As a new regular feature on DemCast, our very own DemCast Dottie will answer questions from fellow blue dots (a.k.a. Democrats in red districts) spread far and wide across the United States. Questions are gathered from DemCast readers and may be edited for length and clarity (or spelling and grammar if the case may be).
To submit questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. All submissions may be published as received.
I cannot watch Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz lying on my television for one more second. But I feel like it’s my responsibility to watch whatever I can of the Senate Impeachment Trial. It’s the same way I feel watching coverage of Trump rallies. What should I do?
My Head is Going to Explode
Dear Exploding Head,
Ever heard of newspapers?
You can read them online, get a daily email with the top stories, or follow your favorite journalists and publications online. Oh, your subscription dollars even help support the only industry specifically protected in the Constitution.
As one incredible commercial I saw for the New Orleans Times-Picayune once noted: you can even spread your old papers out on a table for your next crawfish boil!
Old School Dottie
I haven’t spent much time on Facebook since it came out how they sold our information in 2016 but I keep my account and check it every few days for things like my kids’ school announcements and event invites. I always want to scream scrolling through posts from older family members sharing 15 petitions a day or outrage memes and things like that. I know I shouldn’t judge, but it feels like so many people learned nothing. They don’t even get any likes but just keep posting them all day, every day. Some of them are things I agree with and some of them honestly seem flat crazy to me. Should I tell them how useless it is to post crap on Facebook all day or just unfollow them like probably everyone else does? And what about the ones that are so obviously sharing lies?
Fed Up with Facebook
Winter Park, FL
Dear Fed Up,
Oh, how I have felt your pain.
I remember reading Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” and thinking how great social media would be for community activism and expanding democracy. How great it would be for international knowledge exchange. How great it would be to not only share pictures of my kids but calls to action for causes I believed in.
And, to be fair, it has been and still has the potential to be all of that.
But, yeah. It’s also been a damned disappointment.
There have been days when I think if I see one more damned petition shared by someone I know whose time could be so much better used writing an Op-Ed or writing Postcards to Voters, I want to start randomly replying with the definition of “slactivism.”
Instead, of always scrolling by and rolling my eyes, I’ve started to reach out to these friends and invite them to do new things with me. Things like joining a club, attending a meeting, or getting involved with DemCast.
But, I can hear you asking, “What about my Uncle Dennis who shares fake news and hateful, harmful, divisive rhetoric that liberals are the enemies of America?”
I suggest familiarizing yourself with Facebook’s handy dandy help section for “How to Report Things on Facebook.”
Trust me on this.
Save your sanity.
Don’t reply. Report.
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