Social Media

I had planned to write a little story today about how social media had enriched my life. Then the news broke yesterday afternoon about ANOTHER shooting in a grade school by a disaffected teenage man (yes, according to the law an 18-year-old is a man – not a boy). One of my sisters asked “Is there a social media group of 18-year-olds that’s daring each other to perform a greater act of slaughter?”

Is the problem with social media that gives these gunmen a platform to “show off?” Is the problem with mental health services? Is the problem permissive parents? Is the problem schools who never teach empathy? What is the problem?

I was an early adopter of Twitter (2008) and Facebook (2009). I can remember connecting with far-flung members of my denomination the first time on social media. We talked about church business, mental health concerns, etc. Early in that time, one of my friends on Twitter, who we now know was bi-polar, committed suicide. The ripples through our little community touched all of us. Possibly the conversations with pastors there helped delay that dreaded outcome. Possibly not, we’ll never know.

I remember grieving with and for a young married couple, both active in church, who lost their newborn twins who were born too soon and, too soon, died. I defy anyone to say “you’re not really friends, because you don’t really know them face to face.” Virtual community is just as real, supportive, irritating, and comforting as “in person” community – sometimes more so.

Living all my life as nomad, I need the contact with friends who no longer live near me. Because of social media I feel like I have family all over this country and all over the world.

How did we let social media – this wonderful tool for friendship and community – become so corrupted that kids who need contact and help get sucked into the dark reaches of the internet?

What’s the answer? Shut it all down? Stronger regulation? More in-person contact?

I don’t know. If any of you do, please tell the rest of us?

I do know that I’m becoming a single issue voter – gun control, gun control, gun control.

1 thought on “Social Media

  1. Pingback: Five things that made me happy today – 5/25/22 | An Aging Liberal Hippy from the Left Coast

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