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Death By Social Media

By       Message Dr. Cheryl Pappas     Permalink
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opednews.com Headlined to H4 9/24/17

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Americans are hooked on happiness. In spite of The Declaration of Independence, we are not into the pursuit. We're into the grab.

We want it; we're taking it now. This is our culture of rabid entitlement, a desperate necessity, on display everywhere. From demanding a better freeway lane and aggressively clipping off another car to nail it, to the predictable new wave of identity hacks. The Equifax hack becomes the norm, because why bother with old-fashioned crime when you can grab it all?

We are not all hackers, certainly. But we are not immune to volunteering for a life hack or swapping out the old morality for the empty new.

Our time is about broadcasting a successful life, not living one.

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I want to make sure everyone knows I have it.

See! Look at this glamorous dinner/selfie with friends/exotic locale/gorgeous house I live in. Posting scenes has taken the place of living a life. Just living is not enough. We have been swindled out of having a self, enjoying a personal experience, a private feeling.

I believe people are sizzling with anger and unhappiness, even as they giggle and post their next meal.

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Keep in mind that lots of people confide in me.

Why else, if not internal rage and despair, is there so much hate and a growing enemy state right here in our neighborhoods?

We have Donald Trump, you should pardon the expression, a president who role models primitive reactive living. But let's not blame this empty king for our own behaviors.

We have happily bought social-media living and we choose to spend time there.

Further, we have sold out our lives to self-promotion on social media.

Sure, this was always the way in our society. Promote a social picture of how we want to be perceived. But now that social media is where we live, what that really means is that we live a 24/7 public-relations life.

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Perhaps we don't understand that we only faux-reveal ourselves on social media.

Whether it's failure, depression, loss, or the inability to function, we hide ourselves in the social-media gauze where we have private groups to soothe our public bouts of despair. But we have traded in true connection and so grief is unending.

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I am a writer, media analyst, and psychotherapist. I'm interested in comedy, satire, politics, entertainment, pop culture, and business; exposing how the media powerfully spins the news we hear, and how this spin creates our feeling states and (more...)
 

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Death By Social Media

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Arlan Ebel

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I completely agree with the main thrust of your article. But I sense that possibly under its surface you see this problem of reality-rejection as something that has emerged with social media rather than being itself the impetus for social media.

The entirety of recorded human history has been mostly an attempt to escape reality rather than embrace it and develop consciousness in accord with it. That is why consciousness remains so uneveloped.

Humans are still basically afraid of reality and this fear, if not overcome, will be the destruction of civilization as it was the creator of civilization.

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 24, 2017 at 8:41:45 PM

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Dr. Cheryl Pappas

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Thank you, Arlan, for your thoughtful response. I agree 100% with you that reality-rejection pre-dates social media, and that social media is a current consequence. I could have made that distinction clearer, I see!

As we follow our original fears away from truth, more seductive

devices arrive encouraging unconsciousness and the "convenience" of impersonality. I appreciate your smart analysis, and I wish the problem was, indeed, social media!

Submitted on Sunday, Sep 24, 2017 at 11:23:04 PM

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Arlan Ebel

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Reply to Dr. Cheryl Pappas:   New Content
What do you see as our "original fears"?

Submitted on Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 2:40:27 AM

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Em Sos

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Reply to Arlan Ebel:   New Content
Arlan Ebel, I await, with much curiosity, the answer Dr. Cheryl Pappas will offer to your question.

Submitted on Monday, Oct 2, 2017 at 6:54:06 PM

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Dr. Cheryl Pappas

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Reply to Arlan Ebel:   New Content
Arlan, thank you for asking for clarificaton. The fears I refer to as "original" are those which have always existed, pre-social media, in the human psyche. The "fight or flight" instinct is hard-wired in all of us. This goes wildly awry when triggered by extreme stress, grief, or abuse in childhood. It becomes trauma easily replayed. If we do not investigate our lives and the feelings that drive us, we are run by repeated anxieties and fears. Add to this the violence in our world which mirrors our personal fears, such as the horrific event in Las Vegas. The lack of personal investigation is a recipe for a small, terrifying life. Virtual living is not only convenient, it provides psychic shelter.

Submitted on Monday, Oct 2, 2017 at 7:52:03 PM

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