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The Dumbing Down of Society

When I studied journalism in college, one of the main things preached throughout my course plan was “responsibility.” According to these idealistic professors, the main job of a journalist was to present facts and information to the public in an accurate and responsible manner. We not only answered the five W’s (who, what, when, where and why) but we were supposed to ask ourselves at the same time, “Is this good for the community?”

That was the media as I learned it.

Well, thank you Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. for blowing a hole in that philosophy.

Technically, I have a Twitter account (feed?) but I rarely use it. Being in the journalism field and having to read through tweet after tweet of generally useless drivel (do I need to know the sun’s out and you’re happy?) with every other word misspelled is, I’m assuming, like being Lindsey Lohan’s drug counselor: you know a train wreck is happening right before your eyes. Seeing the English language butchered so frequently makes me want to cry.

And, apparently, people don’t know when to stop. The latest brain fade comes courtesy of NBA player LeBron James. Bron-Bron tweeted the other night about getting an escort to a police arena in Miami to watch a concert. Well, the public didn’t take too kindly to public tax dollars and police manpower being spent to make traffic a bit easier on a millionaire athlete. The facts of the matter are being investigated by the higher-ups in the Miami-Dade Police Department. All Bron-Bron had to do was keep his mouth shut and he could have continued to enjoy the perks of stardom but he couldn’t keep himself from tweeting.

Or how about the 18-year-old who copped to drunk driving on a Facebook post? The genius posted that he was “Drivin drunk… classsic)” and apologized to “whoever’s vehicle i hit.” Well, apparently his friends weren’t too impressed and he was turned into the authorities and arrested.

Then there was the Florida mom (man, what is it with Florida?) who posted a picture of her baby holding and chewing on a bong. Yep, you read that right…a bong. The 19-year-old mother’s defense was that there was no bowl in the “TABACCO” pipe and she was sending this to just one person.

I’ll quote the 18-year-old drunk driver here: classic.

Despite the propensity of stupidity on Facebook, Twitter still takes the cake, especially celebrity tweets. For instance, there’s Paris Hilton saying she didn’t go to England, she went to London. Then there’s musician Mary J. Blige wondering why people always try to “understand estimate” her “intelligents.” Sigh…the list goes on.

Facebook and Twitter especially have allowed the narcissistic among us to detail their lives and showcase their lack of education and, in some cases, intelligence. There are benefits to social media: instant news, catching up with people we’ve lost from our lives, the reaching out to new groups and sectors of society. That stuff is good for the community. But so much of what bombards those plugged in to social media is just garbage in that it’s hard to take seriously.

Now, excuse me while I check out my Facebook page.

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