I am particularly perplexed today. It is one thing being open to diverse opinion but let’s be honest, there’s stuff in your news feed that you would not voluntarily listen to offline over a glass of wine or a cold beer. When did I opt in for this onslaught of daily drivel? Apart from being unpleasant, it is downright lazy. It’s time to get off the listening post, take sides on the matter and do a serious purge of what I have concluded is nothing more than the spreading of doom by digital means. These are unilaterally-served political lessons with no structure, rigour, purpose or practical use - this is listening to the cheer-leading for a sport I didn’t purchase tickets for.
The Cheer-leaders of Doom…(can you hear the frightening echo?) like the blood-thirsty audience of a cage fight, demand the destruction of men and women they didn’t raise, flattening of bricks they didn’t lay and preaching expedited philosophies that Confucius and those before and after lived not long enough to ponder. The thing is that, they crave destruction, and the bigger the arena, the more fervent the crowd, the stronger the blows…the better. The electricity in the air, though it is fleeting, makes them feel momentarily powerful. The energy, though it doesn’t emanate from their feeble bodies, makes them feel deceptively indestructible and the emotive company of strangers united as fans briefly masks the fact that ultimately the face staring back at them in the mirror is theirs alone.
Online more than anywhere else, the keyboard kamikaze, like a cage-fight onlooker, bears no immediate physical risk and has more than nine lives allowing them to change tact, seek bigger thrills and find new hangouts. No matter the political affinities or sensitivities, I think I have worked out a formula on how to take sides. Creation is a whole lot more impressive than destruction. There is value in the proverbial holding of the tongue without being complicit in silence - the difference, as it were, between being pro-peace as opposed to being anti-war. If your words and efforts are going to make, solve or build something that benefits another person other than you, then to all our benefit, the status quo may change. It won’t settle scores, prove who is weak and who is strong, glorify one and humiliate another…and that’s just as well, they are not the necessary conditions or requirements for building livelihoods, improving well-being and connecting positively with other human beings. I’m on the side of the person I’m trying to be. There is a lot that is interesting and fun on the great virtual social space...and then there is the rest. Block. Delete. Go.