Anti-Social Media A True Puzzle

I wonder how many religious leaders scratch their heads on occasion, wondering why they cannot instill in their followers the kind of faith so many of them seem to have in the internet. The difference is that while most Christians do think about our beliefs, many “social media” followers seem to rely entirely on blind faith.

Also puzzling is why reasonable men and womenwho recognize one danger of consuming too much alcohol is that it loosens one’s inhibitions drop them entirely when they pick up their smartphones.

“Fighting words” the vast majority of us avoid when having face-to-face conversations are used commonly on anti-social media.

Earlier this month, officials in Belmont had an unpleasant conversation with a contractor who had accidentally clipped a wire at a village-owned shed. The contractor told village council members he was willing to pay the $214.31 he was told would be needed for repairs.

But he added he was upset about a village official who allegedly threatened to post disparaging comments about the contractor on social media, then did so. They were removed later.

“I do not in any way appreciate those comments on social media,” the contractor told council members.

Of course not.

Council members were so embarrassed they apologized to the contractor and told him not to worry about paying the $214.31. To his enormous credit, he responded that he would instead donate $250 to the village cemetery fund.

How often do we hear similar stories? How often do similar situations involving people occur without the public learning of them?

And when did our inhibitions about such comments decrease to the point that we use Facebook or Twitter to say things about people we never, ever would say to their faces in public?

Moving on, why do so many people accept things they see on the internet without question?

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, who knows a good deal about keeping elections secure from Russian hackers, tells me the meddling we really should worry about has nothing to do with changing votes recorded electronically.

The real worry is that Moscow has been incredibly successful in using social media to pit Americans against each other, Warner notes. He’s right. Russians masquerading as Americans post an astronomical number of comments on social media, solely to make us angry.

We swallow it hook, line and sinker, never pausing to ask whether it’s legitimate.

Why is that? If someone walks up to you on the street and suggests that either Donald Trump or Nancy Pelosi is scheming to rig the 2020 election, you’d ask what evidence they had. The very same person can use Facebook and a ton of people will believe every word.

How does that work?

Talk about fertile ground for scientific research (some of which already has been done by companies that want us to buy their products, I suspect).

It’s said that the internet changed everything. More than we realize, I suspect.

For one thing, it’s changed how we think — or, rather, somehow lulled us into believing we don’t have to think. Just ask wannabe Islamic terrorists in our country who have been convinced solely through online indoctrination that murdering innocent people is a good idea.

Myer can be reached at: mmyer@theintelligncer.net.


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