As I was waiting to see my eye doctor today, I came across an interesting page in Time Magazine. The article was entitled Viral Anger, addressing the growing dangers of social media in America. The author compared this condition to an illness, spreading like a contagious disease which is making those who engage sick.
Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way, Proverbs 19:2.
Although I agree with the premise of this piece, there is a fatal flaw not addressed. Currently, mainstream media bases the majority of cable news programing on political talking points. These slogans and sound bytes are passed on to elite members of the press and communicated via cable, magazines and news papers. This is the fuel which ignites daily dumpster fires on Twitter. Until major networks begins reporting the facts, opinion based journalism will continue to spawn viral anger.
A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends, Proverbs 16:28.
Social media has opened a modern day Pandora’s Box, giving any self seeking individual the opportunity to instantly share what’s on their mind. Without any filters, thoughts freely flow with the click of a button. There was a time in this country when parents taught their children, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it!” These days are gone, replaced by people seeking fifteen minutes of fame through blogs, tweets or you tube channels.
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly, 2 Timothy 2:16.
The byproduct of social media is like a fulfillment of the passage above. However, instead of spreading first century heresy, viral anger is poisoning souls like an outbreak of gangrene. The only practical solution that I see is to replace negative news with a Positive News Network. If modern cable providers carry 24 hour television channels for any thinkable topic, it’s time for entrepreneurs to create an outlet which tells the whole story of an issue. Since I don’t see anyone putting social media back into Pandora’s Box, perhaps a source of encouragement like a PNN will be the cure to defeat viral anger.
by Jay Mankus