The Worst of Us

Social media brings us the worst human beings and causes us to talk about them and consider their ill-informed opinions as if they mattered.

Case in point. The lovely and talented Eva Mendes posted an Instagram photo of herself with a shorter haircut. Thousands of people told the mom of two that she was rockin’ it.

Close-up of Eva Mendes with shoulder length hair pulled back in a hair band.

One person wrote: “You’re getting old”.

This person is, obviously, an idiot. But Eva responded by saying she’s grateful she’s getting older. After all, it’s a privilege denied to many. And anyone who would think “You’re getting old” is an insult of some sort, is either totally vacuous or has their head firmly up their own butt. But there’s Ryan Gosling’s better half, responding, and here I am, commenting on the butt-headed.

That’s what social media beckons us to do. Our PM buys donuts and all it takes is one jerk to criticize him and honey-glazed eyes across the nation join in. My fave comment: “I just want to know what image he’s trying to portray with this” Dude. He was buying DONUTS for his colleagues. He’s a man living his life as well as our PM. My God. What’s next? His beard is virtue signaling that disposable razors are bad for the environment? (Someone thinks that, count on it.)

It’s lazy journalism to pluck critical comments from online and discuss them as if they all matter equally. I’m guilty of this in my most recent news/talk radio days. In my defense, I had a lot of airtime to fill! Now I want to know who people are before I’ll even consider their comment legit. Remember when someone had to have done actual research before we considered their thoughts on a subject? Now, knee-jerk reactions are given the same weight as those of experienced experts. It’s the wild west out there. Shoot first, ask questions later. That doesn’t bode well for reasoned discussions.

I would quit social media tomorrow if I didn’t need it for my work. One day, perhaps not too far in the future, I will close my accounts and shrink my world back to those I truly know. This doesn’t mean there’s no value or fun in it – there’s a lot! Otherwise, I’d run screaming into the night the next time Frank from Flin Flon decides he needs to weigh in foolishly on something innocuous, and his fellow basement-dwellers pile on.

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