I am amazed at the passionate anger and ugliness on the Internet, especially on antisocial media platforms like Facegag, where people who are nominally “friends,” and who supposedly congregate to behave like friends, rip each other to pieces.
One reason I’m amazed is that two years ago you couldn’t have found an angrier, more rabid thread-war fomenting sumbitch than me. But like lots of awful addictions, once I got off the hate train all I can do now is shake my head.
Do people really think they’re a force for good or a force for change because they have strong opinions?
Do people really enjoy going to bed at night with their head throbbing from all the crazy talk unleashed by people they actually know in person, not to mention complete strangers?
My suspicion is that with a few exceptions, people don’t enjoy it at all, but they respond because somehow they think they’ve been attacked, and whereas in real life the attack would be muted or indirect or would occur in the context of a discussion, on the ‘Bag it’s all blunt force trauma.
“You think guns are good? Oh yeah? Well, I belong to the Brady Campaign, so fuck you!”
But beyond the head-splitting inanity of people who want to talk about terrorism and can’t locate Syria on a map, beyond the discussion of constitutional rights by people who’ve never read the Constitution, and beyond the fog of nastiness that trails antisocial media like a hot, wet fart that refuses to leave the room, there’s some good and very happy, very social media news to report.
My bicycle falling off incident has revealed a lot of things, many of which are thanks to social media.
- I know people who are suffering from Stage 4 cancer, who’ve lost limbs, or who have been permanently prevented from ever cycling again due to, well, life. Those people are without exception good people, not because they’ve been hurt, but because they’ve used social media to teach me how to deal with my lesser, insignificant problems. Mark, Brenda, and those of you who’ve overcome like Cheryl, thank you.
- It doesn’t take much to make someone feel good.
- Thank you Kristie for the cheesecake, cupcakes, and cookies. Thank you Smasher for helping me eat them.
- Thank you Chris for the homemade chocolate chip cookies with walnuts.
- Thank you Derek and Jami for swinging by to chat, and an especial thanks for encouraging me to make an appointment with one of those, you know, doctor people.
- Thank you Marc for the bedside visit and the book.
- Thank you Michelle for the bike mags, the NYT/London Review of Books, and the giant ice bag.
- Thank you Gus for the bar tape and for the ridiculous kindness of swinging by and paying Boozy P. for my bike repairs–on the condition that he not turn over the bike until I’m completely healed.
- Thank you Dan, Greg, and Big Orange for the Crash Fund-funded hi-viz orange replacement helmet. My membership has already paid for itself.
- Thank you Dan for the mixer and encouraging me to get out and socialize. It’s still the only time I’ve been outdoors since 11/21.
- Thank you Robert for offering leather-seated Uber services next Saturday.
- Thank you Aaron and Jay for the hilarious text messages. If laughter really were the best medicine I’d be healed by now.
- Thank you Josh for the calls, messages, photos, encouragement, and technical discussions of how to use my giant crescent wrench.
- Thank you Major Bob for planning the drive-by coffee dropoff later this morning!
- Thank you Barbara for the referral to America’s best doctor and his gentle explanation that, yes, an MRI will help.
- Thank you Michael for continually checking in.
- Thank you Ringoro for letting me hold you and sing you to sleep.
- Thank you Yasuko for quietly picking up the slack, caring for me, and never reproaching, complaining, or suggesting that it’s “time onna eBay that bikecycle.”
- Thank you Casey for offering to squeeze me in early for an appointment.
- Thank you Woodrow for always being ready to grab things I can’t reach, fetch books and whatnot, and humming all those great Woody Guthrie tunes.
Facebag to the contrary, there’s a lot of good out there in the world!
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