Tag: social media

Anti-social media:

Anti-social media:

One of the things I’ve been debating for a while now is whether or not to expand my presence on social media. Aside from my LinkedIn account, I have no other social media platforms that I currently use. I used to have a Facebook account years ago, long before I decided to start publishing my writings. I stopped using it because I kept getting irrelevant notifications, even after going into the settings and changing it to only show me notifications that involve me. Eventually I got rid of my Facebook account because it was becoming an annoying distraction. Ironically I considered reactivating it when I published my first book. When I went to do so, they asked for identification to prove I was who I claimed to be. When I submitted my driver’s license photo with necessary the info (blocking out the information that wasn’t necessary) I got a message back saying it wasn’t valid. So I simply replied “if you don’t want me on Facebook, then fine. I’ll go elsewhere.”

I bring this story up because of the issues the world has with social media. As an author I realize that such platforms (Facebook, Twitter and so on) are useful tools to help promote my work and build buzz around my writing, however as many articles have written social media has also brought many problems with it. As we’ve unfortunately seen, when people can hide behind the anonymity of a computer or a smart phone, it tends to bring out the worst aspects of people, causing them to say things that they probably wouldn’t in public. I remember hearing a story about how conservative social media platforms (like Parler and Frankspeech for example) haven’t been doing well because conservatives don’t want to share ideas with like minded people, but rather engage in flame wars with liberals on Twitter and other such sites.

Another problem with social media is that it’s all too easy to post misinformation without the need for fact checking. How many times (during the course of this pandemic) have we seen people spreading misinformation on the virus, vaccines and so on simply because someone else online said it and no one bothered to question it.

The reason for this is due to the fact that our society actively discourages people from thinking for themselves. And the reason for this is because most people don’t actually want to think for themselves. To quote Conversations with God, “most people don’t want to have to think. They elect leaders, they support governments, they adopt religions requiring no independent thought. ‘Make it easy for me. Tell me what to do.’… Classes in critical thinking, problem solving and logic are considered by many parents to be threatening. They want such classes out of the curriculum.” Look no further than the debates raging across America about Critical Race Theory. How many parents no nothing about it (or even what it is) yet don’t want it taught in school out of fear that it’s “bad” for children. Incidentally, how many of these people don’t even have children? Why? Because if we teach children to think for themselves, they might develop ideas and opinions that are different than ours. Even worse, they might point out the mistakes our society has made and find a new solution, one that would prove the way we’ve been doing things has been wrong. As someone, I forget who, once said, “Nothing compels a [person] to argue harder than being proven wrong.”

All of this stems from the fear-based religions that the world has had for several thousand years. These religions mistakenly teach us that God gave us free will so that we could blindly follow and obey God’s word, lest we face eternal damnation. Thus why we don’t want people to think for themselves because if we all thought critically, we’d realize that such a plan (God’s so called ‘plan’) is one where failure is the only option. How can God expect us to blindly follow his will when he gave us the ability to make our own choices? Such a plan is ultimately self defeating.

So the question then becomes, “How do I deal with social media platforms that foster division and spread misinformation?” The first step is to limit the amount of time spent on such platforms. Use them when necessary, but when your phone “pings” with a notification, don’t drop everything and rush to see what it is. Stop constantly checking to see what [Person X] posted or if they posted anything recent. If your life revolves around what others are doing/saying/thinking all the time, then arguably your not really living your own life, but trying to live someone else’s life.

Secondly, always remember to THINK FOR YOURSELF. Never blindly accept what you see online as the truth “So and so posted ‘X’ online, so it must be true!” Use your own instincts, your own judgments to decide that for yourself. Even this blog. If you agree with what I’m saying, then I thank you. If however you don’t agree with me, then I hope you find a better way, one that serves you better (and I mean that sincerely). Ultimately, the only real question we have to constantly ask ourselves in life is “Does this serve me?” If this (whatever “this” may be) serves you then believe it, use it, make it work for you. If it doesn’t then find a new “this”. One that does serve you. Remember, thinking should never be the enemy. Because again, if we weren’t meant to think critically, to question everything, why would we even have the ability to do so?