Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. Blogs. All those apps that my daughter knows and understands that I won’t hear about for another three years. There are myriad ways to be “out there” on the cyber entertainment world. We can connect through games and shared interests. Meet new people. Reconnect with old friends. The internet is flush with ways that we can have as many cyber acquaintances as we wish.

But is it a good thing?

Many have chosen to completely cut the cord on social media- they have no notifications popping up on their phones. They aren’t tagged in pictures and don’t know what great Aunt Sally did on her vacation to Mexico, or what their friend from second grade ate for lunch.

There are some, like me, who begrudgingly hold on to Facebook, because we know that it’s just an easy way to share milestones and pictures with friends. I have way less then the “normal” amount of friends on Facebook, and I don’t care: If I add you it’s because I actually care about you and what you’re up to. I also admit that in the last year or so I have deleted many people, and I have seriously considered getting rid of my sister and mother as facebook friends because they just post the most ridiculous stuff. (FYI- they are completely opposite on all their thoughts and opinions, so it’s not like I don’t like their “side”)

Now when I say ridiculous, I mean they don’t actually think about what they’re posting. They share things that have no basis in fact, things that I could refute in about 3 seconds. My sister will share and say “right on” to something that doesn’t make sense at all…I mean…can’t even pass a basic logic test. My Mother will share and say something like “Get it yet” which is a joke, because I don’t think she gets it. My Mother and sister have fallen into the trap of believing what they’re seeing, because they are so entrenched in their beliefs and value systems that they will literally cling to anything which supports it, no matter how extraordinary it is.

If you are going to share something on social media, check the source from which it comes. A poll whose source is the website that printed it is not a source. A picture is only worth a thousand words if it has not been photoshopped to death. Read what the opposition is actually saying before you form and opinion and post something so it remains in cyber history forever. Know what you are posting.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and they’re even allowed their own soapbox to shout it from. What they should not be doing is spreading things that are false. Don’t become a social media gossip. Don’t repost something just because it’s there- not everything needs to become viral. Remember, the more sensational something appears, the less likely it is to be completely accurate.

Your opinion should be a conclusion you have come to based on research on both sides of a topic. Period. If you are not clear on both sides of something you can not form a valid opinion. Have you ever heard someone say “I hate opera”, only to find out they’re never actually been to, or heard, an opera? That’s what some of these rants are like. They don’t know anything about a topic, yet they have an opinion.

My Father in law is what I refer to as an agitator. He has no actual knowledge to go along with his opinions, yet he likes to goad you into a conversation. A few months ago he was literally mouthing the words of a television commentator, and was asking me my opinion on the subject. I tried to stay out of it, but he’s an annoying little gnat and just keeps bothering you, so I finally gave up and engaged.

Discussion of topic A:

FIL- blah blah blah

Me- So what should be done? (because I hate when someone says something should be done but they don’t have an opinion as to what should be done)

FIL- They should do their job.

Me-What is their job?

FIL- You know, their job.

Me- No, I don’t know. What is their job?

And we went down this rabbit hole for awhile until he got frustrated and hummphed.

While there is a plethora of information available, very few know how to use it properly. People see a headline that they like, and blindly go down the path of misinformation and illogical thoughts. I want to introduce people to if/ then statements, and teach them the meaning of comparison and correlation.

People need to learn how to think. And I say learn, because when I look at social media, I see scant evidence that most people know how to actually think.

What do you think?


70 thoughts on “Look Away

  1. Facebook is for engagement?? I thought it was for playing Cross-Stitch and Mahjong 😉
    I don’t think that it’s possible to engage in an adult way on FB, so I don’t and haven’t in years. Dumped everyone long ago.
    If I cannot engage in person then my next best option is blogging because I have found that (at least in my case) 95% of the people I follow can think intelligently and do know how to form opinions based on fact.
    The rest of social media is worthless so if you want that sort of gossipy thing great, but I don’t think you should ever expect to really learn anything useful or real.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. People are only stupid if they choose to be. Information is literally at our fingertips today. I’ve always said, “People are not stupid. They are simply uneducated.” Mama used to say, “Don’t make a fool of yourself”, while handing me a book to read. An educated opinion is so refreshing. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You’re right.

    Social media makes it too easy for people to form an ‘opinion’ without knowing what in the hell they’re talking about. Knowledge is work, and most peeps like the convenience of social media gossip because they don’t have to do the legwork. Never mind the accuracy or legitimacy . . they’re “us” or they’re “them” in an instant!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. On a slightly off track, when I was on vacation they had a lending library at one hotel…I picked up a book written in 1982ish, an Ann Tyler I think. Do you know, it felt like an alien world? Checkbooks, not being able to reach someone quickly, just things that I grew up with, yet can actually imagine anymore. I never thought I’d say that about a book that was written in my lifetime at a point when I understood things

        Liked by 3 people

      2. It’s true!

        And not to mention people who are constantly staring at their phones. And do you remember when you used to move to the side when someone was walking down the street talking to themselves? Now we don’t even flinch.

        I cannot imagine what the world is going to look like in another twenty years.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Social media like facebook can be good for “fun relief” or to actually find out some beneficial gossip. For example: a local community is having a problem with wild wolves. I wouldn’t have known about it if I didn’t follow the group. It is beneficial as sometimes I walk early morning with the pug. Wild wolves have been coming nearer and nearer to our area. I also use it for keto recipes and help with motivation.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A call from Manhattan for some damn Virtue Epistemology? While intellectual virtue is sorta a hot topic, get too close and you can get burned by the moral this and that’s. Glance at this:

    “Intellectual virtues aren’t the same thing as natural intellectual ability or IQ. Nor are they a matter of having a lot of knowledge. A person can be naturally “smart” and highly knowledgeable about a variety of topics while also being closed-minded, intellectually arrogant, and intellectually careless, that is, while failing to possess a wide range of intellectual virtues.”

    From https://intellectualvirtues.org.

    Having been on my kindle for a few years, is Zagzebski book—Virtues of the Mind: An Inquiry into the Nature of Virtue and the Ethical Foundations of Knowledge (Cambridge Studies in Philosophy). I’ve started it maybe five times and down a rabbit hole of civil and moral conundrums one goes. Good luck. And to your daughter, who, if she becomes what she desires, will be deep in this dilemma throughout her career.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Didn’t mean to hit send so quickly…there are so many conundrums, where our intellectual reason is different from logic, which is different from practical. How do we proceed. There will obviously be more reflections on this topic

      Liked by 2 people

  6. You ask what do you think?, but what you said here is actually more important in my opinion.
    “I see scant evidence that most people know how to actually think.”
    How to think is becoming a lost skill! Blindly following the rhetoric of ‘your side’ without utilizing critical thinking is downright dangerous.
    How to think is quite possibly the most important skill a human can possess. Yet folks seem hellbent on disregarding it in the most creative and elaborate ways possible.
    How sad.
    What you think has become more important than how to think.
    Must fix.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. You cannot have a conversation with people that are willfully ignorant. I don’t even try. It makes dinners with my in laws incredibly hard because every single time someone opens their mouth, they inadvertently drop a landmine. I swear, you could probably say, “Please pass the potatoes” and my FIL will start talking about something ridiculously off the wall that he is regurgitating from some crap he heard.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Lots of comments, that’s great! I on the same page as you, i am careful who i add as a friend and periodically snooze people if they push the post too much with cute animal stuff. There is a limit on my time. I started instagram but its almost ignored completely.
    People need to discover Snopes! Nuf said! Enjoy your day!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Spot on! Actually, I would actually like Facebook if it only was about reconnecting with old friends. But instead, algorithms, fake news, fear mongering, conspiracies, stupidity…
    Social media scares me – shows me how stupid people are, how horrible people can be, how negative people can be, how much lies can be spread.
    I read on Twitter about a travel blogger who received death threats because she wrote something about bad experiences at a hotel or something. Talk about overreacting?! What’s happened? Can’t people just be normal anymore? Something strange has happened since social media became a thing.

    Now if people could just post about their lunch instead, I’d be happy!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’m very selective about what I look at on social media. On FB (which I look at very minimally) I only follow people who have something positive to post. There’s a lot of crap on there and mostly I think it’s a bit of a time waster. I agree that before venting or voicing an opinion (particularly on a public platform) its wise to be informed. Sadly, as you know, many people are not.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I agree. They should do their job.


    I live in the midst of “they should do their job”, “build that wall”, “drill baby drill” and “lock her up” territory. That pee tape could be released and it would change not one soul’s opinion on things.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m actually spending less time on Facebook for this very reason. I skim to see things about the people I care about and ignore most of it. There are simply better ways to spend that time. It’s sad that something that started out as a way to connect people has become so full of ads and propaganda.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love to connect with friends and family on Facebook. I like to see pictures of their children and grandchildren…especially the ones who live far away. I ignore posts that are just plain silly; they have no basis in reality and are not worth reading about. Sometimes, I have posts hidden if people continuously post the same crazy stuff. Facebook should be for what it was intended…connecting with friends and family about something meaningful. I especially do not like when people use it to blast their political views and do it in a very negative way.

    Liked by 1 person

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