In exasperation, someone wrote a letter a few days ago to an advice columnist titled “Cellphone causing me headache and grief with family”.
It said, in part: “My mother and my aunt recently bought smartphones and started exploring social media. This has led to them both sending me endless texts and messages all day and night about one trend or the other.”
She has had it up to her eyeballs with inspirational notes “especially when I am trying to sleep”.
A popular talk show host was heard to cry out in agony begging his caring listeners to stop sending daily greetings. “Send me all at once;” he suggested, “enough to last me for the rest of my life!”
While it is true that the democratisation of writing is to be celebrated, there is a greater value to the ideas espoused by a handful of truly thoughtful writers in one small room than an auditorium filled to the rafters with shrieking bloggers.
Suddenly – over the past 15 years – all over the planet (except the lucky ones who live in the deep Amazon jungle) is deluged in information and mis-information. What President Trump calls “fake news”.
It’s like drinking water from a fire hydrant: It might quench your thirst, but you might also drown!
Meanwhile, the phenomenon known as social media has taken up permanent residence in the darker regions of human nature. And shows no signs of leaving any time soon.
This is an age where it gives pleasure to inflict pain; where violence and entertainment are Siamese twins; where anonymity bestows authority on mischief-makers and sundry illiterates; where everyone can be a broadcaster.
Transferring the mindless gab of the masses from talking to typing doesn’t make it meaningful.
One observer has noted: “Our cutting-edge technology has granted the opportunity for each member of society to be a writer, more or less. And a movie producer. And a passionate (if not spectacular) vocalist, belting out heart-felt tunes on a virtual karaoke stage. We are all writers now.”
– CARL MOORE