Category Archives: Social Media

Have We Normalized Hate…Again?

There seems to be no shortage of hate these days. Through the pusher magic that is the Internet and its legal drug, social media, we get to see hate every day. It’s in the form of news bites from the Presidential race, click bate articles and the ultimate miscommunication  communicator, memes. 

  It started on message boards. I remember in the early days of the Internet coming across some real nastiness, especially in the comment sections of news articles. Trolls felt empowered by upsetting people with their vile vitriol. It’s what trolls do. 

Then when social media took off it quickly became a free for all. Maybe it’s the lack of face to face contact that allows us to think online hate is ok. Maybe that’s what made it so easy for conservative talk radio hosts to spit out ideas that are great for ratings, but not so good for a healthy society.

Cable news soon followed suit. Feeding paranoia and fear to those who would rather consume easy answers than consider hard choices and critical thought. 

And now, here we are: All hate, all the time. It’s so ubiquitous that a good portion of Americans consider it a strength. Thus we have Donald Trump as the GOP front runner. 

We don’t have to live like this. Hate and judgement do not have to be the norm. Hate is an easy way out. It’s an easy answer to hard questions we don’t want to struggle through. Judgement is similarly so. With judgement we allow ourselves to only see life through our own lenses tainted with our own disappointments and personal snares we just don’t take the time to untangle. 

I’m beginning to understand how people must have felt during the civil rights movement: Indignant about a normalized hate that was so institutionalized that to oppose it was considered unlawful. And then came the fire hoses, and the bombs, and the assassins. 

I know this is like yelling at the wind, but all this hate has to stop. No good will come of it. 


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Filed under Better Choices, Message, Philosophy, Social Media

Content Junk Food

Junk Food ContentThe pop culture mantra goes something like this: junk food is a poor substitution for a well balanced meal; it is only temporarily satisfying and has far less nutritional value than something prepared with unprocessed ingredients; junk food is a poor lifestyle choice. There’s a lot of reasons not to eat junk food. It’s bad on your system, it has a lot of extra salt and fat content, it makes you want to eat more junk but leaves you feeling kinda gnarly.

Much of the same can be said for Content Junk Food. What is Content Junk Food you ask? It’s what we’ve been seeing a lot of on social media lately in the form of narcissistic quizzes and mundane lists that contain warmed over information gleaned from Google. The quizzes I’ve found are merely a temporary diversion with a less than satisfying outcome. “Which Piece of Bedroom Furniture Are You?” After answering a series of multiple choice questions, of which many of the choices either don’t apply to me or are unrecognizable altogether, I may find out I’m a hamper.  I am then invited to share this new insight with my friends, so they too can see if maybe they are a dresser or a night stand. It’s a formula that uses inclusion as it’s primary lure. These quizzes reenforce in-group psychology, with homogenous predetermined outcomes intended to make us feel like individuals.

What’s worse, are the lists, “Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Your Shoelaces.” Ten things that make no real difference in our day to day operations. Without context, these ten things are but factoids cluttering our thoughts like pits of licorice that get stuck between your teeth.

Real information has context. Real information leaves us with evocative questions. Real information feeds our minds, nourishes our intellect, and spurs discourse and debate. It leaves thought behind, that lingers, waiting to be pondered in depth. I’m not likely to debate the merits of being a hamper because I chose Miss Piggy as my favorite muppet.

When all we consume is junk, it’s no wonder I come away from the Social Media feeling kind of gnarly. It’s not that hard to provide meaningful content with context that encourages thought. In an industry where click counts have usurped meaning, it’s hard to still think of it as the Information Age.


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Filed under Message, Social Media

Lessons Learned

LessonsLearnedMistakes are inevitable. It’s how we learn. But, lessons don’t necessarily have to be learned from our own mistakes, and through the magic of the internet, our friends at CBC  have compiled a great list of Social Media don’ts and the lessons they provide.




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Filed under Social Media