A String And A Million Tin Cans…


After a tumultuous week of social observance, the calls to delete, unplug, keep scrolling, and disconnect are increasing.  These times call for more cat memes, and fewer political posts, maybe…

Too often we forget that the root-word for ignorance is, ignore.  In no way am I suggesting a person is ignorant for the act of avoidance, especially when that avoidance is due to information saturation, notwithstanding the probabilities of ingesting false information.  However, the more we avoid, the less informed we become, even if we don’t like or are overwhelmed by that which we would rather avoid.

It’s easy to suggest that paring down, or disconnecting from social media altogether might be beneficial to one’s mental health, but with social media being the single most used form of communication in the 1st and 2nd worlds, this avoidance can only go so far.  There is still, after all, the media.  Also, there’s the 2nd hand smoke thing – what you don’t see on social media will find you at the water cooler or coffee shop anyway.

When I gave away my car 10 years ago, I did so because I no longer wanted to contribute to what I thought was the biggest disaster in history; manmade climate change.  I felt empowered, and in some ways morally and intellectually superior to Joe Schlepasaurus, for my profound act of avoidance.   Of course, it wasn’t too long before I realized that driving, regardless of its consequences, was part of our social structure, and necessary in the immediacy to keep our societies running.  Driving less – or only when necessary might have been a better response to my concern over climate change.

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One can make that argument with everything to from government, to the use of plastics, to institutionalism, and even alcohol.  Limited is useful, has its place, and can be good for society.  Too much… is bad.

Whether we like it or not, participate in it or not, social media is a part of where we are as a species today, and a major part of how we communicate.  It will evolve into different forms, and lead people in different directions, and continue to influence our social structures.  It will also continue to influence our behaviors, whether we like it or not.  Once this level of mass intercommunication has been reached, like transportation, there is no going back, only a slow evolution of the system.

As to us being the unwitting puppets of social media’s algorithms, what upright doddering hominid hasn’t been influenced by them…?  From scripture, to governance, to journalism, to entertainment, to the algorithms of Instagram, most of our thoughts and behaviors are the result data, agenda, and the people behind them.

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This is where we’re at.  Social media frustrates me as much as governments and freeway interchanges ever have, and yes, that means that on occasion it has caused me to host both murderous and suicidal thoughts.  I don’t act on those thoughts, because the algorithms haven’t brought me there – not yet anyway.

But the upside of social media is phenomenal.  So much of the good, and so many of the remarkable changes taking place in the world today are the result of social media, that it cannot be overlooked as the most useful instrument of change since gunpowder.

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Delete your account.  Scroll on past.  Use it less.  Post a cat meme, I get it.  Global interconnectivity is increasing, it’s inevitable, and social media is, I’ll suggest, is one of the most important tools we will ever have to do good things in the world – even if it frustrates the shit out of us…  Jhciacb

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If you are not already a subscriber, please scroll up and do so.  Tell your friends about me — about what happens when I push the STOP button on the blender in my head. Oh, and there’s this from Mad Season.  Enjoy…

6 responses

  1. I am feeling overwhelmed this week, too. I have felt the need to cut back on information, only as a mechanism of self-protection. I can see the downside of social media and I don’t blame anyone who deletes their accounts. But for me, I feel like that response amounts to putting my head in the sand, plugging my ears and yelling “la la la” to drown out what I don’t want to hear. It’s a refusal to engage in the events that are going on around me. Social media can be a powerful tool, whether it is used for “good” or “evil” – whatever THAT means. If we are going to reach any kind of consensus in this country, we are going to have to be willing to listen to people who disagree with us, and find a way to engage in dialogue with them (note, I said “dialogue”…. I did not say “shouting matches”). If I want congressmen to have a discussion and reach a consensus, I still have enough naive optimism left to believe that maybe I can “be the change” and have that wished-for discussion myself.

    • Much of my afternoon today will be spent acting in things brought my way via social media; contacting my house representative, contacting local Islamic clergy, and things I can do to help offset the great voter fraud… wink.

      If not for social media, I wouldn’t have a friend named, FitProLisa, though I doubt that’s your Christian name….

  2. I’ve been out of the social media since my incident and case May 2015. And there’s plenty I do not miss from Social Media. Ironic too when my work demands being Social and using media as a tool for the latest and greatest of current events.
    All Things in Moderation……….

  3. I’m not very involved with social media, and I don’t think that will change. I have a much easier time loving individuals than the masses. Maybe that will change.

    • I get it, Doc, kinda, but social media is a big part of you and it effects you all day long — it’s the broad and that stealth. Think about so much of what’s going on int he world today — social media has driven much of it — for better o for worse.

      Log on. Tune in. Take part. It’s where we’re at, and even if you don’t log on, it’s still where we’re at and it influences everything from sports, to politics, to medicine and beyond.

      As the nurse said to the stubborn patient, “If I’m going to force feed you, you might as well enjoy the meal…”

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