Well, this has been a heck of a week. Boston, Waco, Congress, Politics, the ongoing debate (or lack thereof) on gun control, abortion, the economy....all in turmoil. Actually, it has seemed as it the whole country has been in turmoils since the elections back in November and then the shootings in Sandy Hook in December. It is possible that life in America (and perhaps the world) has always been in turmoil, humans being the creatures they are, but in this day and age, it is nearly impossible for anything of any import to occur without the whole world knowing about it instantly. We practically see things as they are happening and in fact, the bombings at the Boston Marathon were, I believe, actually broadcast as they occurred due to the proximity of the bombings to the finish line and, thus, the media and cameras that were located there.
Not only do we have continuous broadcast coverage on TV, Facebook (and Twitter and texting too, I suppose) has become a "man in the street" of sorts giving everyone who is part of Facebook a soapbox to throw in their information, opinions, rumors, gossip, reactions, and over-reactions instantly.
I don't know about you, but all this information floating around gets to the point where I find it overwhelming. It becomes difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff, the true from the untrue, the fact from fiction. As you can clearly see by reading some of the comments related to any even vaguely controversial subject or opinion, Facebook provides a medium for the trolls to spill their vitriol and stupidity about anything.
All that adds up to more overwhelming and upsetting view of almost any topic that shows up. It keeps us all on edge.
For years and years, I purposely did not read a newspaper or even watch TV news with any regularity. I found it depressing and upsetting. I just didn't want to hear nothing but bad news. I figured that if anything truly important happened, I would hear about it sooner or later. I wasn't terribly well-informed, but I sure was less stressed by the state of the world. The Internet has pretty much taken away our ability to filter our intake of and exposure to the news of the day. You hear about everything and you hear everyone else's opinion about everything and you realize that the probability of more than two people having exactly the same opinion on any subject matter is slim to none. And everybody wants to say exactly why their own opinion is better than every one else's ....Ad nauseum!
Through Facebook, you also realize that there are a huge number of people out there who are either purposely outrageous, vicious, and frightening or there are a huge number of very seriously disturbed people in our world! You can say anything at all, you can lie, you can libel anyone (or slander, I can never remember which is which), you can exaggerate, you can insult, you can be cruel and awful, you can say the most horrible things....and no one can stop you! You can write whatever you want with complete impunity! No newspaper, magazine, television, or radio news program could get away with such tactics; but individuals can and do, on a daily basis. This outrageousness stirs the pot and makes it really difficult to know what to believe about anything.
It should be freedom of speech at its finest, but it isn't! In fact, way too often, it isn't even close!
To tell you the truth, it's beginning to scare the hell out of me!