Under that heading, a list of 30 things appeared on Facebook. Guess which one was first? I gave some thought to an answer.
1. FIVE PROBLEMS WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
• There is too much of it. One or two, perhaps a handful of sources are fun; yet when Google relates how to use the top 52 types, there is a definite glut.
• It is a colossal time waster. Without an iron-willed, titanium-backboned discipline, it robs you of time needed for rest, enjoying hobbies, physical recreation, interaction with real people, such as family, and even doing your job. Used sparingly as a tool, social media can offer oodles of assistance and actually cut down on research time. Tools, however, are made to use and then put down. Having surpassed mere tool status, social media in too many cases have become the world’s Binky. A drug of choice that causes formerly-sentient beings to walk into light poles, amble into busy traffic, walk right past their intended destination and become a society of socially ill-equipped, interpersonally-maladroit individuals.
• Information overload. The availability of any conceivable kind or level of information is there for the asking. How to butter toast in Thailand. Protocols for meeting the Duchess of Droll. Add to that the incessant auditory drive of music/books on tape/talk radio/whatever pouring through earbuds, the mind has literally no down time. The subconscious has no chance to sort, collate, and organize the day’s information. Proof? When awakening at 2:47AM, who does not weigh reaching for the phone to check Facebook before giving their longsuffering bladder the relief for which it awakened them in the first place?
• It carries the veneer of authoritativeness. “I saw on Facebook where…” or “Well, he Tweeted that…” Amazing how often I’ve heard entire arguments built on the sole strength of what someone said on Facebook vs. what someone else said to refute it. How do we know either of them has a nodding acquaintance with truth? We don’t. Yet by our unwillingness to do our own research and reading, we’re only encouraging a further incursion into the ever-shallower end of The Lake of Fact and Truth.
• Counterfeit relationships. ‘Friend’ is tossed around Facebook and publicly renounced with such regularity it has lost meaning. ‘In a relationship’ seems to have become an oak leaf cluster on Life Campaign Ribbons to the point those not blaring such info are pitied or ignored as unimportant. Because written notes, texts, can be so easily misread and misunderstood, ‘friendships’ and/or ‘relationships’ can
dissolve quicker than Alka-Seltzer Plus.
The problem there is that real hearts, minds and spirits of real people are damaged in the process. Each of the three take much longer to heal and recover from the mental/spiritual/intellectual mayhem caused by the foolishness of parading personal loneliness and vulnerabilities on social media. It hurts a lot more and takes a lot longer to recover because they’re attached to real human beings.
© D. Dean Boone, March 2016