15 Sep


My opinion

on Facebook

is just one of a quadzillion.


However, my opinion

is as valid as

the other


although a bit stranger.


Facebook is advertised as a social network,

a supposed tool for social intercourse.


We supposedly are acting in a social manner.


Yet there is something missing

that drastically damages

that face-to-face interaction.


It is the actual face of the other.


I call on

the 20th century philosopher


to assist me

in my need to clarify.


Levinas’ message

“when one person looks upon another’s face

the gazer feels an immediate empathy

for the other.”


That empathy may turn into complete subjugation.


The observer does something

completely out of character

and performs a charitable act

that benefits the other.


This is because of the very personal

face-to-face situation.


One of his examples comes from a novel

Levinas read years prior.


The scene depicts a German lady

who immediately hates a Russian soldier

the minute she sees him.


The soldier is removing partially decomposed bodies

that are the result of the WWII Russian invasion of Germany.


As the German lady, who is in rags

and has only one loaf of bread to her name,

looks into the Russian’s face

her rage subsides.


She sees him as a human being

who is suffering

in his work

as much as she is suffering from poverty.


This face-to-face encounter

causes a complete turnaround of her rage.


She hands him her only possession,

her loaf of bread.


That is the point that Levinas wishes to make.

Looking at a fellow human being,


is our basic being.


It is the one thing that keeps us alive.


We argue, disagree and go to war.

But when two humans face each other

the hate melts away.


And this is all I want to say;


There is a problem with Facebook.


We are either going overboard in agreeing with each other,

being politically correct

 – – – – OR – – – –

if we have different points of view

it often may degenerate into name calling

or misinterpreted comments.


I am guilty.


I have no solution.


It is the nature of Facebook.


We are immune to the real face-to-face nature that Levinas speaks of.


 We may know each other,

we may remember each other from past associations,

yet there is an anonymity

that creeps in and voids the real face to face.


Allow me to voice an opinion,

yes, I have a lot of those.


Since we can do nothing to create

an actual face-to-face while we are on Facebook

let us attempt

to visualize

the other person

and the situation that he or she

may be in.


What hath Zuckerberg wrought?



  1. Purnimodo September 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Very witty and apt! Missed reading your work.

    Hope all is well!

    • Waldo "Wally" Tomosky September 15, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

      I am taking a break, reading and working on a new project.
      Thanks for reading my post.
      I will get on board fairly soon.
      Be good.

  2. virginiallorca September 16, 2013 at 1:09 am #

    The new cell phones this year are all emphasizing the improved convenience and quality of Skype and FaceTime in which there is perceived face to face community although an electronic substitute for reality. I have experienced the process only a few times and am uncomfortable with it, but I am sure the future will bring more and more of this “face to face” communication. Wally, no one is ever going to live through as much change as you and I have.

    I enjoy your blogs.

    • Waldo "Wally" Tomosky September 16, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      Hi Virginia, Thanks for reading my post and your nice comments. The thing I can not understand is why the kids have these new face to face thingies and they still text. Yes – – – we have seen a lot of change. Take care, Wally

  3. Daniela September 16, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Oh Waldo, thank you for letting me know of this post, it is truly brilliant!

    Take Care,

    • Waldo "Wally" Tomosky September 16, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      Hi Daniela, Thank you for your kind comment. I am glad you liked it. It was originally my rant on facebook but I decided it should be toned down. I wish I could write as brilliantly as you do. Your posts have depth and meaning. You always have a winner and your use of words is unbelievable. I believe that knowing two languages and being able to think in two languages lends itself to that. My wife’s native language is Spanish and she always amazes me with the words and phrases that she puts together. Then, on the other hand, she is more brilliant than I am so possibly I am making excuses for myself. Take care, Wally

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