I find myself needing to leave social media. The question is not why; it’s a waste of time if you don’t have an undying need for people to like you. If there’s any question about leaving social media, it would be why not? What do any of us get out of social media? Yes, there’s the dopamine boost we get from people ‘liking’ something we post – that undying need again – but this simply amounts to one of the many drugs we could all do without. Among its other uses, social media is used to announce the ongoings of our businesses, which really is just 21st century panhandling. (Worst among this trend is GoFundMe, in which everyone begs for money because somehow their situation is unique and deserving of the rest of us throwing our money at it. On a rare occasion, special circumstances do arise or an actually useful invention come along, but spare me your need to raise money for your classroom.) Perhaps social media gives us a chance to congregate with other like minds, albeit in the most superficial way because really, who has time for an entire phone call, an entire conversation? I know I don’t because I’m too busy working, working all the time, with people, and when I’m done with that I don’t want to deal with more people. This is not to say I don’t like my family and friends; I’m just exhausted. And I’m more exhausted by what I see on the internet. We look at posts from family and friends and it’s never too long before something – some kind of train wreck often political in nature – catches our eye. Noooooo, I often say to myself of some headline before being forced by curiosity, amazement, or (usually) disgust to delve deeper. This cannot be the world we are living in. It just can’t.
The internet is without question one of the worst things to ever happen to mankind. Yes, it has allowed us to connect on an unprecedented level with people far and wide. And yes, it has allowed us access to an unprecedented amount of information. Both of these things is what has kept the world from turning away from the insanity it has always known, instead using the internet to strengthen beliefs and tribal ties. Instead of using the access to information to study different cultures and perhaps change archaic ways of thinking, people dove headfirst into the concrete pool of confirmation bias to strengthen their ties to whatever community it is they consider themselves a part of. The internet gave people access to others of like mind and hence we have been given a world that instead of getting any better* has given new rise to authoritative governments around the globe. Militant Islam would not have nearly as many members as they do now if not for the internet. Vladmir Putin controls the internet and all other media in Russia to keep himself in power. China and North Korea likewise control what can be accessed through the internet. And you simply cannot go on the internet in America without catching a glimpse of the alt-right and the regressive left frothing at you and each other. Even if you somehow avoid that, there is sure to be someone who has something nasty to say about something no matter how innocuous the post.
Given an unfettered path to confirming one’s bias,’ philosophy became roadkill along the way. The last thing you’ll ever read on the internet is someone beginning their post with, “I may be wrong, but…” There is simply no reflection of thought, no self-analysis of ideas or one’s beliefs. Social media has become nothing more than a game of saying how right one thinks they are about whatever bullshit they want to believe. And surely if one uses ALL CAPS to say it, it becomes all the more true. There is simply no reasoning with anyone who uses the internet on a regular basis. Try to think of the last time you actually changed someone’s mind – difficult isn’t it? I don’t think I’ve done it myself since 2010 when I showed a college freshman the data on CFC’s and how it affected the ozone layer, thus convincing him that human activity can have an effect on the environment. This was a rare and exceptional case perhaps because the young man’s mind was open to new ideas. But this is not the case for most people of any age. Entrenched belief is difficult to dislodge because people hate to be wrong; most people see being wrong as a defect instead of a virtue, something to learn from.
Philosopher’s themselves are also to blame for the death of philosophy. Physicist Stephen Hawking declared that philosophy was dead back in 2011, making note that today’s philosophers have not kept up with or have failed to take into account the data emerging from the sciences. And why would they when most philosophers’ views can be ‘confirmed’ by others of similar thinking on the internet? You can search the ‘pros’ of communism with at-the-ready counter-arguments against its detractors within seconds, nevermind any lack of objectivity. Unfortunately philosophers are people, too, and like most people are typically not above confirmation bias. Despite real-world evidence that communism simply doesn’t work in practice, many young idealists still think it can. (Ah, ah, ah –Like every other attempt at communism, China is only communist on paper.)
The failure of philosophers to ‘keep up’ combined with the effect the internet has had on people has given Americans a country hijacked by the regressive left and the alt-reich. You read these people’s comment’s on the internet every day, whose typical comment is usually rife with some false assertion and/or unblinking hypocrisy. False assertions are one thing – we don’t typically have time to fact-check everything – but the hypocrisy is breathtaking. For example, Putin and Russia were basically enemies during President Obama’s tenure but because Trump is friends with Putin, Russia was somehow never our enemy after Trump’s election. Or take Sarah Huckabee Sander’s attack on a business owner for booting her out of a restaurant while agreeing that a bakery had the right to refuse gay people service. But the regressive left is no prize either, who can’t see its own policy of denying anyone with a difference of opinion to speak at college campuses as fascist. You also cannot bring up the atrocities of any other race throughout history as only white people have committed crimes against humanity. Anyone who dares think is either dead or is dying in the middle.
All of this is why I’m a misanthrope. We can’t have discussions anymore, as if we ever could. For fuck sake, female scientists have had a historically rough time being taken seriously even though data should speak for itself. If scientists can’t be rational, what hope is there for everyone else? There is no hope. We’ll die by our own hand having never learned from the Roman Empire even though their collapse was well-documented. And if any philosopher hasn’t given up yet, they will eventually be hunted down and murdered by whichever side ultimately wins the culture war. That is what authoritative regimes do, after all. The U.S. is dealing with two right now that are engaged in an ideological war that will ironical kill nothing but ideas.
|Depends on their PR person.|