Anyone who reads my rantings knows that I place most of the blame for society's ills on social media and the 24-hour news networks. To me, social media gets crazy people all riled up, and then the 24-hour news networks make them famous. Albert Einstein predicted that we would all be much worse off if a universal form of communication was ever invented, and he was right. Apparently, Einstein saw enough of the real American public to realize that certain factions should never meet and the only way they would meet would be through expanded communication. Well, here we are and Einstein was right.
I guess I don't understand people anymore. I used to love a good conversation. I am, by nature, a stubborn person and conversations with people who knew how to have a conversation was the primary way that my opinion was changed on many topics. I love learning that I am wrong from people who know facts because learning makes me a better person. I thought that social media would exponentially increase my ability to be a better person, but that has not been the case.
There is no such thing as compromise or discussion in this country anymore. Whenever I offer a different opinion from someone else's, that person inevitably begins with profanities and insults, and then moves to more personal attacks. Notice that nothing in that process deals with exchanging information and trying to better understand each other. It is all about insults, profanities, and persistently asking me what I do for a living, even though that has nothing to do with the conversation.
Up until probably yesterday, I was a social media addict. But yesterday I ran into more people who only want to argue and I started to back off social media more than usual. I am trimming my Facebook friends list, and I am just focusing on what I want to do. I am disappointed that instead of social media starting a national dialogue about how we can improve the country, it is a cesspool where naive and uninformed people utilize the mob mentality of screaming the loudest to make their point. It is frustrating, and it is damaging.
So I guess I am confused as to why the people who make up "the greatest country in the world" don't want to have active conversations about how to make it greater. People insist that their opinions are facts, and then they lash out at anyone who has differing opinions. Even if you do feel like you have learned something and have your mind changed, you are seen by the person who "educated" you as being weak. Instead of feeling as though they enlightened you, the other party feels they have "won"...whatever that means.
Then we have people who were born and raised in the United States pledging their loyalty to people they have never met, and who live in incredibly oppressive conditions. I think that it should be a law that any young American who thinks that ISIS is the best thing ever should have to live in ISIS held territory for at least six months. Two days without their smartphones and those wanna be terrorists will be screaming to come back to the good ol' U.S. of A.
Why do American kids think they have it so bad here? Why do SOME (I emphasize) American kids find the idea of killing innocent people for a way of life that is completely foreign to them so alluring? Why are SOME American kids so confused? What are they seeing that I am not? I see an oppressed people living under a maniacal regime that uses terror to keep its subjects in line. What is so alluring about that? I don't understand.
So I sit behind my keyboard and start to think that maybe I should focus more on the world I can actually change, my world, instead of a world gone mad. The more confused I get about these times, the less I want to leave the house. If you watch the news at all, you wouldn't want to leave the house either.
George N Root III is a Lockport resident who thinks living in the U.S.A. is probably the best option anyone has and appreciates what this country has to offer. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, or send him an email at email@example.com.