Why I Love and Hate Social Media – My Nightmare

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This may be a strange title, but it perfectly sums the diabolical relationship with all forms of current social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). Now this may seems a bit odd considering my daily and numerous posts on Social Media. This relationship of love/hate is much more than a passing fad, as I have had these feelings for years trying to understand and comprehend the significance and impact of social media.

So let’s start off on a positive note before my rant or negativity. Social media allows ones to connect with like-minded folks on a variety of subjects. In my case, wine, wine education, the wine industry and foods to pair with wines. I would not have the reach and diversity in my “social family” if it were not for the various forms of social media. But how deep that impact and connection is based on individuality of the audience not a “total number of readers”.  

Now the dissatisfaction with social media. In Alan Toffler’s FUTURE SHOCK, published in 1970, he stated “minimum involvement is precisely what the user of the throwaway society gets for his money”. So a percentage of well-intended readers are interested a specific subject, their interest wanes with the amount of “involvement” or connecting with the author. If they connect, the reader most likely will follow that author. If something is askew, the reader becomes lost or disheartened with thought, the article is summarily dismissed.  The baby is thrown out with the bathwater. Toffler also stated that in our society becoming “even faster pace we are headed towards further and faster cognitive overstimulation”.  I think this a solid reason that a five-ten second clip is gaining popularity as it requires so little involvement of thought and time.  The content if more than a picture, it is just the medium to entice the reader to the article.

Another great quote is by Os Guinness, in his book The DUST OF DEATH, states “the printed word has ruined the intellect. It has given fools and fiends the same power as wise men and saints. It has made a jumble of the mind, a burlesque of reason. No one any longer knows how to think clearly and cognitively to a finish”.  Also the statement appropriately sums up where our culture is today with Os’s comment “the option now is not one-dimensional uniformity but multi-dimensional over choice”. We are facing paralysis of thought and action due to so much abundance of choice. So when a blogger states sulfates are ok and the next wine writer states sulfates are damaging  it causes confusion and halts the cognitive process except for a few who venture forth to do research and ferret out a conclusion.

Now add today with new social media mediums constantly changing and emerging, TikTok, Instagram and iTunes for example. The printed word is being swallowed up for clips and five-ten second bits of information. While it is always interesting to see a traffic accident (provided no one is seriously hurt), an apparent living tree actually being a person scaring pedestrians, cars sliding down an icy hill, etc., what is the message? It appears that Instagram, TikTok, etc., are really a passing opium for the one dimensional non-thinking masses. While a picture may we worth a thousand words, it really only provokes a thumbs up or down, without a thorough comprehension or investigation of intent or reasonableness.

In 1847 Soren Kierkegaard stated “reflections …… must not so much move, mollify, reassure, persuade as awaken and provoke men and sharpen thought”. 

Yet here we are today being entertained to death via our cellphones clinched in hand. Halford Luccok in one of my favorite quotes once said, “We are going to have eyes the size of cantaloupes and brains the size of peas”.

So when an author, blogger communicates on a subject, they are asking for your consideration of the content and an informed response. A response not necessarily of agreement but of a mindful retort. Giving just a thumbs up, is essentially a “non-event”. Engagement of thought is the underlying request not an emoji.

So there I have shared just a skosh of my love and hate relationship with social media with you the readership. It is the best and worst of our collective communication systems today. So living with it is paramount, but loving it may not necessarily bring us to Nirvana.

Now back to sipping some enjoyable wine…………





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