Sunday, February 1, 2015

The absurdity of social media

With the internet the way it has become we never need to leave home. We never need to talk to each other. We can spend our time controlled by the misconceptions that expressing our views, beliefs and interests on social media sites actually has an impact on the world.

Voter turnout is down? Why? Perhaps because we all participated in expressing our views and stances online. Perhaps we felt that was a type of voting?

How many people have done a nonsense survey on their "fairy name," special song or macabre fictional death? How much time wasted on leveling up in cartoon games? We could learn languages, cultures, explore the world, gain real skills but instead we vote with our dollar and time. Facebook now charges small businesses to even post where anyone can see it. We could fight it, we could support our friends businesses and ventures by sharing and liking posts. Instead we like moronic memes, redundant, unimaginative surveys and corporate advertising.

We could do to Facebook what we did to MySpace. We could part ways.

How do we change things? Not by posting. We change things by educating ourselves, not trusting or relying on the government to give us neutral, accurate information. We start by being aware that money is controlling our country. It is absurd that we boast of democracy in a country ruled by corporate interests. Freedom?

We are free to block applications, we are free to use search engines to do research and make our own choices. It seems absurd that we let the Facebook and Twitter feeds be our network instead of sites like Huffington. We can choose to buy from small businesses and individuals, we can do reviews and facilitate networking or we can focus on twerking?

Why are we so bent on justifying and endorsing mediocrity, complacency and believing validity in weak scientific studies?

We change by choosing to take the time to be responsible and accountable for our own health and wellness. We change by teaching our children and modeling constructive use of time. We change by working on decreasing the dangerous new craze of labeling and belittling others we perceive as different than us.

Don't like someone's view, the new way is to villanize them. If they become villains, it's okay to treat them in an immoral, derogatory way. We can excuse anything as long as it's a villain that pays.

It may sound absurd until you think about it. We learned this as children watching cartoons. Heroes fought villains, villains deserve to be brought down. But are we facing real villains or shadows? Conspiracy theories abound.

To change we need to be aware, to foster tolerance and to try detaching enough to have perspective. I watch those old cartoons and realize some of those "villains" really did nothing wrong. Some of those "heroes" were thieves, bullies or worse.

What we watch, what we spend our time on, these things shape our views.

We can change by voting. We can change our internet use and applications. We can change by demonstrating and protesting. France once changed through the most gory revolution in centuries. We aren't Sims, we shouldn't live like we are- THAT is absurd.