Quiet Desperation

Internet shows that you can’t spell ‘antisocial’ without ‘social’


Every day, every single day, maybe on the hour, someone is shamed, chided, ridiculed, put down and disrespected because of an image of them or a comment they made that was posted on social media.

And then the bad blood begins.

There’s a very old joke about the man who goes to his doctor and says, “Doc, every time I hit my hand with a hammer, well, it hurts.”

Doctor says, “Want my advice? Stop hitting your hand with a hammer.”

I know this is too simple and simplistic for people who are smitten and taken and enamored with social media, but all anyone has to do, to avoid being shamed, chided, and ridiculed, is to quit social media.

Otherwise, your complaints fall on (my) deaf ears.

For many, such as we have become, being on social media is a requisite. It’s not even a choice.

Not being on social media is about as uncool as it gets.

And we all want to be cool, with it, and awesome, don’t we?

I promise you: Someone will breast-feed in public tomorrow, and post an image of it, and then be slammed from here to Dairyland.

(We) can’t seem to resist sharing our special moments with the world, but try, try, try.

I know I am an exception. Not on social media, and don’t have a cellphone. No selfies here. Don’t know what Instagram is or why anyone needs it or wants it. As previously commented: I have no truck with influencers.

Doesn’t anyone think for themselves anymore, and keep to themselves anymore?

“You should talk.”

Obviously, this column is an outreach, and now and then I have been admonished for something I said. But it’s never cruel.

And people are cruel.

About half, and sometimes it seems like more than half.

There are special interests and prejudices and resentments by the boxcar.

If that’s true, or even partly true, why post something that is going to trigger someone?

There’s an old adage that graffiti is progressive. If someone sees graffiti, there is a biochemical need in us to add something to it.

Likewise, replies to posts.

Then, there are replies to the replies, some in point-counterpoint, like Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin.

When I open Yahoo, it defaults to garbage. I’d like it to default to news, but can’t figure out how to arrange that.

Every day, there is an article about the most useless family in America: what they wore an hour ago, who is cheating on them, and how terrific they looked in thongs at the hardware store.

I wish they would go away. But I know someone would take their places. (We) feast on garbage; i.e., personality doings.

But it has worked its way down — way down — into the lives of just about anyone on social media.

Why aren’t (we) smart enough to figure it out? Perhaps the word is “hope.” We hope people are mindful and respectful of others, but as I am writing this, they’re cleaning up a mosque in New Zealand, and it was reported that the shooter exploited the power of the internet.

Maybe you’ve read about the parents who bribed their kids into colleges and universities? One of the kids is, or was, an influencer. Her brain is a 21st-century mush of “I, me, mine.”

Nothing good happens after midnight. On social media.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.


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