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Hiding Behind the Computer

By Ed Parsons - Editor | Jan 6, 2021

Everyone is hoping for a better 2021. Or so they say! I saw firsthand last week that free speech and social media actually give a different view and meaning of what is lawful and what was intended, and much of it isn’t appreciated. Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. Clearly it is different from freedom of expression that is also recognized as a human right and the right to hold opinions without interference. Social Media’s original purpose was for people to communicate with other people more effectively, while providing a way to promote businesses.

I find it is now far from its original intent and purpose. The scope and coverage of Social Media has evolved to a degree far and beyond the legal limits of the law and has openly broken the rule of law regarding defamation of character and slander. Like so many advances in technology social media (twitter and facebook in particular) has become a menace to society. While we generally support free speech quite strongly, we no longer seem to regulate speech that is dangerous, false, defamatory, an invasion of privacy, or likely to incite riot. Social media which has become addictive too many, tends to have most of those characteristics.

On close observation it is found that the real fake news lies with attention wanters who are vying for top spot on likes and comments. Most of those are either people with too much time on their hands or just friendless lonely miserable people. Walk in to doctors offices, restaurants. most places of business, and even in public places like parks, beaches, grocery stores and even Church services. What you are sure to see is someone with their head down, giggling to themselves, while starring at their cell-phone. I’m talking about business people, political figures, public officials and just about anyone from every walk of life.

Most are posting something political, or commenting on someone elses nonsense. Anyway you look at it, they are baiting you to comment on the posted view of a subject, in hopes you will agree with them or disagree so they can team up on you against your freedom of speech or opinion. And, some of their posts and comments are downright mean and hateful. I see great hypocrisy, men of faith getting their kicks by condeming others for their political views when they should be following the great commission of spreading the gospel.

Because most people never read anything but the headlines there is a rapid spread of conspiracy theories and hysteria causing an amplification of negative feelings which tend to give us the worst possible scenario, and the least Christian like scenario, anger towards one another, and judgemental sentiments, both which go directly against the teachings of scripture.

How great it would be if we could go back to a time where we confront each other in person over our grievances, state our positions, come to sensible solutions, and keep everyone else’s nose out of the equation. In other words “quit hiding behind the computer.”