Despite all of the marketing hype, the reality is that social media is human poison. It is behind the massive decline in mental health, explosion of bullying, and even the exponential growth of both extremist groups and mass shootings.
While the tech world has been pretty good about spending lobbyist dollars and filtering out negative comments about themselves online, the fact is it all does more harm than good. Any “community” online that allows “like minded individuals” to create self re-enforcing echo chambers where baseless nut-jobs can send forth wackos to do harm has to be federally regulated if it is allowed to exist at all. Personally, I believe every social media site has to be taken down, permanently, with their stock removed from every exchange.
15 Minutes of Fame
We’ve all heard that expression. People want their 15 minutes of fame. With the perversion that is the world of social media nut-jobs create “chat” areas and “channels” where they post nut-job videos of themselves that few people notice. There is always one posting just prior to them jumping off the nut-job diving board and engaging in a mass shooting. Seems like every news agency and God only knows how many other wanna-be nut-jobs finds and broadcasts the stuff globally. Just how many squirrel it away for their own private little echo chambers we will never really know. We will only ever really know about the nut-jobs that jump off the nut-job diving board.
This problem has been getting worse since Columbine. There have been numerous reports on radio and other places from psychologists and others studying bad things about the “worship sites.” These are on both the regular Internet and “the dark Web.” Yes, I’m sure there are sites for this that aren’t part of social media, but they all seem to pull/troll/draw from social media.
If there is no place for these people to post and perhaps convince others of the “truth” of their disinformation, people cannot get whipped up into a frenzy like the January 6th Trump Terrorists. It’s the self re-enforcing echo chamber and it is still going full speed today.
Kicking the can on mental health
The problem is both parties. I say that as a Republican who is not a Trump Turd. All the Democrats want to do is take away the guns. All the Republicans and Trump Turds want to do is point to mental health. What pisses me off is the fact all they ever do is point, they never fix the ()&)(*&ing problem. There has been a mental health crisis in this country since the before 1970s.
During the 1970s (I don’t remember when) politicians decided to “cut costs” by slashing mental health funding and emptying out the buildings. There were actually episodes of Barney Miller pointing this out. I remember watching them as a little kid. Every year since then every elected official at every level has kicked the can down the road on mental health.
This isn’t just a mass shooting problem, it’s a mass everything problem including police shootings. About the only place that has tried to do something about this is the city of Chicago. They now have a units with mental health professional, police officer, and paramedic dispatched to some 911 calls. Cops aren’t trained to handle mental health crisis. They also aren’t trained to identify people who have a medical/chemical trigger to psychological issues.
Someone being nuts isn’t always a long term mental health issue. I worked at a client site where one person was a severe diabetic. In the days before insulin pumps they had to test every half hour or something. Testing involved pricking fingers so it was not pleasant. If they didn’t take their meds based on a test they would just “go crazy” running around the building trying to get away from the medical professionals attempting to help them. This generally happened once or twice per month. It had to be embarrassing once the meds kicked in and they got back to normal. They weren’t “nuts.” It was a chemical imbalance caused by a medical condition.
You can’t fix this by legislating all of the legal guns away
God no, I’m not sticking up for Ted Cruz. Hopefully he won’t win his next primary and that will be the last we hear of him. I just wanted to point out the line of questioning is incorrect. It’s certainly worse in America than anywhere else, but they have obviously forgotten Norway.
Congress has to do more than cash lobbyist checks. They have to both legislate and fund a complete mental health solution in America.
At each grade level, beginning whenever mental health professionals deem it possible/useful, each and every student must go through a full mental health evaluation by a professional as part of their school routine.
The above must be fully funded. This basically means the government must pay for the education of possibly thousands of mental health professionals. We are talking way beyond guidance counselor here.
People have been trying to treat bullying, mental health issues, and mass shootings as separate problems. They are all intertwined and social media has made it all worse. Kids that were bullied at school used to be safe when they got home. Today they have computers at home and carry imbecile phones with them everywhere.
If they are “the weird one” they simply cannot find solace. Most have other issues going on and few, if any will schedule an appointment with a guidance counselor. You see, they need the help very early on. Most are too young to even know how to schedule a guidance counselor appointment or what that role is.
You can’t erase the stigma until “everybody” is doing it
Seeking help runs against this John Wayne culture in America. Despite Michael Phelps and Simone Biles openly discussing mental health issues brought on by the pressure of the Olympics, there is still a stigma. We have to get kids at an early age used to going in for a mental health check-up just like a school physical. This needs to be done at school. Yes, there will be a massive number of parents that cannot afford it and those are the kids we probably need to get screened the most. They aren’t coasting through a cushy life.
If at least the last eight of your school years are spent getting an annual mental health evaluation you won’t think anything more of it than going to a regular doctor. We have to erase the stigma while fixing the real problem. This is what really pisses me off about both Republicans and Trump Turds. Not one of them bothers to do this shit.
There is no quick fix to this problem!
I am so sick and tired of hearing “take all the guns away” because that is physically impossible.
Are you going to take all of the 3D printers away? You can 3D print a gun.
Ghost guns and the kits are everywhere. There is no method of determining just how many kits were manufactured because just about anyone with a bit of Internet research and some blue collar aptitude can make a ghost gun. Are you going to seize every metal lathe on the planet? How about every drill press and hand held grinder? Some people are good enough with a hand held drill that they can “free hand” the holes needed for pins and screws. Are you going to confiscate and destroy every one of these tools? How would America ever build anything ever again?
We have to start at the root of this problem. It’s the same root problem as many of the police shootings you hear about on the news. Someone is having a mental health crisis, cops aren’t trained for that, situation escalates, another shooting makes the news. The cops shouldn’t be in that situation. Not alone.
It’s time to stop just pointing at the mental health crisis in America and actually (*&)(*&)(*ing fix it.
Yes, I’m talking to you worthless Ted Cruz! Why aren’t you in prison anyway?
Social media is turning this mental health crisis into an epidemic. Congress can actually legislate that out of existence. As each new site starts or old sites try to enhance their offerings they can be shut down. You can’t go into an echo chamber and you can’t create yourself a shrine so others will worship your act.
Instead of chasing and taking down after the fact, we need to just remove the ability entirely. That will go a long way to fixing this problem. It will also go a long way to improving mental health in America.
Social media has poisoned our minds long enough.