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Given the choice, choose kindness

By Walter Geiger I cannot recall when I first stumbled across Facebook but I remember I was initially unimpressed and thought this sort of like coloring books ‘“ just for kids. Turns out I was wrong and, yes, I am aware that there are coloring books for adults. There are even coloring rooms for students at Georgia State University. That’s the safe place the kids there fled to when they stumbled across some pro-Trump graffiti penned in chalk on campus and could not get their mommies on the cell phone. Apparently, its all unicorns, cuddles and crayolas in the coloring room. But, at seminar after seminar, I was told newspapers needed a Facebook page. As time passed more and more of my friends urgently remarked, ‘You mean you are not on Facebook?’. Eventually our young daughters wanted Facebook pages so I broke down and got the social media savvy folks at our office to create one for me so I could see what all the fuss was about. Friends I never knew I had popped out of the social media woodwork like maggots on a dead buzzard. I friended everybody except the far-gone kooks and porn posers because this supposedly was another way to promote our work to the masses. As a result, I now have the news feed from hell. But, for awhile, it was fun. I connected with long-lost friends – some from as far back as junior high. Millennials, that is what we used to call middle school for what it is worth. Sadly Facebook has declined. It has become crassly commercial and I have no doubt it slants the stories which get pimped on it as ‘˜news’. I am also sick and tired of seeing photos and video of the hideous toe fungus that occurs right before prostate cancer, a brain tumor or that messy, pesky irritable bowel syndrome. I would rather deal with the ailments than watch stuff like that. Several of my friends have cut the cord and now deride this forum as Fay’s book. From a news perspective, much of the information posted amounts to completely unreliable rumors couched as the absolute truth. Fay’s book now holds the same status in the newsroom as the police scanner. You may glean a tip or two a day from it but most of the time the real story does not approach the sensational status Fay and her friends have attached to it. I have heard this medium described as the gossip from the barber shop or the beauty parlor transported to the modern age and projected through one of the ghetto blaster stereos people used to carry before some gangster rapper invented Beats headphones and Apple made him a gangster billionaire. I am also continuously amazed at some of the things folks post on Facebook. People will type their anger and lash out at others in ways they would never do to their victims’ faces. That is a very rare occurrence at the barber shop or at least at the one I frequent. I recently read a quote that was attributed to the late Dr. Wayne W. Dyer that those who live the vast portions of their lives in the realm of social media should tape to their computers and their bathroom mirrors. Dr. Dyer said, ‘When given the choice between being right and being kind, always choose kind.’ Take that to heart before you get enraged over a social media post that contains information that most likely has been vastly exaggerated. Those of us down at the barber shop would appreciate it and countless others will, too. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette.

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