America is in turmoil. Those of us, this includes you, who spend any time at all online are constantly besieged by extreme opinions fueled by hatred, political agendas, religious prejudice, and blatant stupidity. Repeating anything over an over does not suddenly make it true.
Facebook is no longer primarily a place to stay in touch with family and friends and find others who share our interests and passions. It is now a platform, a soapbox, a showcase, and a never ending vehicle of escapism and narcissism.
By making the world a smaller place, the internet has also made it a much much more crowded one. We now know more about people than we ever wanted; the good, the bad, and the hideously ugly.
I think that social media gives us information overload as well as dumbing us down to little more than popular soundbites repeated with religious fervor as if it were gospel from the mouth of God.
Glenn Beck wrote a book about the Overton Window or Window of Discourse. It is the range of ideas the public will accept. It is used by media pundits. It is manipulated by making either gradual changes or having something spectacularly bad happen where we then tend to agree that something significant needs to be done and we accept legislation that in normal circumstances would never be acceptable on any level. Similarly we find our beliefs manipulated where we will be PC and accept a small change if we can get around the big change and forget that the little things add up until we are living in a different world.
Because of all of the extreme drama spread online, we find ourselves rubbernecking armchair quarterbacks, patriots, religious zealots, etc. We stay glued to our computers, smart phones, tablets, iPads, etc waiting for the next big event and thoroughly ignoring the reality around us, our communities, and often those we love.
It's time we stepped up and back and rejected the narcotic allure of the information highway and resumed living our lives as freely, as sanely, and as independently as our parents and grandparents. Far more of us are grossly addicted to technology primarily the internet than have ever been addicted to any drug or substance. Like any addiction it enslaves us. No, goddammit, you should not start an online online recovery group!
Shut off your computer, limit your smart phone usage to certain tasks or time limits or get a flip phone, get off your highly likely morbidly obese behind, go outside, and see who lives next door to you and invite them to go for a walk.
Show your dog what a tennis ball is and teach it to do more than lay on the couch.
Stop confusing soundbites with knowledge and read a real book. No, not Harry Potter And The Braindead Couch Potato.
The internet is like looking at life through a stained glass window, you will never see it as it actually is if that is your only view.
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