But what is the end other than a way to start over? Mankind is a creature of adaptation. We’ve gone from painting on cave walls to reading the Wall Street Journal to watching “bubble-headed beach blondes”1 read a prompter to the multi-pixelated assault we call our phones. Each medium takes us away from who we are and onto the “who” we will become.
In that evolution, though, you have to wonder how much crap can the social media environment hold. Is it endless? Yes. It is infinite.
As one who loves the space as much as she’s appalled by it, I despise the need to rifle through so many banal (aka fluffy-cat posts) and negative, if not just absolutely stupid, posts by a dude with bad hair, a foul mouth, and poor elocution who gets even more attention than the unfortunate shadowing of racial profiling and the struggles with HB2. Social media has become a polymorphic organism unto itself. It throws so much garbage into the wind that unless you’re a stealthy shapeshifter you cannot dodge the mindless and tasteless dribble that comes toward you at warp speed.
One minute it’s a hateful post whose author is none other than a shirtless, newly inked boy who still has no need for a razor talking about his right to own an automatic rifle. Delete. Next, it’s your mother posting baby pictures of you — with no clothes on, of course. (Oh, the horrors). Delete. Not to mention that cyberbully who has every intention of ruining your online being. Report. Block. Delete. From selected snippets to lies that read like truth, you must maneuver around and find what you wish to become. And then select what you wish to fill not only your frontal lobe with, but your soul as well. Select articles like: How to Build a Super-Cheap Solar Power Water Heater over How to Make a Bomb and Kill Your Neighbors.
That said — it’s the smelly trash that gets everyone to lift the lid and peek inside. Even I have, with one eye shut, lifted the lid; it can’t be helped.
The more substantial work lies under the post by your mother, the ugly wannabe politician who knows nothing about your struggles to pay your bills, or the self-esteem harasser. Assimilate yourself with what you want to be and the environment is not nearly so caustic. We are, for the most part, pretty new at navigating this environment.
Since the beginning, humankind has always been about making choices. That’s what we have created our society upon. And to that trial, error, and navigation I say;
Once upon a time, in an enchanted forest called “Now”…
1 – Lyrics to Dirty Laundry by Don Henley.
Belinda Thomas, Creative Director, Outdoor Enthusiast