“Yesterday, your opium dreams belonged to you. Today, they belong to everyone else. Social media are the opium dens of the 21st century.” - Jeff Einstein
By Jeff Einstein
Have we no decency? Have we no shame?
Nothing is profane when everything is already profane. We live in an age when the mirror reflection of our own narcissistic narcosis overwhelms everything else, especially in times of social tragedy.
The universal truths that only a generation ago would reveal themselves to us in quiet moments of profound darkness are buried instead these days under a mudslide of unabated vanity. Rather than kneel in humility and grace before them, rather than wrap ourselves in their healing succor and compassion, we turn up the volume and exploit the darkness to seek not the truth, but the momentary advantage.
All sense of proportion and decency is lost in 21st-century Babel, sacrificed on an alter of arrogance powered by a billion microchips. No healing can begin in the absence of the sacred. Rather, our best intentions turn against us, and the horrific moments and technologies that should bring us together tear us farther and farther apart.
Have we no decency? Have we no shame? Apparently not.
It was a mistake to check my Facebook page in the aftermath of Orlando. Almost every related post was structured the same way: heartfelt sympathies and prayers for family, friends and community up front, followed by an opinion about gun control or radical Islam and a call for common sense (at least as it conforms to the opinion rendered) to prevail.
It was a mistake to check my Facebook page in the aftermath of Orlando. With all due respect to all of my Facebook friends, your opinions about the horrors in Orlando are like narration over a moment of silence: profane and inappropriate.
Right now Orlando is not the epicenter of a teaching moment. Your opinions on gun control or radical Islam are less than worthless and more than toxic to the parents, friends and families of those murdered or injured. The only common truth to your opinions about the tragedy in Orlando is that they can all wait another week or two before you post them to the world.
Of course, shameful and indecent behavior is a top-down entitlement in the age of anti-social media, just standard operating procedure for President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and every other self-important buffoon in the media who chooses to exploit the Orlando tragedy to advance their respective agendas. Indecent and shameless scoundrels, each and every one of them.
While politicians and other media whores are well beyond redemption, the rest of us can do better next time. Hence the following simple social media guidelines to help restore civility and grace in response to future social calamity. For the first two weeks following any social tragedy…
- Offer only your prayers and sympathies and direct aid.
- Do not point fingers in blame.
- Do not offer your opinion, however educated or otherwise.
To the citizens of Orlando and to the parents, friends and families of those who lost their lives, I offer my prayers and sympathies. How can I help?
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