Social Media. The End of Civilization?

I’m so angry. I’ve just heard about the attempted and thankfully failed suicide of a teenager. Apparently they were being bullied online and couldn’t take it anymore.

I am thoroughly convinced the Internet is the worst thing that has happened to our children.

Cyber bullying, cyber predators, cyber sex, peer pressure, image distortion, to much personal information being shared, terrorists using it as a platform…

Kids are learning this is “normal”. They don’t see or understand the consequences of publishing every detail of their lives online. They think we’re stupid when we try to tell them otherwise. I wish people had to have a license to use online media the same as they do to drive a car.

How many more children have to kill themselves or self harm before we say “enough”?

I said this to my daughter who immediately got defensive and snapped back with “there’s nastiness in adult groups too”

Yes there is nastiness on a lot of adult internet platforms. You only have to read comments on Facebook posts or news websites to see some truly ghastly examples but – here’s the thing, we are all adults. We didn’t have to put up, we could and should ignore or walk away. We certainly know better than to treat someone else’s vile remarks as fact.

Kids don’t have the experience to realize whose opinions matter and who’s aren’t genuine, those that are merely malicious.

Adults know it’s ‘crap on the Internet’. We know how to take what we want from it and leave the rest.

That’s the whole problem though. Social media has far too few restrictions to prevent is misuse and there are more people lobbying for freedom of the Internet than people interested in teaching or showing self control. I’ve seen ugliness on the internet I’ve never seen when people are face to face.

Society is suffering a meltdown because of social media misuse and it needs to stop.

89 thoughts on “Social Media. The End of Civilization?

  1. So well written! And 100% true. Social media is such an addiction for kids these days and with having that sort of emotional response to it so early in life, I really think it’s going to create generations of people who can’t process genuine emotions properly outside of the constant stream of likes and comments. I know I get sucked into it even as an adult! I can’t imagine the impact that it has on teens and pre-teens.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Social media was blooming when I was in high school. It was bad then so I can’t imagine how much it has been blown out the water now. I have to take breaks from social media because of the content and I watch who I follow— but somehow things still end up in my feed. It’s distressing and we do need to work on a competent solution for it.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Completely agree. It’s bullying on steroids because hiding behind a screen apparently means that you can say even more and behave even worse. I feel for these bullied kids because you can be told by your parents and school til they’re blue in the face about how to deal with these lowlifes parasites, but they’re persistent little bastards who will stoop to the gutter to harm someone weaker than themselves. Personally I think they should be named and shamed in school, made to have both counselling and also some sort of extra duties at school. I think kids these days need a far broader education than just getting a mass of qualifications. Excellent post, sad but excellent. Katie

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’m a little scared for my kids to grow up and experience screen time because of this. I know I won’t be able to restrict everything all of the time, but social media is terrifying. This post was much needed!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve crabbed about what you say for a long time. I think (personally) that the whole technology overload is causing a lot of harm. Kids (children to young adults) can’t hold a conversation (face to face), they can’t do simple math in their heads, they are becoming entitled and brash, due to the anonymity of the ‘web.

    I do, however, differ from you in one opinion. The bullying and nasty shit that teens go through is not new. And kids were driven to suicide over it long before the net was a ‘thing’. Being a teenager is a horrible time that hopefully teaches the child turning adult to differentiate between who is genuine and who is a waste of time, skin and space. Hormones are raging, bodies are changing and the whole body image thing is another nasty addition that the web has brought front and center and made important.

    We’re losing the ability to COMMUNICATE, despite the ease with which that is made available now through computers and phones and all the rest of the mess. THAT, in my opinion anyhow, is the most dangerous and lethal side effect to the ‘net. Parents have to step it up and make sure their teenagers know what’s real and unreal, and how to use common sense. Hard job and I shouldn’t weigh in, given I’m not a parent.

    I’m heartily sorry for that poor teen. Nobody was listening to them, were they? At least they didn’t succeed. 😐

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Walk The Goats is right. The tech titans restrict their kids from it.

    This is an issue that highlights a larger problem…bad parenting. If your little Johnny or Janey is getting on social media sites and harassing other kids, you should be punched in the mouth. Kids aren’t born vicious…they’re made. Schoolyard bullies have learned that behavior from a parent or they learned it from somewhere else & the parent didn’t correct it. Social media just makes it easier for schoolyard bullies to hide behind a screen.

    Sadly, some think technology is a babysitter when they don’t want to engage & deal with their kids. And, those tech titans designed this technology to be addictive…hence their own parental controls.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I agree completely. Mine weren’t allowed to have phones or Facebook or any of that stuff. The problem came when my ex reappeared in their lives at age 15/16 and wanted to be their friend not their parent. That’s always a recipe for disaster

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Don’t think the kids have changed but the technology making bullying that much more intense, public, and simply horrible. If a child experienced bullying at school, say, ‘back in my day’, they could (in most cases) go home and find a caring haven. Now the bullying follows them, thanks to social media. Without being able to escape from it, I wonder how some survive it. As you say, some don’t, and it can be just one nasty comment catching on or one meanly posted photo away. Frightening.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. As much as I agree with what you say, I think there is much more to it though. For the most part, I blame the parents. These things are learned behaviors, and a lot of them are learned from the home and from the parents. Parents need to stop being their child’s friend and need to start being parents again.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Who buys these kids the tools (Laptops, iPhones, iPads, iWatches, etc.) that gives them access to social media? Who buys these kids PlayStations and XBoxes to play violent RPG games with other kids?

    Adults.

    Great article 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree – but I’ve seen kids who aren’t allowed these things themselves using friends devices. You can’t entirely protect your kids and honestly, you shouldn’t. What we need to do is teach them to use it responsibly and how to ignore it

      Liked by 2 people

  10. There have always been schoolyard bullies…. but the horrible thing about being a teenager today is, those bullies follow you home on your phone and computer. There are no safe zones for kids. It’s disturbing and heartbreaking.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. School yard bullies were around long before the internet. Unfortunately I was a victim of bullying…I was laughed at for the “things on my face” …my Tuberous Sclerosis however didn’t know of it until I was 26. I was bullied because I was a bit slow…also due to the TS…Teachers made me stand in bins…adults bullying students.. However today….they the kids are now bullied via email, Facebook, instagram, sent awful messages via phone. I do feel sorry for the kids of today, as there is no release from the constant bullying. At least with me I was able to go home and get away from it. I think this is an excellent post and I feel sorry that anyone is driven to the point of suicide….to get to the point where your only release is death…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’m so sorry, that was horrible. Kids are and always have been cruel little buggers. The difference is my parents would have half-killed me if I’d bullied anyone and so would I if my kids did.Some parents don’t care and some think their little angels couldn’t possibly do that.
      When there are no consequences or actions, there’s no incentives stop

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No need to be sorry…Im the same…my parents would have got mad with me…and drag my sorry arse down to the family to apologize. I would have done the same…You know on the first day of school I came home and told my mum about a girl in the class who was very shy and others were laughing at her..Mum told me to go the next day and make friends with her. We are still close friends to this day. We are both 64 this year….

        Liked by 1 person

  12. The Russians and Chinese already have the EMP weapons to make much of cell phones useless. Space is the next true battleground. The North Koreans would love to join in, but they cannot without Chinese help.

    Just imagine all GPS, cell phones and some internet dead in a second. I guess I could say, be careful what you pray for.

    Having said all that, it is very depressing how social media has trained our youths. Not just bullies, but the terrible breath of “information”. The sides can “prove” anything with the internet, citing one website or another. I spent a lifetime measuring, (physics) and let me assure you, not all data is equal. So-called Scientists make a ton of money by reporting the data that the gold givers want.

    Truth can be true to one, and quite false to all others.

    Too many believe that mankind is destroying themselves, (with some truth), but none of us should give up making this round ball a better place for all.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Such a scary subject and so true. It is horrible the pressure these kids put on each other. They are not allowed to just be their own person, too much competition when it comes to living in a pretend world which is the internet. I was told as a child to stay away from beauty magazines because they will only make you feel ugly. Kids now days carry that beauty magazine around with them in their pockets and read from it constantly, now that is some serious pressure. Then you have the bullies and cowards that sit in a room spewing out hate every time they type something in the comfort of their homes. I have a cousin like that. All she loves doing is hanging out in chat groups attacking people for everything. It’s like a drug to her. Because I have no cell phone, Facebook or twitter account she resorted to sending me a card full of hate that she addressed from our dead Nana (whom I was very close to) on our Nana’s birthday (which is Valentines day) just to hurt me. It’s a long painful story that involves my mother’s side of the family and the personality disorders most of them suffer from. My husband and I plus our children had to change our phone numbers, delete our Facebook accounts and use different names. We got rid of our cell phones and basically started our lives over just because we said no to abuse. We had no choice but to go offline for years from the cyberbullying I received, including my own children and this was from family (mom’s side). It is the most painful thing to have to go through. It is a story that many people around the world are going through even now as I type this up. Families, friends, human beings are being seperated by hate and it is so easy now to hate when you don’t have to look someone in the face and give them eye contact. All we can do I tell my children, is live happy lives everyday and try to spread as much kindness out there whenever we can, but be careful of course. Some people (toxic people) take kindness as weakness. Anyway, I totally agree with you on this post…it definitely touched a nerve with me. So glad I found a place here with blogging where there are a lot of really nice people to check in with now and then. It’s a breath of fresh air knowing that you will not be attacked and can just be you. Great post, thanks for sharing a very hard subject to bring up as well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh dear God you poor thing. That’s truly horrible. Some people are detestable. I don’t think mental health or personality disorders are an acceptable excuse though. I know people with both who may lash out and say terrible things but they don’t PLAN it. What your cousin was did was thought out, planned and executed. There was several points at which she could have stopped and didn’t which says that she got satisfaction out of her actions and that is just vile.
      Keep being you, you’re lovely 😊

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank you, you are one of the kind ones. I feel sorry for people like my cousin. Her own sister can’t even connect to her because she is all wrapped up in whatever social media trend that is geared towards hate is going on. We have all tried to get her to turn around but some people just love the negative. I’ll never understand it, just really happy I can recognize it and stay in the positive light as much as possible.

        Liked by 2 people

  14. So sad 😦
    I have had my own nasty taste others spreading false information and making uncomplimentary remarks. Well – that is putting it mildly – I don’t want to think about it right now.
    But for a child/ teenager to experience it must be a lot more profound.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I disagree Britchy. I concur that social media can be horrible. However, you spare the rod you spoil the child. Too often parents just give up and leave their kids alone. We are overworked and in debt over our heads. We work and work and work, just trying to get ahead. So, by the time we get home we are simply exhausted.

    So, what happens? You just hand over your phone or tablet to your kids. Or, your kids have their own phones and tablets. So, like video games and television and heavy metal and refer madness of the past. Social media is new and parents use the internet to keep their kids occupied/entertained.

    Kids are smart and quickly figure out how to do things. But, where are the parents while all of this is happening? Are the parents available, do they keep tabs on their kids? Do the kids know what will and will not be tolerated? Do the kids know they can tell their parents what is going on?

    Social media is a scapegoat in all of this. Social media isn’t a person or a thing, it’s a monicker that allows us to shirk the responsibility. If social media were outlawed and completely removed today, kids and adults would still commit and attempt suicide.

    Suicide didn’t arrive with social media. the more that blame social media, the further we will move from actually helping these people contemplating suicide.

    It’s the same issue with opiates, blame the opiate instead of the person who took the opiate. Blame the doctor, blame the insurance company, blame everything except for the individual.

    Blaming social media is like blaming guns. no matter what there is always a typist as there is always a trigger puller. Eliminate the typist or the trigger puller only half the problem is solved. Remove the child from the distraction and include the parents.

    How many parents out there have no idea who their child communicates with at school or on social media?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Those are great points. Mostly I agree with you fully however, social media is a lot easier to access than drugs or guns and a lot easier to hide. I’m very lucky as I never had drug or alcohol issues with my kids, that might be in part because I allowed them to try alcohol when we were ever having it at home so there was no sense of the forbidden. Whilst mine weren’t allowed social media, they were mocked for not having it. They accessed it at friends houses and at the library and unlike drugs or guns, it isn’t something parents can ever totally control. There are physical signs of drugs. There aren’t of social media.
      My ex was determined to undermine me when he reappeared so that didn’t help.
      On the whole I agree with you but parents can only do so much and peer pressure is insidious

      Liked by 3 people

      1. This echoes a point that occurred to me too. Kids feel almost compelled to participate on social media by their peers. Often the same kids that will bully them on it. AND bully them if they are NOT on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, parents have their own long list of demands on them, and it really is impossible to set boundaries (of any kind) if one parent undermines the other.
        My ex used to complain that our son spent too much time gaming (he was living with dad as a late teen). I said he should just disconnect the internet from home as they all had access (monitored) at school. He was aghast as he couldn’t then access his porn 😳. I lost all hope at that point….

        Liked by 1 person

  16. This is such a complex issue.
    Yes, I believe that social media is evil, especially for the young ones, who are still very clueless about the real, outside world.
    However, like some people stated, bulling was going on before Facebook.
    I think that the trick has always been to impact your child more than other factors. In today’s world, that is quite difficult. Parent want to be their kids’ friends more than parents, they work all day, AND social media is WAAAY more prevalent than most parents. Kids just soak things up so much faster through the internet. And since, they spend with it more time than with their parents (or people who care), such thing happen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s an impossible situation however I do blame big social media sites like Facebook for dragging their heels with the absolute shit they allow. I’ve reported paedophile groups, animal cruelty videos, hate groups, anti Semitic groups … none of it has ever contravened their standards.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Unfortunately I think sometimes it is leaking into reality too. More people are so selfish and impatient than I recall and less social and friendly. How often do we see people glued to their phones and not interacting with each other? I completely agree with you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think moderation needs to come from both parents and social media corporations. I don’t think ‘we the people’ need any more bloody laws but I do think there should be legislation regarding transparency by social media platforms/ isp’s in how they deal with complaints and prevent fake accounts etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. It’s not just the kids that are glued to their phones. I see people at work, walking the halls, blankly staring at their phones, swiping and typing as they walk along. People used to say Hello, as they passed others in the hall, now we spend all our time dodging these cell-phone, zombie walkers. I say, just get off all of that stuff, it’s toxic, and accomplishes nothing!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Agreed 100%
    I have spent the last ten years travelling around the US and Canada speaking on this very topic and it pains me to see that this is still such a prevalent issue that is only getting worse given the climate of our country at the moment. Moreso is kills me that schools have less and less money to spend on programs like mine and I’ve been working less. I’m not saying that I’m the best in the world at what I do, but many in the same field are finding the same issue- we’re working less.
    I hope that things can change and soon. I really do.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. HERE, HERE Britchy! I’m with you all the way on this topic!
    I will extend that to include the durge that is online gaming (not particularly of the gambling type); the gaming that is consuming the best years of our young people’s (my experience says the boys are the worst) lives…those who think they are escaping from the ‘reality’ of life (which is what most think social media is now). They are isolating themselves from real human relationships, of any kind, and have no real life experiences to draw on.
    This world has become particularly scewed by the internet and more lives/relationships lost than to the wars, in my opinion. As you say, they think they can learn everything online and know far more than us oldies who have actually experienced it.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. One of the kids I went to college with commented a few weeks ago that if he could go back, he’d not have given his grandson access to technology when he was 2. Another sign of our times that is incredibly sad was on a wall in a building escape route area..Please leave the building before posting to social media an emergency. Life long friendships are severed with a single election and our youth are harmed by uncaring kids posting what they feel is their right. My eldest was bullied before social media, but small towns are social media in the flesh. (then he joined the military and those former bullies were later impressed!)

    I often wish my youngest did something with social media. He’s a volunteer firefighter, works full time, is 25, and collects firearms. He has few real friends, most people annoy him and he’d rather put out fires than be an EMT because houses don’t talk. He also likes cats…. But, this is a bunny trail!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I kinda agree! I think a lot of kids are not really prepared to use social media responsibly because their parents didn’t have social media when they were kids so they are not always aware of what’s going on maybe?
    I don’t know. I didn’t spend much time online until i was about 20 years old, so i defo don’t know how is it when one is a child.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I often hear parents saying that they can’t get their kids off line or of yountube and alway wonder how is it that possible mainly considering we are talking about 8/9 years old.my eldest one is 12 and still has no free access to Internet and they both are banned from every online game .She got a phone for her birthday but is on only if she goes out on her own with her friends,things that she only started to do very seldom this year .im lucky because none of the two had yet reveal interest for social media but most of their friend are already on FB or IG that is on my opinion far too early.Cyber bullying terrifies me but more terrify me the one who put their head in the sand in front of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I quite agree. It is so sad that young people take to heart the opinion of strangers and yet ignore the advice of the people that love them the most, like their parents. One of the problems too, is that Social media can mask who people really are, so they may be posing as someone from their own peer group but actually be someone quite different.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I think, just as we teach our kids to deal with bullies in the face to face world we need to also teach them to do so in the e-world. It’s a bit outside the standard parenting protocol but in our home we viewed social media as a tool. I raised my kids to use social media as a tool. That included projects to learn about how the internet can be used, enjoyed and controlled. It included teaching them the amazing power they have to influence the online world with the choice of words they use there. We live in a world where social media is part of our daily life. We can shut our kids off from that e-world, but, I think that it will make life harder for them when they are suddenly forced to join the e-world as adults. Not knowing how to use social media makes it more likely they will fall victim to it. Not knowing how to navigate social media and lacking the tools to protect themselves from the dark side of it, is, I think, a handicap for kids. It doesn’t look like our internet life is going away so I focused on teaching my kids how to navigate the online world just as I taught them to navigate the offline world. So far it’s working.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Over the years, my own friends have changed. It seems social media has pervaded every walk of life in this country. It’s the ways things are. And most people have an electronic device stuck to their hand and never leave home without it. I think it gives many people a sense of connectivity that doesn’t really exist.
    In the “old” days, people didn’t need information at the touch of their fingers. And when people had questions, they thought about it, but not to distraction. Friends played games, both indoors and out. School children wrote essays, and had to pore through library information for sources. If you wanted to learn about something, you read, you called companies, but you didn’t have to have the information right then and there, which gave you time to contemplate, which is a losing skill.
    We’re becoming, all too many, preoccupied with everything that’s going on but what’s right in front of us. When I read writers of yesterday/ yesteryear, I find deeper levels of real consideration. Mark Twain, Socrates, Thomas Jefferson, and more. Men and women lived their lives, they weren’t affected by constant information. Information and knowledge is not wisdom. That comes with time. Wisdom is living this thing called life, but not being in a hurry to know the next Lakers score or who is on the front page media. It’s sitting, working, and time passing.
    Something to consider.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. We live in a world with many distractions. We also live in a world that is bombarded with various beliefs (nothing wrong with that), but also one that villifies the traditional beliefs that have given hope to so many. This world is filled with so many “delights” but also “pulls,” and when many have followed trails that lead nowhere, what they’ve lived their life following becomes hopeless. That’s why so many feel lost. The hope is that they realize they’re lost, which is the beginning of moving away from all that you thought you knew, but didn’t know, and get back to the simplicity of life and understanding.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Perhaps, but all too many have never really known who they are. If they did, they would be pursuing their own interests outside the social net. All too many do not know what it’s like to go on a camping trip, alone, with only your own resources, then meeting people now and then, getting to know others in a very different atmosphere.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. In social media, people have an opportunity to express themselves. Having said that, all too many don’t really know who they are in the sense that they’re always trying to share themselves from the perspective of how others see them.

    Liked by 1 person

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