Social media – neither social nor media

The news these days is full of drought and floods, death and disaster, viruses and vaccines, abuse and accidents, and fearmongering by those with hidden agendas and ulterior motives. Divide and rule is the motto of the day. The social media reflect people’s opinions on all of these things, supporting and condemning, covering up and exposing, in an unstoppable avalanche of free speech which reveals both the depths and heights achievable by mankind in its assessment of the world as we have made it.
Modern technology has made all information instantly available to just about every person on the planet who owns a cellphone, with the sharing of photos with barely a minute passing between recording the image and relaying it to millions of viewers, and no possible way of preventing the misery and misfortune of others from being broadcast to the world. What happened to respect for people’s privacy, for thinking before doing, for holding back before reacting, for just allowing people to be, without feeling obliged to pass judgment?
It’s even worse to have to read all this vitriol in the ‘comments’ section attached to everything that appears in the media, social or antisocial. Nothing will ever be gained by negative outpourings. Trolls no longer live under bridges that goats cross – they rule the comments sections. What the world really needs is upliftment and support for victims of circumstances that are not always within their control. Those who stand up in defence of both sides and call for empathy and understanding for those involved are ridiculed, with snide remarks being posted to draw attention to their naivety.
One can only feel sad for those whose only way of communicating is through denigration and the limited vocabulary of the gutter. They are the ones in greatest need of non-judgment.
We could do worse than follow the old adage: If you have nothing good to say, say nothing. 

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