I have been embracing change as fast as I can recently – I found out all the shops and events in Melbourne over the Australia Day weekend that had gone bust or had decided to sit out the dance. It was a little like embracing a cactus. But as it was all external to me, and nearly always replaced by something just as good, I could view it with equanimity.
I’m also embracing the changes in my circle of friendship and acquaintance as I get older. Some people vanish into other spheres of activity – some remain fixed while I vanish. In any case it is all legitimate human interaction and not really a cause for regret.
The picture alters a little when I look at some of the things that flow through social media. I am the first to admit to being poor at judging truth or falsehood – the fake news and alternative truth pundits are just that good. I do tend to default to cynicism, and I think this has helped me out somewhat in the past. I’ve not fallen foul of scammers in the internet world as yet…though there have been a couple of credit card skims a few years ago. And I rarely fall for photoshopping that is too good to be true or apocryphal stories tricked up in new words. I do not believe in the Model A Ford carburetor that does 200 miles per gallon…
I noted as well that some people do change over time, but not in a good way. Oh, no-one in my acquaintance has become a bank robber, but some have become activists for a variety of political views that have started to make me nervous. Of course they are entitled to keep whatever ideas they wish in their heads, and there is a tradition of free speech in our country that lets them air some of them…but there are a few who I think go perilously close to the legal line in their posts.
No telling how many of these things are picked up by the patrol mechanisms of the internet before they get a chance to be broadcast…and no telling how many of them are canned through complaint by other readers. I noted recently that Facebook thought one of my WordPress columns was spam…but changed their mind when I explained that it wasn’t. Perhaps it was just a brush with a bot.
I do applaud the mechanism in Facebook that allows one to “rest” a contact for a month. It gives time for cooling of temper, and when you see their posts again in 30 days you may find that whatever caused the distress was just a passing mental gas bubble.