Social media has certainly affected society and relationships. Years ago, we actually had to either talk to someone on a device tethered to a wall and bare callused fingers to actually dial or push buttons with numbers on them in order to speak to someone live! And, (gasp!) prior to the telephone, people actually had to write letters, in stellar penmanship and no spellcheck! Now, everything is done through texting, and yes I am guilty of it, however not only texting, but also SM (social media, like a disease!) has steered how we interact, see ourselves or hide behind a screen where interpersonal relationships are concerned. Why is that and how did things evolve to this? How many relationships / friendships ended because of it, because of miscommunication, because had you actually spoken to that person to hear those critical vocal inflections, misunderstandings wouldnt have gone awry or relationships been strained or destroyed? And mostly, why do people always interpret the worst in any message?
There are several parts to this so, biggest frustration and annoyance with this social media are things like Facebook, and then there is the insufferable Snapchat, which to me, nothing more than a presentation of extreme narcissism. In my naivet, when I joined Facebook (and its predecessor, which I dont even think exists today), I thought it was a wonderful way to stay in touch with friends and family and to also network out in terms of what I do as an artist. I loved seeing and reading the posts about what they were doing and how they were doing. Now, SM (and there is an irony and pun to that!) is nothing more than posting and sharing political posts, cruelty to animal posts, etc or the same stupid pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio holding that same champagne glass with a totally different saying, as if he really said those things! And now, even more annoying, Madonna yelling at a cat as if she actually said whatever! How do we confuse reposting and sharing with being proactive or just plain spreading rumors and gossiping, which is really what it is! Do you take offense to this statement? Then think about and research what you post and share before you do it. And why do you do it? What are you proving? Stop and ask yourself those questions. Yes, there are some very funny blurbs on FB that I have shared, but as a private message as to not infringe on someone elses page. Lets say political posts, how factual are they? Did that individual, no matter how corrupt they are, actually make those statements? Posting and sharing pictures of some degenerate abusing animals, or the aftermath, what did you accomplish other than acting as a rubbernecker on the highway after an accident? You want to make a difference? Try posting the name, address and phone number of the scum that abused those animals you posted their pictures instead of, look what someone did Maybe I am square and probably going to rile some of those guilty people up. But you know what? Do something constructive rather than destructive. Maybe thats the issue within itself is there is so much negativity and hate. But, go to your local politician to fight for stronger laws against whatever you post. Post then, Lets all sign petitions to make sure these people suffer severe penalties instead of reposting, look what someone did. Yes, I am very passionate about injustices to animals, or other human beings. Be proactive. I could go on but I am limited on words! And, I want to know what is going on in your life as your friend.
Now, on relationships and dating, That will be part two, next issue!
- Gary Schwartz is a composer, musician, counselor, writer, performer. Double majored in Behavioral Psychology and Music Composition. Worked as counselor through Whitman Walker Clinic, Gay Men's Counseling Collective, Hospice of Frederick County, Montgomery County Health Department and Frederick County Department of Social Services as Adult Foster Care. Gary currently teaches private piano, voice and composition and just finished his 19th year performing at MDRF!