I do not use social media beyond posting jokes and pictures for friends on Facebook.

When I first used Facebook, I was curious that some people I thought I knew well started acting out of character by posting trivial details about their daily lives. What struck me is that people wouldn’t talk about this stuff prior to the introduction of Facebook. Why the change? I can only speculate, but one theory is that their narcissistic side came out on Facebook even though they mostly suppressed it in their pre-Facebook lives.

I read many different articles online every morning, admittedly mostly from the conservative point of view, which I share. I have noticed that more and more of these articles share tweets and Instagram and Facebook posts verbatim as source materials for their articles. I find this disturbing, because these posts aren’t necessarily factual – they’re usually someone’s opinion.

The end result is that an ideologue’s beliefs become cemented and unvetted more by opinion and less by facts. When you couple this with the aforementioned narcissistic tendencies released by the Facebook example, the user becomes obsessed by self-righteousness.

I find this situation to be untenable and dangerous to our country’s future. I see in real time the deterioration of civility, mutual respect and tolerance. Harboring opinions and beliefs outside social media’s rather than an objective society’s definition of truth and acceptability likely will not lead to a positive outcome.

Geoffrey Emanuel

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