13 New Ways Social Media Hurts Your Intelligence


Who dunnit?

The moon refused to hide our sins just as the sun denied us our blessing.

Perhaps it shined brightly but all was lost in the twilight of the moment.

Once we had been kings but hubris had stolen our crowns.
Who Dunnit

Several hours ago I watched the ignorance of social media rear its head and pretend to be noble as it attempted to slay the dragon it thought it saw.

Being of unsound mind and a body built for demolition I waded into the fray and rained blows down upon the knights who stabbed a paper tiger, listened to them chant and praise their actions and when I tired of banging heads I left.

Left knowing that I probably hadn’t won the hearts and minds of those I had engaged with. One tried to taunt to me as I walked away by pointing out a typo.

Part of me looked at it and wondered if this was the kind of person who looked at the concentration camps and figured that whomever was in there deserved to be there because they supported the people who ran the camps.

Dark Moods, Children And Murder

Sometimes I kid around and tell you about my shriveled black heart but not now. Now it aches because the children and I talked about why people hate and I did my best to answer questions about genocide.

Hitler came up during dinner and not because he was wanted, needed or called forth. My daughter shared a story from school about Germans and how some people saluted and called them Hitler.

If I told you the full tale you would hear an innocuous beginning and maybe you would understand why I took the opportunity to explain why I don’t find him to be funny.

I wont raise my children to be afraid of people and the world but they can’t afford to be ignorant about history. Look at what is happening in France and it is impossible not to wonder about whether it will spread.

When they attack Jews and draw swastikas on them it is hard not to be both sad and angry. It is hard not to wonder if it wouldn’t be helpful to pay a special visit to some of these areas and demonstrate the consequences of messing with the wrong person.

It reminds me of that line in Gran Torino

Walt Kowalski: Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have fucked with? That’s me.

But beating the crap out of those who come after my people doesn’t necessarily remove the poison in their veins.

How Many Did They Kill Dad?

It is a very basic conversation about the Holocaust. It is not the first time she has heard of it but at a hair short of ten it has always seemed distant and unreal, impossibly far away.

I am torn. I don’t want to give her nightmares but I worry and nothing has proven to me a need not to. The hijackers came to the US and used our planes to murder 3,000 people.

Daniel Pearl went to my high school. My friends older siblings knew him.

Members of my family were murdered by the Nazis. I have heard the survivors speak, seen the tattoos.

I believe there are more good people than bad in the world. I tell the children about our cousin’s husband and how his family was part of the Dutch resistance, explain they weren’t Jewish and talk about how they risked their lives.

My son shares some of what he has learned and the kids talk about what they have heard in school. My daughter looks at me, “daddy how many people in our family did they kill?”

Who dunnit?

Most weeks I try to practice my writing by participating with one of the online writing groups. Who dunnit is one of those exercises. You have to use 42 words to tell a story, no more and no less.

Forty-two was Jackie Robinson’s number. I could have related the story to him but that was too easy. Got too many other stories inside and the one about the celestial planets is burning up inside so I had to get it out. Will probably add to it. It makes me smile, helps to provide some balance.

The kids expect me to protect them. Son tells me before bed he has no doubt I would do whatever it took to make sure the family stays safe. I nod my head and smile. I have no doubt that I would but pray I never have to find out.

Later on I catch a couple of glimpses of the social media morons from earlier and I shake my head, wonder if it was worth engaging. Did I help anyone or did I lose a couple of IQ points for nothing.

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  1. TheJackB April 8, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Rochelle Fritsch  I agree. I have a hard time believing they have any interest in asking themselves hard questions about why they believe as they do.

    Very disappointing,

    That sounds like a hard conversation to have with your daughter. I know how hard it was for us to talk about that kind of hate here, it makes even less sense to children. Not really sure I can even say it makes sense but…

  2. Rochelle Fritsch April 8, 2014 at 6:12 am

    I think people who post, expound or bloviate or whatever you wanna call blowing hot, hateful air don’t have a desire to be enlightened or learn anything, no matter how logical. They think they know everything there is to know about whatever they’re expounding, bloviating or whatever you wanna call it. They just want everyone to hear it.
    Shaking the dust from your shoes at them and tending to the folks who want to understand is the best you can do…and that’s what you’re doing with your kids. Keep at it.
    I run into a similar snag with our daughter. Family history research turned up the brutal lynching of several family members, so there’s the thing of balance in explaining that things like that were a reality, but most of all that not ALL white people are terrible — especially important as her dad  — my husband is white.
    It gets sticky, but we do our best. That’s all we can do.

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