I have been following up with the “load of crap” on Facebook, especially that concerning Syria. I got offended – as a person – by both the lack of intellect, depth, or hindsight by both sides of the equation. Although some comments here and there sounded quite balanced and inspiring, but the general Facebook atmosphere SHOULD make any grown-up, with brains, very wary to actually take it too seriously.
It killed me today and yesterday to see news tickers quoting Facebook gibberish on different news channels. These news channels forgot to tell the world that those Facebookers are kidos, who think they have found a platform to express themselves, Che-Guevara style.
The problem with social media is that it allows any small-minded, stupid kid, to blurb out their narrow-viewed, mood-swung, instinct-reigned, uncultivated opinions in the shape of groups on Facebook, or blogs, or twitter tweets, and they will be taken seriously. They will get quoted, and people will listen to children (who have no weight, neither in life experience, nor in the art of communication, and forget about depth of character), and take them seriously.
May they rest in peace… the giants of human history who have worked on themselves, read thousands of books, traveled the world, studied under great masters, discovered a thing or two, before standing in public and voicing their opinions about anything at all. How will Ibn Sina, Ibn Rushd, Plato, and Ibn Arabi, feel when they see today’s phenomenon of social media (and its kidish patrons).
A generation of kids who spend most of their time behind their monitors, is now being heard, loud and clear, and it is confusing everyone with their ramblings. They don’t even know the ABCs of journalism (objectivity being one) and they go around posting “news” about incidents they do not fathom, using wording that fuels hatred, anger, confusion and crazy ideas in the hearts and heads of 20-something enthusiasts who probably listen to Bob Marley, consider Ziad Rahbani a role-model, and have a T-shirt or two of Che Guevara.
I was just like them only a few years ago, I had a Che Guevara ashtray, I wanted to die for freedom, my blood boiled when I faced or read about injustice (or what I perceived as injustice), I listened to music that made me melancholic all the time, because happiness is only for the posh and the yuppie (which I thought I wasn’t). Back then (which is only a few years ago), I didn’t have Facebook to pour all my frustrations and vanities into. I thought I knew better than everybody when it came to politics, I thought I supported the right causes.
The vanity of youth is a common accessory to those in their teenage years, in their twenties, and even their early thirties. It is quite dangerous that those are now the driving force behind social media, parading their short-sightedness, hot-temperateness, in every corner of cyberspace.
Do you know how damaging it is for young people to get heavy dozes of attention? They become spoiled, egoistic, selfish. They become more inclined to sensationalize things even more to get more attention, and what better place for any kid or teenager than cyberspace to root in and mobilize this attention, by blurting their un-tested ideals online, getting support from other angry, frustrated kidos, and calling it freedom of expression.
Freedom of expression?
Freedom of expression is for those who have worked hard to earn it, who have been tested, who have experienced many zones of life, who have shaped their opinions based on observation, on personal growth, on lessons learned.
Freedom of expression is not for any idiot in the street who thinks democracy is another excuse for him to swear vulgarly at others in power, those whom he envies deeply for driving a car he doesn’t own, or occupying a chair he dreams of sitting on.
Freedom is for those who are free from within from the shackles of the ego, from the envy of others, it is for those who sincerely care about others (rich and poor, educated and not so educated, Muslim or Christian). Freedom is for a breed of human beings who have achieved above-animal-hood levels of compassion, love for others, understanding, wisdom, and vision.
As a parent would you allow your 13 year old kid to run around as he liked, say what he wanted any time, insult others, etc? No. So how come there is a double standard in social media, where 13-year-old-minded teenagers can say what they liked without restrain?
- Unfortunately, the movers and shakers of today’s global society are nothing more than a few Facebookers and Tweeps who lack the professional skills of analyzing politics, economics, social behavior, etc – but who are so good at shaping the opinions of their generation by using the emotional side of things, by saying things that tickle the weak-spot of any Che Guevara copycat.
- Humanity, all of humanity, has taken a long time to realize and establish the fact that wisdom comes (mostly but not always) with experience, with time, after 30, or 40, you read about this in all heritages… all of it got blown away with the spread of social media which filled the universe with gibberish by anybody, anytime, without discrimination between the wise and the stupid.
So, when a news network comes and includes a ticker on a Facebook group calling for this or calling for that without actually taking into consideration the level of crap in this or that group, I feel we are in danger of drowning into more chaos.
With time, when traditional media institutions – who have habitually groomed their own set of opinion makers, can no longer support their off-line existence (therefor having no jobs for sound and cultivated writers) – are forced into becoming a social media outlet, what fragments of truth (any truth) will we have left? Facts will become the toys of social media tweeps and facebookers who think punctuation is archaic, let alone fact-checking. Anyone will be able to start a war anywhere, or a propaganda, or a false scandal, if they are clever enough to get supporters and “followers.”