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Rated: E · Article · Cultural · #2242717
Just jotting down some thoughts.
We all walk around 24/7 on a hidden camera show. While in some ways, this obviously has negative effects as many of us point at each others failures and foibiles instead of examining ourselves and attempting to grow and learn more as we travel along our journey. Many of these "failures" or "mistakes" or "evils" we point at come from out of context video, audio, and text bites. Oftentimes, these bites have been cherry picked and strung together to weave a particular narrative and paint the person, or even an entire business or community, in an entirely negative light. People have been mistakenly targeted, people have been deplatformed, people have had their entire lives upended along with any stability they may have had - it's all been torn out from underneath them. Some people may even get abandoned by friends, family, and community over viral videos or viral tweets. Many of these videos are masterful editing of a person's social media feed clipped with video and audio sound bites, and it's usually an attempt to completely undermine their character and their humanity.

Not to mention that some of the video, audio, social media, and even "regular" mainstream media items and articles we are fed are simply staged. There are people out there who will do just about anything for the right price. Even someone with strong values and morals can be thrust into desperate and complicated situations where they might choose to do something rather out of character in order to shield or protect others, especially their family. Someone with strong morals and values can get in such desperate situations that they may choose to lie, cheat, steal, or do other unscrupulous things in order to earn money to feed and house their family or even themselves. Of course, there are many people out there who simply enjoy watching other people fail as it gives them a feeling of superiority, and it also takes the focus off of any of their imperfections or mistakes or failures.

All that said, I don't think it's necessarily all just "social media evil" and doom and gloom for this generation and the ones that will proceed us. A lot of positives can be taken out of this as things that were previously hidden from view come to light regarding the character and motives of other people, businesses, governments, and other organizations. Often people act one way in public and then act in an entirely different way when they are in private, or think they are in private. We all do this to a degree, and that's okay really - maybe you like to walk around your house naked and dance - not necessarily something that is acceptable in public. However, how acceptable is it to present a totally false image to the public of being this wonderful and upstanding person when behind closed doors we abuse and cause harm to others with physical actions, words, and psychological abuse tactics? Especially when that false public facade is utilized to earn big swathes of money and public support. It's tough to consider that as acceptable in any society.

So, while there are definitely negative consequences of everyone walking around with a camera in their pocket, there are some positives too. And perhaps some growth opportunities for us as a society - for us as human beings. Will we use this new technology and harness it's power to use and exploit others, causing nearly irreparable damage in some cases, or will we realize the harm we are causing through this abuse and manipulation and eventually consider what this is turning us into and turning us away from? Will we eventually realize that our own humanity is measured by how we treat others?

I'm not an advocate of never laughing at silly things like people using equipment at gyms in humourous ways or people doing silly things on Twitch, falling off their chairs, forgetting to mute audio and such. Most North Americans will remember laughing at America's Funniest Home Videos. Laughter is healthy and it can unite people. It's also a great teacher. It's good to be able to laugh at yourself. It's not horrible to laugh when someone falls, but there's a fine line. You have to realize when to stop laughing and filming and to actually call upon your humanity to intervene. I think that's the tipping point we need to reach. And perhaps, hopefully, many of us have already reached that point.

For who out there is worthy enough in the eyes of the mob? Who is perfect enough? Who lives up to these ever changing ideals and standards being set out and can claim no flaws? Extreme virtuousness and innocence are demanded of us without compassion or humility. Are any of us pure and honorable enough to adhere to this new standard?
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