The glorious reality about living in America is our First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Yet, the most tragic and debasing dynamic about living here is the belief everyone has a right to be heard! People can hear an obnoxious alarm in the morning and shut it off. They can hear the shriek of a car alarm and close a window. Everyone has a right to speak. But, no one ever has a right to be heard. In our modern day sense of pathological entitlement, so many confuse the issue. It’s most always the types who are of low intelligence, suffer a handicap, are hateful or attention seeking.
America has a double sided, peculiar paradigm of loving to live vicariously through notable personalities, while also attempting to gain its five minutes of fame any way it can (notice how I stated five minutes of fame instead of the traditional fifteen minutes of fame. Yes, we have become so impatient we expect even less time to become notorious). Now, more than ever we sift through magazines to seek out banal news about which entertainer is: pregnant, divorced, engaged or arrested; as if their contribution to civilization is more important than ours. So admitting subconsciously we are of lower status than they. We go online after an article, blog or social media post, about never anything meaningful; and seek out significance by posting our opinion or grievance, sometimes against a celebrity in order to feel equal. Either seeking attention to feel like a star or spewing vitriol against someone due to a feeling of insignificance.
Sports and political based radio producers understand the psychology behind this well. It’s hard not to turn on an AM/FM feed and not hear a call in radio show. One where any loser can call in. Tragically, any loser usually does as people with more meaning in life take it in with disbelief or turn it off all together. A place where a person can feel like a ‘star.’ Online news article comments sections and social media are the computerized cousin of modern radio. Any nobody can feel like a somebody by running down a professional athlete, coach, entertainer or politician. Their platform to equalize what they perceive as a social status inequity gap. Any angry constituent bent toward other citizens who kept their candidate of choice out of office by vote, can ‘even the score’ by cowardly and safely picking a fight anonymously behind a computer screen by trolling and responding. We’ve sadly become a culture of dorky tech guerilla tactics for cathartic means. For some who never post, it’s delightful sport to peruse through this rotting landfill of activity. Hopefully, for others who never post; it’s disheartening to see it. All the while, for news providers, it’s a strategic plan to keep our eyes on their advertisers, their bosses, to separate society from it’s money. Candidates for political office must consider the matter. Thank the heavens for Sirius satellite programming! Thank it again for books!
Due to where we are as a culture, I recommend to political candidates to turn off comments sections on social media posts. Partly, or even totally! No, you’d not be a ‘snowflake’ for doing so. You’d strategically be challenging, ‘challengers’ to make the effort to speak to you in person at a town hall event. You’d filter out the cowards from attempting to gain attention for themselves at your message’s expense! You’d give well wishers a chance to galvanize behind your vision more intimately…………in person. The old adage: ‘You’ve got to become more thick skinned,’ never held much water with me. It really shouldn’t with anyone healthy for that matter. We are human, we have feelings. Those seeking a fight, are doing it for their own vain glory or emotional need! Campaigns are about your vision. Not their baseless needs! Office holders, candidates; you are not obligated to allow them to display their inadequacies in public. For some odd, unspoken reason; society thinks you are.
In conclusion, I have a shrewd, yet effective game I play with trolls I may encounter on social media or news feed comments sections . When someone posts derogatory or aggressive replies my way I do the following; I don’t argue and provide them the attention they seek. I say: “I always welcome comments, so, let’s discuss the matter in person! I will then document in this same comments section if you had the courage to meet me in person. You have one week to meet me in a public place to talk.” Seven days later as promised, I’d post that they failed to respond to my request or met me in person. I have yet to have any troll take me up on my offer! They usually show their cowardice by calling me stupid as a parting shot or blocking my account. They never bother me again though. One time I had someone tell me they could not meet me in person after attacking me on Facebook, because they had complications from diabetes. At least they went further than most others. My point being, it’s my way of holding offenders accountable in public forum and nixing detrimental behavior cancerous to society at large.
Think of what the world would be like if news posts turned off comments sections? Imagine all the ‘worms’ squirming in their chairs not being able to start conflict by posting, realizing how alone they are at that moment. Learning how much they don’t matter, in silence! Right now, candidates and public servants can’t control what news sources do about the matter. Yet, they can control what they can do with their campaign’s or platform’s public presence. Taking discourse off of the ‘net’ onto campaign trails, into hearts of the ‘committed,’ starting a sea change with modern discourse…………………..
Yes, the First Amendment is a glorious proclamation, stating everyone deserves to speak……………… It never promised EVERYONE DESERVES TO BE HEARD!