The Drunken Office Party Conversation or My Facebook Experience!

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News programs are covering the culture on Facebook like interaction between people online is somehow much different than being face-to-face.  I must disagree.  I find the culture on Facebook similar to an office party or social gathering.  I find it funny that in the congressional hearing, Mark Zuckerberg was treated with distrust and animosity.  I find it doubly funny that the Russians were able to take advantage of suckers on the internet that believe everything they read or see.  Maybe the problem is that common practices of social interaction have slipped away and most folk has no idea how to be polite.

Last month a contractor was in my house fixing a leaking pipe.  I was there to help and see if I could facilitate his work.  He appreciated it and I helped out.  Somewhere in the repair, he asked me if my wife still gave me oral sex?  He continued to say that his wife did nothing fun and wondered how it was with me.  Really?  I just met this guy and he’s talking about blow jobs!  He is a contractor in my home and I,  as the customer, deserve to be treated with some level of respect. I was flabbergasted!

I said little for the rest of the day other than saying that his wife didn’t give me oral sex either!  I felt uncomfortable and sarcasm was my only option.  I believe what happens between a man and his wife is private, so does the law.  So why do people feel entitled to cross the line into the realm of troglodyte?  It doesn’t take must extrapolation to see that common manners are fading away and stark Trumpian statements are winning the day.

“I just bought…” I stop listening.  It was a high-class industry party and I was talking with a friend of a friend.  He went on about his financial success and how great things were going for him.  I smiled.  I looked for my wife to get me the hell out of there!  Middle aged men with a pressing need to brag.  My Kryptonite!  I actually felt a great pain in my ass while he was talking.  I complimented him on his success and said that I hoped he could get back into shape, a topic he had discussed.  Moments later as I moved through the dense crowd, I was thinking I hate guys who brag!

As I rate my interaction on a weekly basis, I compliment Instagram for creating a relaxing environment for both business and personal interaction.  I see Facebook like that party, some good conversation, some not-so-good.  I couldn’t imagine taking someone’s word on something that I didn’t know or know of.  It’s like meeting someone at a party and saying, “Oh sure, you’re a stock broker, here’s all my money, no checking needed!”  This is how the Russian trolls exploited regular folk.  They whisper secret knowledge and it’s believed immediately.  When did this become the norm?

Facebookers and many Long Islanders share a sour view of the world where others need to do the work.  I see no real difference in the local people and the trolls on internet: they are poorly educated.  I believe that you need three pieces of quality evidence to truly believe something.  If I told you we could take CO2 out of the atmosphere and use it for fuel, would you believe me immediately?  The fact is, we can and if you google the topic, there are dozens of articles and examples of the technology being used today.

My view is: trust but verify! I find it the biggest compliment when an individual checks to see if what I’m talking about is true.  That is a big compliment to me.  I want to share, learn, experience things with others, but there must be a code of conduct, a place of warm civility.  Discourse is part of the American experience and I welcome a challenge to the validity of what I say.  There is a better way, I’m starting by doing my best!

Gary Schwartz