Always Wondered Why So Few Of My Facebook Friends Did Not Support My Government Work23 Jan 2017
I always wondered why many of my Facebook friends who I grew up with in Oregon did not comment or contribute to my work pushing back on government agencies and making things more accessible, transparent, accountable, and usable. I have speculated a lot on this subject over the last three years, but this election has shown me much of the motivation behind this behavior from folks of all type, not just the conservative ones.
They all just assumed I was 100% pro-government, and blindly working with the Obama administration, and complicit with what they view as wider government conspiracies. This ignorance set into motion by many of these folks never reading a good book, or using the Internet to stimulate their brains, just saw me saying "government". With a lack of awareness about the role government plays in our lives, they assumed I was just in league with the Illuminati, as I was no longer in the area, helping chime in on the misinformation they regularly receive what the government does or doesn't do.
My friends and family didn't see my work on National Park data linked to their summer and winter camping, hiking, and travel plans. They didn't see any connection with my work at the VA, and how I was working to cut any bureaucracy out of the process involved with getting healthcare and benefits. They don't relate to my work on the Free Financial Student Aid Form (FAFSA) because they haven't gone to college or university, or plan on helping steer their children in this direction. They don't understand my work on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), and how this might help make their healthcare experiences less painful. On, and on...
I feel like most of the people I grew up with have no idea what government does, let alone the scope of it. They take for granted (granite ;-) the things our federal, state, and local government play's in our lives, and allow their emotions to be stirred up and refocused only on the bad parts of government, and never about the good government does in our lives. This process allows business to successfully remove any obstacles in the way of their exploitation and the privatization of these vital services we depend on in our world. This is not a democrat vs republican thing or a conservative vs liberal. This is just ignorance fueled capitalism and popular culture, and a willingness to be left behind by opting to surf Facebook over reading a book, choosing to shop at Walmart over their local store and purchase a Starbuck coffee over their local coffee shop.
I am not giving up completely these folks 100%, I'm just prioritizing other things, even though it feels like they are attacking me personally with phrases like "drain the swamp", never understanding that this is about targeting me and my friends who are actually working to make government serve us better, and are never profiting from anything government does. I will keep working to change the government, educate people about this important work, and work to protect EVERYONE's privacy and security, regardless their often aggressive and uninformed stance about what it is I do.