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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Harms

Social Stupidity

So, I was accused today of thinking I was the smartest person on social media because I am a self-proclaimed master of “researching.” At first, I was deeply troubled by this remark, because any one who truly knows me knows that I have never claimed to be smarter than anyone else, let alone everyone else. As I sat back and restrained all of the negative responses and finger pointing that the primitive side of my brain wanted to react with, I slowly started to feel better. Not because I am any master of self-control or so at one with my spiritual self that I was able to move past it. No, it was the actual irony of the comment and interaction that helped.

Too often we waste our time, energy and mental capital on all of the wrong reasons. Sure there are times to dig your heels in and fight, but there are an exponential amount more where we need to assess the situation as a whole. The ability to reason and use thought over base emotions is, along with standing erect, one of the only things that separates us from most of the animal kingdom after all.

So why did I feel better? Well, for starters I actually despise social media. I find it to be the root of 95% of the world’s problems. Personally, racially, financially, you name it and social media seems to always have a role in some type of dispute. It was for this reason I was one of the last people in the world to even establish a presence, one that never would have happened if not for the necessary evil it plays in the world of marketing for small businesses.

How did this comment even arise you might ask? Well, because too many people believe everything they read on social media, their newsfeed, or anything else that good old smartphones put in front of them. What they don’t realize is that our phones are designed to feed us the type of information we “want” to see. Don’t believe me? Do a Google search for something like real estate one time and maybe mention it in a conversation with a friend, the next thing you know your Google and Instagram ads are almost completely inundated with various services related to real estate.

That very same principle applies to current events, and in this particular instance, politics. If you have a very defined opinion on the matter, your phone will only show you articles that support your belief system. Systematically you are subconsciously convinced that everything you feel must be correct because the evidence to support it is everywhere. And therein lies the problem. Social media is already geared to appeal to the most impressionable members of society with all of it’s mind-numbing activities, filters and interactions - the very demographic of our society who have absolutely no ambition to look for evidence to the contrary.

How can I justify that statement? Part in parcel by the accusation that I am the smartest man on social media because I research everything. Holy fucking shit. What a moron I must be for taking the time to read several articles before commenting on a piece, then refer back to educational and historical texts before formulating an opinion, or to dare think the subject is open to an intellectual conversation without being met by the guttural sounds a monkey in heat would make. And in this instance those sounds usually contain the phrases “Fake news,” “MAGA 2020,” “my president,” and my personal favorite “you must be a Democrat.”

Social Media has emboldened people who barely, if even finished high school, never read the Bill of Rights beyond one or two amendments they can’t fully fathom, or other related documents, and/or have never really contributed anything meaningful to society, to somehow now believe that they are a PhD in Political Science and Constitutional Law. The depths of this danger might be unseen or underestimated given the fact that nothing said on social media will ever actually impart any type of change in the real world, right?

Lord, I used to think that was the case and bite my tongue while the idiots went on parade. But sadly enough, even though they will never actually change anything that matters (the pressing matters of human rights, diplomacy, democracy, etc) they will continue to sway the hearts and minds of other equally uneducated dullards. Stupidity and ignorance spread on social media like wild fires across California and Australia in 2020. Random likes, cheers and the occasional primordial echo of the prior ignorant grunts are thrown behind the champion of stupid by those who know nothing more than to side with what they believe.

But when what you believe is nothing more than a mindless parroting of what an algorithm told you was right, the danger far exceeds your own personal sphere of stupidity. Thanks to the Constitution and all of its parts, this great county America is unable to impose an IQ test before allowing someone to vote, own a firearm or procreate. Yet this is the same Constitution that ignorant social media sycophants disgrace and disregard on a daily basis for what is seemingly in their best interest while the rest of us smartasses are duty bound to uphold it.

I patiently wait for the day when those of us educated enough to exert the energy to be so can adopt exactly that standpoint. Our politicians should be able to show basic proficiency in the laws of the land before being allowed to preside. If my neighbor is going to own an AR-15, I’d like to believe he can read and comprehend the English language so as not to wind up in a compromising situation. (And before you 2ndAmendment lunatics get all up in arms, I have a piece coming about that because I fully support gun ownership just not the prostituted version of the Constitution most of you choose to quote). Social welfare programs should be designed for those who try to better their own situation, not just continue to unconscionably add to the already strained burden on society.

Alas, the biggest gain would be to require a bare minimum level of intellect to use social media. At the end of the day, no one really cares about your opinion when it is based in delusional lies and one-sided reporting. Shame on people like me who strive to be informed and knowledgeable about not only what is going on in this country today but also what has happened over the last 240+ years that shaped the Republic we live in today. We are teaching our children that it is better to be supported than to be right, better to be fanatic than smart, better to be complacent than hold conviction.

God bless the social media states of America…

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