The Media Made Me Do It

Google “It’s Social Media’s Fault” and see what happens.

Do a tally on how many studies have been conducted on “problems caused by social media.”

Read the headlines  any day of the week and you’ll find a story detailing a tragedy allegedly linked to social media.

Listen to the politicians complain. According to the professional whiners, traditional media — aided by their bastard offspring, social media — make them sound stupid and dishonest.

But I beg to differ.

Just like a mirror doesn’t make us look fat, the media do not make us look like buffoons and sound like liars.

Neither does social media force people to pretend to be something they aren’t. Some folks are fake. And they come by their dishonesty quite honestly — they learned it.

And I’m not sold on the idea that social media cause loneliness, depression, insecurity and anxiety. Research has found that using the platforms in excess can definitely make those symptoms worse…just like consuming alcohol and drugs in excess can exacerbate one’s mental state. But our demons live inside us. And external forces just lure them out.

But while we look for people, institutions and substances to blame for what we do and say, we leave out the most obvious one…ourselves. We are responsible for our screw-ups and our falsehoods…not Facebook. Or Instagram. Or Twitter. Or Snapchat. Or CNN. Or The New York Times.

The media do not make us do it.

Anymore than the devil does.

About Pam Avery Printed

I graduated from the University of Georgia in 1972 with a major in journalism (public relations) and a minor in business (marketing). My experience for the last 40 years includes working in the corporate world (banking), the newspaper industry (advertising design and sales), owning and selling a restaurant, restoring and utilizing several old buildings on the property, teaching private dance and drama lessons for 20 years, free-lance writing for a national textile firm, publishing two children’s books, and ghost writing a book. My last tour of duty before beginning the current chapter was working as a reporter, photographer, and columnist for five weekly community newspapers. And now I teach...media writing at Columbus State University in Columbus Ga. I consider myself very fortunate--I get to be around intelligent, energetic and enthusiastic young people. What a joy. I believe the written word is one of the most powerful tools known to humankind. And now we have the ability to reach millions with a simple click of the mouse. Wow.
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