Tuesday, April 14, 2015


     I am 1-billion Facebook users, 5.5 million Twitter users whose Tweets or posts flow through our Technological Social Media arteries. My virtual friends “share” items which flow through my Social Media accounts. Because my “friends” are “friends” to others who are “friends” to others, and so on to others; I imagine the sense of “self” of this largest group is a giant cultural bloodstream of real-time, unedited and uncontrolled messaging. After all, the theory of “3-degrees of separation” might be in play here.  Friend-to-friend, post-by-post we “share” with one another good things and bad things: nice celebrations, reports of wrongs by governmental agencies, pictures of my vacation, death by cops, violence and corporate greed; incidents which none of us individually, our family, or friends, can control in any way. We are really sharing cultural powerlessness. We are powerless over what technology reports, and in some cases causes to happen in and to our culture.
     In many ways we are powerless over our own bodies as well. In the physical disease of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) the body’s capacity to resist “foreign” cells or “infection” fails because the number of white (defensive) blood cells is diminished. The white blood cells defend the overall system by going to all of the cells in the body and determining which are “me” and which are “not me” (foreign). The white blood cells destroy the “not me” cells (the infection) and protect the integrity of the body.
     What plays out day-to-day in Technological Social Media are reports of political gridlocks, terrorist attacks, protests, fear over anger and hatred which go against our personal values, ideals or morals which once we shared with genuine fiends before “virtual friends”. That’s what made them friends. We shared values and priorities. Once it was genuine and real. Now it is pretense.
There is no technological “white blood cell” mechanism (no Technological Immune System) to test whether or not the things flowing along via Social Media are “me” (my values) and they go unfiltered and unchecked directly into my consciousness. Many are false posts. Some are really ads. Some are lies consciously planted by provocateurs who wishes we would buy their “remedy” to the fear they promote, support their “cause” so they can “save” us, or they work for someone else.
     This media stream is overloading my heart. Sometimes I feel revulsion, sometimes my “friends” say they are going out to buy guns, sometimes I get a dose of fear, my heart grows hard, my capacity to know my community as genuine “Friends” is compromised, my life is gerrymandered away by foreign (“not me”) forces. I am losing my strength. Am I suffering from technological Social Media AIDS?

     The French Revolution happened within a society when one sub-culture within that country was overwhelmed by the values and priorities from another, more dominant culture. The peasants got out their technology – the guillotine - in order to eliminate the overly pernicious, fiercely greedy, aristocracy. They performed “Cultural Surgery”. It was a revolution which instituted the “rights of men.” “All the Kings horses and all the Kings men could not put Humpty-French-Monarchy together again.”
We don’t have Monarchy – we have Corporatism. Technological Social Media serves Corporations and the message flow down the technological arteries shows that the “old order” of “me” values like citizenship, brotherhood, equality and civic power are being swamped or infected by economic priorities, partisan values and sectarianism. Regardless of which cultural values you treasure, you probably rarely see yours reflected on technological Social Media.  We are unraveling.
     When you treat actual AIDS you may find that the amount of medicine and its power, may kill the patient. Treating technological Social Media AIDS, if such a thing were possible, may be so painful and require such sacrifices many citizens would object, the same way “loyalists” defend the “crown” in previous revolutions.
     Those in control, sometimes called “tyrants”, never want to lose control, and so respond, gain strength and push back against any attempt to curtail their power. The AIDS virus actually degenerates all parts of the body to feed itself. The Social Media AIDS will do the same.

     Resist the urge to blame: we are not the only “Social” who have chosen to use “Social Media”. The Media serves multiple corporations, governmental agencies, international states and their paid provocateurs, who are your and my friends and relatives.  Data gathering, based on words we use is shared to marketers, and Governmental Security agencies. So, there are very large, powerful entities who value technological Social Media and they arise from multiple directions at once. But, this is only technology. You control all technologies by using the “off” switch. Or, you can change the dynamics in the technological stream  by flooding the social media with messages of other principles and values. You as an individual choose to change the message.
The U.S. was founded on universal spiritual principles: religious liberty, economic brotherhood, and equal rights. If we, each of us as individuals, reclaim these principles in our own non-technological, human lives; our own personal actions with one another, we can, from the inside, build a new Human Social Media which will create Cultural White Blood Cells and our renewed Culture will reject the forces of greed, fear and hatred, the “not me” forces of the oligarchy and their supporters which flow through the Technological Social Media.

© Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved

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