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"The New Opium of the Masses"

"The New Opium of the Masses"

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Published by Tom j Dolan
An electronic palliative that replaces an organic one, but solves little, serving more as a steam-vent than the open-forum it pretends to be. You may or may not agree, but in 2014, social media twists-n-turns are taking it into unchartered waters and I don’t believe all the players will float.

note/ this article has been updated, re-edited and reformatted for your reading pleasure.
An electronic palliative that replaces an organic one, but solves little, serving more as a steam-vent than the open-forum it pretends to be. You may or may not agree, but in 2014, social media twists-n-turns are taking it into unchartered waters and I don’t believe all the players will float.

note/ this article has been updated, re-edited and reformatted for your reading pleasure.

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Published by: Tom j Dolan on Mar 09, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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05/28/2014

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I generally tie my articles to my blog, www.tomjdolan.com, which deals with the topic of Public Speaking/Speaking in Public for a global audience. Now, for quite awhile, I’ve had this gnawing thought that I’m going to consider here. In the end it may tie in, or not.I maintain social media accounts: twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, evan a google+ page...maybe you do too. Although I’m not riveted to any one of them, I do post somewhat regularly to each one. I really don’t remember exactly when I began posting to them, but it’s been some time now. Although I don’t have thousands of followers on any one of them, I have some good ones. Some of the information I receive I find interesting, even enjoyable, and so I attempt to return the favor. Well, I’ve been considering the posts that I write and the ones that I receive that I like. Generally they don’t have a lot to do with Public Speaking. Sometimes they do, like when I want to inform my followers about a new video or article on my website. Usually I want to introduce my followers to, what I hope is, a point of view or piece of information that I consider noteworthy but something they might have missed. Typically information dealing with politics, social, education, health, environment, and international issues that I consider noteworthy but may have been relegated to a minor spot or even missed completely by mainstream media. And too, I’m also ok with posting humorous or not, point-of-view comments. Due to the rolling nature of social media I’m sure I miss many posts. Of the posts that I do see, some are from people that want to sell me something, now or in the future. It’s kinda like a digital ad-roll. Some posts are uplifting, some informative, artistic, thought provoking. Others deliver news, quotes, solutions, bits of daily life. And lately, articles and videos about animals, pets, CAFO’s, GMO crops, politics, art.On facebook and LinkedIn I post once a day maybe, but with longer commentary because I can. I occasionally comment on the posts of others. The facebook posts I receive are predominantly political/social commentaries. LinkedIn is generally business related, but neither of them have the 140 character twitter limit, so I am more readily encouraged to add my thoughts and I do. By now you may be thinking ….So What!? Well,
Visit tomjdolan.com - discover the benefits of “Performance of Speaking”
“The New Opium of the Masses”
Tom j Dolan
Tokyo
 
I’ve begun to wonder if the internet with its broad interconnectivity, ease of use, and general accessibility, is the 21
st
 century “Opium of the Masses.” I like the term “Opium of the Masses.” It’s conjures up an organic “Matrix”. Still an unsettling thought but with better mental images. Anyway, the web not only allows commentary but promotes it. And Comments are easy to write. “Good Post Tom.” “Never thought of that, but I’ll give it a try.” “I like it!” “Sucks.”Sure I see confrontation, name-calling, and rancorous interaction, especially trailing an obviously divisive news article. Aggressive in-your-face sometimes, and yet it seems like nothing more then lifting the weight on a pressure cooker to release the steam. Rarely are minds changed. I see little shift in attitude over time but rather a spiteful hardening of drawn lines. The long-running feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys comes to mind. Or maybe the history of the Mid-East or African clan feuds right up till today. Thousands of years, passed from generation to generation.The point is, it seems to me that “Commenting” can be a substitute for “action”. Oh yes, clicking a mouse or tapping a touch-sensitive pad is an action. I acknowledge that, but it’s not the same “action” as showing up at a meeting, standing up and saying something. Something like “I’ve got a better idea.” or “Are you nuts?” Now that’s the action I’m talking about.The web promotes re-action from afar, flash-mobs and meetups not withstanding.  And it can be accomplished at a convenient time from the comfort of a recliner in a climate controlled environment with entertainment of choice in surround sound. Add in, recovering employment in the US coupled with a “No Draft” Professional Military, and still functioning social services and it all makes for an ez-to-express opinions environment. A suitable substitute for “action.”$3.50, $4.00 or more for a gallon of gas. Angry, frustrated? Note it in a “Comment” in a list of Comments, let off steam, commiserate with others, then cope: Drive less. Recently, I’ve read numerous articles with their attendant comments, complaining about the disintegrating state of political compromise in America. And yet have you seen many/any budding political campaigns building on “Support for Compromise”? Comment, complain, commiserate, let off steam, pet the dog, kiss the cat, wash the car. Get on with life...easy.The web is magic. It not only makes business activity transparent, it magically allows people to disappear. An electronic façade, easily erected, can obscure the identity of the Commenter. Using offensive language, diatribes, and insults, all free of personal
Visit tomjdolan.com - discover the benefits of “Performance of Speaking”

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