Column: Call it anti-social media

Social media has become anti-social media. Sadly, that phenomenom has caused me to re-think my social media exposure.

I enjoy conversing and staying in touch with friends via social media.

I am on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

In my case, Twitter is used only for work purposes. I don’t believe I’ve posted anything on Snapchat in months.

Instagram is rather innocuous and doesn’t offend my sensibilities. It’s rare that I get frustrated with anything on Instagram. I peruse my account daily to see what my friends and relatives are posting. I put up a few photos, but probably average less than one a week. Still I enjoy the photos others others post.

There are dozens of social media networks I ignore.

But lately, most social media activity irritates me. I’m cutting back, and I have been for months, at first unknowingly, but lately on purpose.

On Facebook, I like keeping up with friends, family and others. In recent months, I’ve developed Internet friendships with several people who live in the former Soviet Union, Belarus, to be exact. We don’t speak the same language, but we still manage to share a few comments and photos. I love that stuff.

I try to stay away from political talk. Sometimes I can’t help it, and post something political. But invariably, I remember that there are no winners in political arguments on Facebook. My comments are often self-deleted, because it’s not worth my effort to argue politics on social media.

You really can’t win.

Some people want to argue. They live for it. Those folks, I choose to ignore. That includes people with differing political views and those with similar political leanings.

I have no problem with friends who have different political views than I.

I can agree to disagree with anyone.

But batter me over the head continuously with your viewpoint … and, well … good-bye. Don’t keep trying to change my view. It’s not going to happen.

I’ve lost touch with acquaintances for that reason. And while I miss those friendships,I’m not on Facebook to be political. I’m on the site to catch up with friends or co-workers or school mates I don’t see in person anymore.

Just agree to disagree and go on with your life.

National Hyperbole Week

The government shutdown is over and political foes are now playing nice again.

But what an embarrassment the past few days have been. The days following government shutdowns should be government-sanctioned holidays.

Let’s call them National Hyperbole Weeks. I have other names, but National Hyperbole Week is the one my computer dirty-word-filter doesn’t keep deleting.

When the government shuts down because hundreds of overgrown babies in Congress can’t get it together … the next week should automatically become National Hyperbole Week. The days after a shutdown are filled with so much hype and partial truths and outright lies that I want to crawl in a hole and die.

I used to get angry about this stuff. Then it just became sad that so many man and women elected to office by well-meaning voters could be so petty and loose with the truth.

Now? It’s become laughable.

The government shut down Friday at midnight. Soon, between “official” news releases from congressmen and congresswomen and their flunkies and Twitter accounts and Facebook pages and emails, the amount of lying and vitriol and truth-stretching grew exponentially.

It’s no wonder the public opinion of Congress has never been worse. It seems that the only thing elected officials truly care about is getting elected again. Those lawmakers do only what their constituents want, not what is actually best for their country.

The national media are as bad as politicians, so wrapped up in the lies and name-calling and blame-game and making names for themselves, that the truth is always forgotten.

It’s impossible for the electorate to know who is right and who is wrong.

Most of those in Congress do great things. But they ruin their credibility at times like these.

And that’s why voters trust no one in office.

There needs to be a truth detector that surrounds Washington, DC. Before anyone utters a statement, it needs to pass successfully through that truth detector. If the truth detector spits it out, then it never makes it onto the World Wide Web and to social media sites and into email accounts.

So who is really to blame for the chaos in Washington?

The Republican and Democratic parties are to blame. Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell and Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman are to blame.

Even those not currently in office are to blame. President Trump is at fault, but no more so than Barack Obama and Hillary and Bill Clinton.

The folks who run and appear on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and Fox News are to blame.

But mostly, we are at fault.

We elected the morons in Congress. And we keep listening to and believing that media does not play favorites.

How do we turn this around? Is it too late? What can we do?

I don’t know anymore.

We are so entrenched in our need to be right or left, republican on democrat, conservative or liberal, we’ve forgotten that the answer is usually something right down the middle.

There is something wrong with having to be 100 percent right all the time. There is something wrong with having to yell the loudest or write the the most vitriolic news releases. There is something wrong with hate-filled, half truth-filled campaign updates and emails.

There is nothing wrong with civil discourse and a willingness to compromise.

Am I really that old-school?

Russ Kent Galion Inquirer Kent Galion Inquirer


Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at