I’m trying out a new process for responding whenever I jump on Facebook and see that someone has posted the most ignorant and misguided crap I’ve ever seen. For example, someone might post:
“Brazilians have cured cancer, and drug companies don’t want you to know! The article at this link reports a Brazilian study where injecting bee pollen under the tongue four times a day cured 90% of the cancer patients! Drug companies are squashing this research so they can rake in billions of dollars in profits while sick people die of cancer. Re-post this if you care!”
In STEP 1 of my process, I imagine writing the response I’d love to write. For example, I might think to myself:
“This kind of half-assed bullshit makes me want to lock you in an iron box and smash it with a tire iron for a week. You’re torturing sick people with false hope because you’re too lazy to think through the unsubstantiated drivel you read and then spew out of your fingers like electronic diarrhea. Shut the hell up already, or I’ll come to your house and paint ‘Too Stupid to Swallow Spit’ on your front door.”
I then indulge in some growling and perhaps I kick something soft and inanimate, like a sack of laundry I’m too lazy to tackle. After which I implement STEP 2. I sit down at my computer and write a response that’s something like the following:
“Your post is misleading. First, the article you linked is posted on www.drug-companies-die-like-dogs.com, so the objectivity is a little suspect there. Second, if you had read further than the first 14 words into the article, you might understand it better. The study wasn’t about bee pollen, it was about a new drug. The researchers just noticed that patients sat by an open window and bees flew in sometimes, so the researchers extrapolated the effects of bee pollen. That means they flat out guessed in the hopes someone would give them more money to do this asinine bee pollen research. This was an early safety trial with 10 patients, and 9 of them weren’t directly killed by the drug, so that’s where the 90% success rate came from. And by the way, even if this crap was re-posted by a million people, it wouldn’t affect anything in the world other than making Facebook noticeably stupider for a few days. On the other hand, your typing and grammar are lovely, so you must not be a complete waste of DNA.”
After typing this response, I immediately delete it un-posted and have a drink, or maybe two.
I follow up with STEP 3. I close my eyes and think to myself, “I could respond to your foolish post, but that means I’ll get notified about comments of outrage for the next two days. That would only be worth it if I cared even a tiny bit about what you thought, or if my response would have any positive impact on the real world. Since neither of those things is true…”
Thus far my process has been working marvelously. And every time I use it, I get a couple of drinks out of the deal.