just the first coarse filter. Once a funny or thought-provoking post has entered the Chamber of Judgement, that's when the fun begins.
Could this actually offend somebody? Related question: do I care?
I don't hold many views people find offensive. I used to. Oh, did I used to. It goes without saying that if something racist or phobic does end up on my wall, it's because I honestly and sincerely did not understand it was racist or phobic. But "offence" is a broader category. Here's a post about playing trumpet. My friend Craig plays trumpet! He'd find this hysteri--wait, maybe he wouldn't. He doesn't have any gigs right now for reasons I need not enumerate, and a reminder might piss him off. I could ask, but just asking might upset him, so I won't bother.
I haven't shared a single polyamory themed post in more than a year, because those DO offend people. There is so much I could write here, but it's all been written before and it had no effect the first few dozen times, so what's the point?
Politics -- well, there I might offend someone and not give a flying fuck. I used to be a Conservative, once. These days, I'm not the same species and quite frankly, I have less than zero time for you if you're spouting stupid conspiracy theories and saying shit like 'all lives matter'. I have gay friends, I have trans friends, I have friends of colour, and I have many friends who are women. Homophobia, transphobia, racism and misogyny are not acceptable on my wall and I will call them out elsewhere, too. It is absolutely the least I can do as a cishet white male. You can call it cancel culture if you want, even though these is no such thing. Tell you what: don't post hate and you won't be "cancelled". Is that so hard?
Is the post prurient?
I got a Facebook 'strike' the other day...something I posted several months ago ran afoul of their Community Standards. I'm not going to put the picture here, because this is getting posted and I don't need my account restricted. So here's a link to it.
Risqué, yes. Offensive? Seriously? There's hardly any skin visible and, um, ahem, uh, it's A CARTOON. Also: my friends are adults. I'm not posting links to porn videos. I'm not sure if my 'strike' came because somebody reported me, six months later. I have no idea how this stuff works. Which should tell you something, after thirteen years.
The truth is I like to post adultish content every once in a while. Since high school, I have largely been seen as an asexual being, a Ken doll. While I will maintain with my dying breath that sex is not the end-all be-all of existence, I am a functional male with a functional libido. If seeing sexual content from me makes you think of having sex with me, I'm sorry for the attack of vomiting.
It all comes back to authenticity. I want everyone to see me as I am, warts and all. I chafe when I am prohibited from talking about matters and people I deem important. It feels just like erasure, and honestly? I'd rather be attacked, even physically, than erased. Erasure means hidden; hidden means ashamed; if you're ashamed of me, that's...distressing. Hatred I can deal with. Shame...
I share a lot. I know I do. Too much, really. The less I'm allowed to talk about my life, the more I want to say. It's very hard to explain how imperative it is for me. I'm actually ashamed myself, because the reasons are juvenile. I feel I am easily forgotten. I don't want to come right out and say the words "attention-seeking", but let's face it, why else do we post things on Facebook? Imagine a social media platform where nobody could comment or react on a post. What would be the point? But I'm 49. I should be past the "look-at-me!'s".
If I can make someone laugh, using my own words or someone else's, I'm going to bloody well try to do it, while recognizing a good half of my jokes fall flat. If I see something interesting that makes me think, I'm going to post it. I live for the discussions that spring up: they are the essence of connection I seek.
If I hear a piece of music that moves me, I'm going to share it, knowing full well none of my friends are likely to share my enthusiasm, or even listen themselves. If I find a saying about love that reminds me of those I love, I'll share it and hope my loves see themselves in it.
Now if I could just stop thinking so much about it all.