Apparently, social media is bad for our moral compasses, which comes right on the heels of Fox News’ report that it’s also bad for our brains. And we all know that Fox news is the harbinger of all things intelligent and all things moral. After all, how would I know the difference between good and evil if I didn’t have Bill O’Reilly around to remind me what evil really looks like. Not to mention the difference between intelligent and…well…not.
I mean, come on people. Twitter is turning us all into automatons incapable of intelligent thought and basic human emotion? Allegedly, the sheer act of being forced to react to what’s going on around us in real-time is impeding our ability to process things. If you ask me, it was our inability to collectively react to what was going on around us for the past eight years that brought our country to where it is today. Had we all been more aware, more plugged in and more concerned about the day to day movements of our political, social and economic lives, maybe we wouldn’t all be left wondering where it all went wrong. Maybe we would have even been better able to stop certain things from happening before it was too late (Bush’s reelection, anyone?)
Sure, fully processing the emotional complexity of a major event like the Hudson River crash takes time. But, that doesn’t mean that knowing about it and reacting to it right away is a bad thing. In fact, being able to react to things as they unfold is the very thing that’s being lauded about Twitter in places like Moldova right now.
I don’t think @GazaMom, who tweeted throughout the entirety of her unfair detention in a Cairo Airport last week (imagine, being detained in an airport with two young kids just hours from your home), was doing a disservice to the emotional/moral complexity of her ordeal. In fact, despite being a staunchly pro-Israel Jew who spent many weeks living in Tel Aviv as a kid, I was deeply touched by her Tweets. If anything, she conveyed the emotional and moral complexity of an immediately-unfolding situation much better by doing it directly herself than any other person or medium could have.
As far as I’m concerned, all of this ‘social media is ruining society’ stuff is right up there with the classic “What you don’t know about your salad dressing will kill you” fearmongering that denigrates our collective, societal intelligence a whole lot more than Twitter ever could.
Now, I’m going to go tweet about this blog post to make sure everyone knows it.