There’s a danger in the internet and social media. The notion that information is enough, that more and more information is enough, that you don’t have to think, you just have to get more information – gets very dangerous. – Edward De Bono
I am beginning to wonder what has happened to our society. I don’t recall a sudden change or when or where exactly things went wrong, but it seems to me that people have lost their respect for other human beings and the notion of common decency has gone out the window.
The only thing I can attribute this change to is the advent of the internet and social media. The great thing about the internet is that we are connected to each other faster, easier and it traverses cities, states and countries, but at the same time it also seems to be dragging us further and further apart.
Why has it become the new normal to cycle through people like they are dirty t-shirts? When did it become acceptable to not follow through on plans, to disregard other’s feelings and treat them as if they are disposable? When did we decide it was okay to demean people because they disagree with us?
Internet dating has to be one of the most torturous, horrendous experiences I have ever had. On one had I have met some great guys who have become my friends. But, for the most part it has been filled with men looking for casual sex, saying they want one thing when they really want another, misrepresentations, flakiness and disappointment after disappointment.
How hard is it to talk to someone, meet for a coffee, have some conversation for an hour and then go your separate ways if you don’t connect? How hard is it to treat others with common decency and respect?
Apparently it has become quite difficult to respect someone and their time and again, I don’t know how, when or why this happened. What I do know is that I strive for deep human connection and I’m wondering if my inability to find this stems from social media and the internet, the state I live in, a change in values or it has always been this way and I failed to notice.
It seems as if Facebook has become the receptacle for all human feeling. It seems as if everyone has to vent every opinion they have with the sole intention of being right, rather than being heard and understood. Rarely do I see a weighing of opinions or a discussion of issues on the merits.
Facts that are not really facts are presented as such and we can choose which fact we want to believe based upon the side we want to take. Individuals rarely have a basic knowledge or understanding of the topic they are debating, but feel the need to vehemently support their position despite any evidence to the contrary.
Facebook serves a multitude of really good purposes, including bringing long lost friends together, keeping distant relatives in contact, and disseminating information to the masses, exhibiting good deeds and stories of courage and fortitude.
However, during this presidential campaign I have barely been able to scroll fast enough past the rhetoric and hatred and the severely disparate political agendas. The amount of anger is unparalleled to anything I have seen before. The disrespect, hatred and name calling is despicable.
What is this about? When did this change happen? When did we go from a country of civilized, common sense debate about what is right and wrong (think of the civil rights movement) to a mob mentality of whoever yells the loudest must be right? I don’t understand this.
Does the negativity of the internet outweigh the value? Does the lack of commitment to factual reporting disturb anyone else?
Does the fact that so many bloggers label people or relationships and throw around terms like “Narcissist”, “Sociopath” and “Psychopath” like candy coming out of a piñata bother you? They use these terms because they are considered “power” words that draw people into reading the article, but they are rarely ever correctly applied and are often blatantly false.
The internet is selling us on a quick fix. Read this article and you will find the man of your dreams. Share this meme and everyone will think you are brilliant.
Truth, value and respect are not found in five seconds. Truth and value are found when you take the time to learn, understand and hear what another person has to say. Personally, I do not want to live in a society where everyone and everything is disposable.
Maybe somehow, some way we need to find a way to change the way we view the world and that starts by how we present ourselves on social media. If we don’t find a way, then I truly believe the internet may just kill our collective soul.