The ugliness of social media

As I’ve stated many times, I do love the opportunities the Internet provides.  But I also dislike the pettiness and ugly feelings it spawns.  It’s a shame we are so dialed in but it’s the reality of life in this day and age.  During this ridiculous Presidential race I’ve grown weary of finger pointing, name calling and lies.  That’s nothing new for me.  I don’t care for whiners.  If you’re not happy and have to complain constantly, do something about it.

Yesterday was a turning point for me.  There was a letter to the editor in our local newspaper written by an individual here in town to complain about the state of the roadways in our town.  He chose a ridiculous analogy, citing his lack of ability in old age to shake his martini.  His remedy is to strap them into the passenger seat of the car and drive down the main thoroughfare.  Humorous intent?  Yes.  Bad analogy?  Yes.  This is apparently newsworthy and garnered a few moments of infamy on the newspaper’s website before it was taken down and the comments were closed.  This is not news.  The Dakota pipeline standoff is news.  Perhaps this individual should switch to wine which requires neither shaking nor stirring.

Then I looked at FB.  What a mistake.  An event unfolded that became blown out of proportion in many ways.  Due to the media hype of the fact that “all lives matter,” as if we needed to be told, an overly sensitive individual misconstrued a situation in a public place in our town.  The resulting posts were inflammatory, inciting people from all sides to make ugly and often obscene remarks.  First of all if one isn’t there to witness said event, don’t comment.  To those involved, this is what happens when we take to social media to right the wrongs of the world.  Comments were flying in about cameras being present, was the incident caught on tape?  Really?  This is what our lives have become?

I wasn’t there so I point no fingers.  May I say the situation should have been handled better by all parties?  Absolutely.  In my heart do I believe an individual acted with good intent?  Yes, but it didn’t turn out well.  And it will leave hard feelings for a very long time.  

In summary, think about what you’re typing before you press “post.”  Take a minute or two to edit your words and check spelling.  Are obscenities entirely necessary?  Please use the correct form of they’re, their or there.  Please don’t assume anyone of us is entitled because of what we do for a living or our volunteer activities.  As a former educator I was on the receiving end of teasing and insults for many years.  I state, with a smile, “if my job is so easy and you resent me for it, please go ahead and try it for a few days.”  I was paid a decent wage, worked hard and never did my job with the intent of garnering praise or further benefits.  That’s what work is.

Today’s vocabulary lesson is this:  the word volunteer means to do something of your own free will, for the benefit of others, without expectation of remuneration, benefits, perks, etc.  In other words you are donating your time because you want to help others.  You are not looking to be lauded, paid or showered with platitudes.  If you are a volunteer then you are content with the fact you are helping others.  If you are a volunteer expecting freebies, fringe benefits, or heroic status then you are not a volunteer in the true sense of the word.

Once I have checked spelling and the intent of my words here, I will press “post.”  I’m sure my words won’t go over well with all readers but then I’d have to ask why not?

About thequarryschild

A self-described forensic junkie, Beth Anderson spends her days shaping young minds to ask critical questions and wonder “whodunit.” Beth resides in the Capital District of New York and spends her free time reading and solving the great mysteries. Her love of swimming, tennis and sports provides the basis for one of the lead characters in her new book The Quarry’s Child. Beth is one of the founding members of the Upper Hudson Valley Chapter of Sisters in Crime (aka Mavens of Mayhem), a graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy, a survivor of a visit to an active aircraft carrier while it was at sea, and a published poet in Soundings, a literary journal. Beth continues to instill a love for mystery fiction in her students as she has for over twenty years. Photo credit: Quinn Mulvey
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