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Social Media is Building a Culture of Public Judgement

Social Media is Building a Culture of Public Judgement

Social Media is Building a Culture of Public Judgement 2000 1125 Jason Stadtlander

Social media allows us to have the world at our finger tips, news, and information on everything around us including family, politics and natural disasters.

Instant news and instant response is a two edge sword we now live with on a daily, hourly and sometimes minute by minute basis. Not only are we given a chance to instantly (and hopefully relatively unobtrusively) contact someone, but we also tend to feel the need to instantly respond to them in turn. When an event happens, we know about it within minutes, sometimes we know about it in real time.

For example, take the Brett Kavanaugh hearings regarding the sexual allegations toward Christine Blasey Ford. Kavanaugh, who was on the shortlist of nominees for the Supreme Court faced accusations that he sexually assaulted Ford. Within minutes of the story being leaked to the press, it began spreading on Twitter and Facebook. Granted the tumultuous relations between Republicans and Democrats and further fueled by many people’s contempt of President Trump (who nominated Kavanaugh) created a strong burning fire. There is no doubt that this was leaked as a political maneuver.

Immediately as the hearings were going on, minute by minute public judgments were being made and altered before the entire world stage. Even the U.S. president was injecting his opinions before the world on Twitter (without filters).

Do I see a benefit in this? Yes and no. As I said, it’s a two-edged sword. From a fellow U.S. citizen who has very little ability to control any of these situations, it’s nice to be able to see what’s going on while it’s going on, rather than find out after it’s already affecting me. This instantaneousness method of communication allows us as a world citizen to at least feel like we are part of the decision-making process (even if we are not). On the flip side, we can also garner enough people together to indeed make a voice about an issue (take the #metoo movement for example).

Now, on the other side of the sword, social media may impede the ability for jobs to get done because the people making the choices are no longer leading as much as waiting to hear what the consensus is among the people.

Court of Public OpinionMy personal opinion? I don’t like it. It opens up anyone to summary public ridicule and judgments without accurate presentation of evidence. Am I saying that Kavanaugh wasn’t guilty or that Ford didn’t experience what she experienced? No. What I’m saying is that I don’t think it should have been put out there for anyone other than those who can make decisions regarding it. Primarily because it was of a sensitive nature (to all parties) and loops in families with children, spouses, etc.

I think we are too rapidly moving toward a ‘public judgment’ without trial culture with the use of social media.

Engrossed in Insanity

Engrossed in Insanity 3608 2308 Jason Stadtlander

I am not insane, not irrational or particularly fatuous. For here, I can look at myself in this dirty mirror, my naked chest, my bosom, the very skin that binds my body and keeps me together. There is dirt and blood and dust upon it, but that does not mean that I am insane. The mirror portrays me this way, the bending of the light in an unnatural way, different from the way the rest of the world should see me. I do not look like those wide, hollow eyes that are staring back at me, that I know do not belong to me, bloodshot. Mine is the mind of a calm, collected, even philosophical intellect.

I know, I too have glanced down at the knife on the vanity, its serrated edge with fragments of flesh upon it, dripping of blood. Mistakes happen. They happen to everyone. That’s all this was, it was a mistake. Mistakes can be fixed.

He did me no wrong, no real wrong. All he did was scream at me, but that was his fault. He never should have screamed at me. He knows what I’m like when I lose my temper. I had told him that I had a bad day. I told him about losing my job, but he ignored my words. They were mere wisps upon the air to him and he did not care to let them in. If anyone is to blame, it is he that should be blamed. I can’t take my eyes off the blade, the blade that still has pieces of him in its teeth. Teeth that not long ago and chewed and torn deep into that chest which I had kissed so many times. I could not kiss it now. There is no breath within it. What was inside, is now outside.

Would you not feel the same? Would you not have simply wanted to silence him?

I reach down and sip the steaming coffee I brewed but minutes ago and took a bite of the fresh toast, smeared with orange marmalade, its chucks of fleshy orange remind me of his own pieces still in the jagged edge of the blade. But these are so much sweeter than he ever was. Homemade goodness upon my crispy bread.

Toast in hand, savoring the bite, I look again toward the mirror and pause. My face. My dear, dirty face. I approach the mirror and can see the smears of his DNA upon it, but I can wash that clean. I can wash that clean just as I can fix this mistake.

Upon washing my hands and my arms and my face, I pause. I stare once again at the face in the mirror. I have washed it. I have cleansed it. Yet it still appears so dirty, so filthy. It can be washed a thousand times, until there is no skin remaining and yet, it will still be dirty. Is this guilt I feel? Now that is insane. How can I possibly feel guilt for something that was not my fault. Not I, I who was not the instigator of this treachery. I am merely a tool, as a hammer is to a carpenter. As an attack dog is to its master.

True, attack dogs are put down when they make a mistake. They are not given a chance to make a mistake again.

The blade in my hand is still dirty, heavy, still disgustingly offensive. It too can be cleaned a thousand times and it too will still remain dirty. Not because it contains particles upon it, but because of the actions that it had performed. Why then do I see myself as dirty? Was it not the blade that did this? Not I. Because I did something just? Because I quieted a beast that had for so long tortured me? Tortured me with love? Tortured me with his endless pleas to hold me? Tormented me with desires to have a family? Do I look  like I want a family?

This blade. This singular blade. It has a strange shape when you look directly at the blade. I shall correct the mistake, I shall rid the filth from my beautiful body, cut it out like a tumor is excised from an otherwise healthy body. My tumor lies within my mind, but it too can be excised. Placing the blade upon the vanity counter, angled up at myself, I thrust my head forward bringing my full weight down upon it and briefly hear a crunch, a strange popcorn sound but no pain. Falling, I’m falling.

Laying upon the floor I have a fleeting thought of how he and I are now laying under the same roof, at rest.

Twisted Thursday: A terrible mind is scary to waste…

Twisted Thursday: A terrible mind is scary to waste… 150 150 Jason Stadtlander


For some of this to make sense, you would need to know me personally. But let me try to lay it out for you.

Funny Talents – Dangerous Talents

I walk into a room and tell a good friend and colleague of fifteen years that it must be hard to bend over, given how old he is. He looks back at me with a scowl and waits for the punch line. After a brief pause, I break into my old man voice saying, “Freaking whipper snappers . . . thinking they know everything.” And he starts to laugh.

Having worked in radio for several years, being a voice actor and having a talent for voices, I have about 15-20 voices in my repertoire that my children get to choose from including: The Old Crotchety Man, Gollum, Gomer Pyle, Ronald Reagan, Bing Crosby (singing) and quite a few less politically-correct voices. In short, if I can hear a voice, I can usually reproduce it with some accuracy.

Now, I have used my vocal talents for everA terrible mind is a scary thing to wasteything from my video trailers to getting my father to pull the car over on the interstate by doing a realistic siren from the back seat – things that, in the moment at least, can be quite amusing.

Mental Breakdowns

One thing I’ve been watching lately, sadly, is friends whose parents have been aging, often developing dementia or Alzheimer’s. It’s very sad watching someone who was vibrant with life deteriorate and become less of the person he was, eventually remembering nothing of his life.

So what worries me?

I fear for the individual who cares for me, should I ever follow that path. Just picture the poor nurse who walks in one day to make a meal and sees me hovering over the dining room table saying, “My . . . . precious . . . . we swears to be good to the prrrreeecccious,” and then the next minute breaking into my best K-Mart intercom voice announcing, “Ladies and gentleman, please make your way to the front counter and take advantage of our eighty percent sale off  Maxi Pads! Get them now, before the sale is all dried up!”


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