In case anyone hasn’t noticed, I have a love/hate relationship with technology’s affect on society. It’s hard to say what the long term ramifications of any particular advancement or invention will be but I truly believe that the creation of social media will be seen as one of the worst impacts of my generation on human history.
I’m aware that I’m using social media to promote this site and that all these things allow Bro Seriously to exist in the first place. I’m not saying that social media, simply by existing, is inherently harmful. It’s a tool, and like any tool it all comes down to how it’s used. The problems really stem from people being… people. Social media allows them to amplify aspects of themselves. Unfortunately most people choose to amplify things like ignorance, bigotry, and insanity.
It also gives us the ability to pick and choose what voices we hear. That’s the root of a lot of the problem. People create echo chambers that do nothing but reinforce the narrative they already believe. If a dissenting voice arises its quickly banned or blocked. This has led to a level of extremism and fear to rival anything seen in human history. Instead of reasoned debate or friendly conversation about topics that affect us all, people opt to say that anyone who disagrees with them is a subhuman not worthy of acknowledgment. That sounds like hyperbole but I would bet anyone any amount of money that of ten randomly selected Twitter or Facebook profiles at least two would contain something to that effect. Posts stating “if you voted for this political candidate unfollow me now” or “if you dont share my viewpoint on a particular topic you are a nazi/fascist/monster/puppy-kicker” are common place.
To compound the issue, the rise of social networks has seen the rise of fake news. To he clear I don’t mean the “I don’t agree with you so it must be fake” definition of fake news. I mean bullshit being passed off as legitimate information. That takes a lot of forms. Bad science articles spouting ridiculous claims about the health benefits of essential oil, photoshopped pictures of celebrities doing shit they never did, ridiculous “facts” about any number of topics, and more are flying around at an alarming rate. The vast majority of people don’t fact check things they share. I don’t mean a full research paper or anything. I mean a 30 second fucking Google search to see if it’s based on anything more concrete than some whackjob insinuating theories based on the distribution of the Canadian bacon on his last pizza delivery. Hell, maybe it wasn’t even delivery. It could have been DiGiorno for all we know.
So here we come to what you’re really here for. You’re probably asking “Pineapple, how do we stop people from being fucktards on the interwebs and the Facebooks?”. There’s a few things you can do.
Stop Being Intolerant Assholes!!
There’s a difference between someone being a shit person and someone just not agreeing with you. If you cant see that, it means you’re a shitty person and you need way more help than I have time to give you. If you think that a particular belief makes someone inherently bad, you really need to take the time to examine what you believe and if it’s really that critical. Maybe ask someone who isn’t part of your inner circle. This leads us to my next point.
Intentionally Listen To The Other Side!!
Yes, I’m serious. You have to actually listen to opposing arguments to your own. One of two things happens when you do this. Your beliefs hold up to being challenged and you become wiser for having considered them more deeply oooooorrrr you find out you as fucking smart as you thought you were and maybe you’ve been wrong this whole time because you couldn’t be bothered to think about things. Either way you, and society, improve. Good job.
One Belief Doesn’t Invalidate Others!!
Just because you and another person disagree on something, no matter how fundamental a level it is on, doesn’t mean they cant be right about other things. It also means you dont get to dismiss them out of hand. One of favorite movie critics is my polar opposite on nearly every aspect of politics. I’ve almost never seen him take a stance that I agreed with on anything regarding government. But I like his take on a lot of films and I’ve genuinely learned a lot from his content and he even changed my mind on a few movies. Its possible to appreciate a person’s work without having to agree with them on everything.
Check Your Sources!!
If you see a “news article” making the rounds on a social network that claims to be making some astounding revelation about someone or something, and its important enough that feel you should share it as well, please take a few minutes out of your day to look into both the information and the source before you do. If it’s an online news site you’ve never heard of there’s a better than average chance it’s fake. It it’s giving information that is of any importance and no one else is reporting on it, its probably fake. If it doesn’t cite reliable sources, it’s a good bet that its bullshit. If it makes you mad at someone or something you already don’t like, that’s a clear warning sign that its clickbait.
If Someone Isn’t A Medical Professional They Dont Know What The Fuck They’re Talking About!!
If someone tells you that doctors are liars and that holistic medicine is the only safe option and that essential oils can cure you or that the right diet will eliminate cancer or fifteen minutes of direct sunlight on your butthole in the morning will prevent liver damage and they didnt learn that from a respected institution of higher learning then its probably bullshit. Jeez.
Stop Buying Into Conspiracy Bullshit!!
Do I believe that everything we’re told by the news or the government is one hundred percent true? No, of course not. Do I believe that everything going on in the world is part of some greater master plan to poison/mindcontroll/manipulate/somethingelse me into becoming a slave to lizard folk overlords? Also no because I’m not a fucking moron. The only people trying to manipulate the population are advertisers and considering they’ll admit that to you (and I have worked in advertising and I admit that was exactly what I did) it’s not exactly a conspiracy. And everyone with half a working brain knows that the lizard people are a ridiculous myth created to distract us from the truth of the mole people secretly controlling our government.
It’s not that difficult to cut this crap out. Use a little common sense, dont be closed minded, and don’t be too open minded. Just live your life, mind your business, and think before you type.
Pssst… wanna know a secret? The password is “MURICA”. Password to what though? Well when we do our 24 hour stream and, just before the second game giveaway, I ask what my password was the first 10 people to answer in the chat will get 3 extra entries into the rest of the drawings. So yeah. Remember who loves you.