This is Desmond. We first met when he was small enough to hold in my arms. On the cusp of turning 12, he now towers over me.
Over the years, Desmond and I have bonded over cooking, especially vegetarian recipes (He does not eat meat). He likes playing soccer, wearing mismatched socks and making sauce from various condiments in the fridge. On a recent visit, we watched a vintage episode of “The Office” (his choice).
Desmond’s mom and I go way back, to 1999, when we worked together in a newsroom. Social media was still years away, but now it’s practically the air that we breathe. Is there anything we do not document and post about our daily lives? Hell, we even create Instagram accounts for our pets.
In reading Desmond’s essay, which follows, I’m thinking of the days when we shopped for television sets at the department store. I remember taking the escalator to the basement floor of John Wanamaker to browse the electric (not electronic) appliances department, the wooden TV consoles stalwart like castle moats.
I can still see the wall of TVs, each one set to a different channel, a sea of screens displaying everything from a baseball game to cartoons. The effect was mesmerizing. It stopped me in my tracks every time. I used to think that was my threshold for screen stimulation.
And now that kind of stimulation is at the ready, like Times Square flashing in the palm of your hand and mine (and kids like Desmond), for every waking moment. It’s not the sun in our eyes; it’s a screen.— kod
P.S. Do you have a Junior Mint in your life with something to say about the world in which we live? Send’em my way. I’d be honored to showcase their work in this space.
I may not be the one to ask but I think social media is less of what others want you to see and more of what you yourself make it.
I have accounts in a few social media things and I find that the algorithms always try their best when you're just scrolling to find what you like by if you finish it, if you like it and if you search more about it. But then I go back to aimless scrolling and it's kind of a 50/50 chance if it will actually know what you like.
The good half might be stuff about a new game or a comedy skit you might like. The other half is really not funny and not good at all.
I have found sexism, racism and abuse of living things. For example, there are posts about people jumping on a wild horse and abusing its calmness just for likes.
There are trolls making memes out of serious cases – there are so many posts about the whole Amber Heard and Johnny Depp thing, there is literally a song about Amber Heard's lawyer.
I get how cussing can be funny, but I think It would be better if people kept cussing humor private or had a cuss warning before the post.
I for one think social media is a good thing, but some people don't use it for good reasons. I totally get that there are good channels out there and I mean even physical humor is fine. I just wish that people and moderators both were more attentive on what they were posting and how they do it.
Overall, I think that people should just think before they post like they think before they speak.
Think of the internet as a stage and the whole world is watching. Looking at the kids in my fifth grade class, many of them have bright futures and new thoughts to apply to the world. Then hopefully there will be safer social media and better cybersecurity.