When I began the foray into the wilds of Reddit, I experienced a general queasiness about the dichotomy on one hand of attempting to answer a person’s real questions and on the other hand those contributions becoming part of the product that is Reddit. Answering questions I am OK with, but becoming part of the product I was definitely not OK with. Why I felt this more with Reddit than with the other social media options, I don’t know, but I felt it strongly.
Last week President Trump was removed from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and other social media places. Many of the other people on those sites that I had been tuning into for up to date and reliable information also got shut down. If the duly elected President of the United States of America is denied free speech, then everyone else’s right to free speech just got shot down too, and not by a government, but by a multinational corporation.
So I asked myself if I could in conscience continue to be a partaker in these social media sites, and the answer was No.
As my little protest, I am withdrawing from engaging in them except for the purposes of responding to direct messages and refreshing my memory for the names of the people I want to find on non-censored sites. It is a tiny protest, but I can no longer contribute to the censoring media’s bottom lines.
Therefore I am going to bring what I’d normally do elsewhere onto the blog.
This means you should now see a weekly reflection on the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday, and a few obituaries from time to time.
It also means that I am open to answering r/Catholicism type questions (if you send them to me), and that I might do some blog-posts on perennial questions that Redditors asked.
I imagine that the big social media sites are betting that we are so addicted that we will eventually give in and go back. Yes I am going to miss the international updates, and I am going to miss most of the personalities and the memes that I found funny. But No I am not going back. The importance of free speech as a safeguard against totalitarianism is too great for my resolve to waver.
It will require a bit of creativity to discover how to connect with them in other ways, but it is do-able.
May God bless us as we start all over again from scratch on the non-censored social media sites, so that what we collectively build is much better than we ever had before. Amen.