The word “social” has several definitions. One of those is what, I think, is meant when one talks about social media: “relating to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.”
A few weeks ago, someone posted on “social” media that Hazlehurst Mayor Bayne Stone had angered the owner of the Blueberry Plantation Golf Course and he pulled out of a deal to purchase the City of Hazlehurst’s golf course.
That was not true (see story on Page 1).
That post was unfair to Mayor Stone. And it was unjustly harmful to our city and our fellow citizens.
And last week, social media comments did additional harm to our city and our citizens.
Our city desperately needs more police officers. The Hazlehurst Police Department is disturbingly understaffed. Understaffed to the point that our citizens’ safety is at risk.
So the city council’s liason to the police department asked the moderator of the city’s Facebook (i.e. “social” media) page to develop something that would catch the attention of potential members of the city’s police force. So she did what she was asked to do.
I didn’t see it because I don’t do social media very often.
A few days later, I got an FYI email sharing that the moderator had resigned from handling the city’s Facebook page effective immediately.
She said she was “disillusioned,” “genuinely hurt,” and “devastated by the vitriol that has resulted from posts I have made that meant no harm.” (My emphasis.)
So I went to Facebook to see what had so hurt her and, after reading it, my heart ached for her.
I’ve known this lady for decades. She is a living, breathing, kind, gentle, intelligent, well-meaning human being with feelings and emotions. She meant no harm. She was making a genuine effort to do what was asked of her. She didn’t deserve what was said about her on Facebook.
She was rightfully devastated by the uncaring remarks posted about her. And the commenters didn’t even know her identity.
“Social” media too many times changes people, enabling them to post mean-spirited comments they probably wouldn’t make in a face-to-face conversation.
This was just one of many examples of why I despise “social” media and what it is doing to our community — our nation.
Social: “relating to or designed for activities in which people meet each other for pleasure.”
I find nothing pleasurable about the mean things said about my friend in response to what was really not meant to be harmful.
And through her tears she still says she wishes them well.
The city has lost one of its best promoters.
My heart aches for her.