I don’t usually follow threads on social media but someone I appreciate posted something that I would describe as moderately controversial a few days ago and they got over 10,000 tweeted responses. So, bracing myself, I started to read the thread and couldn’t believe the stream of vitriol.
What good to you, the reader and overall society comes from crapping all over someone’s good faith attempt to address a perplexing question? First of all, likely few read all the comments and second even if they do the response is either a) @#$! yeah! (agree) or b) cripes that is depressing (disagree). So what have we done? We have satisfied a tiny dopamine craving and provided no social good and likely a social bad.
Instead of snarky tweets, why not do something good with your time? In 2008 New Brunswickers worked 670 million hours. In 2019 we worked 637 million hours. So we are working 13 million hours less each year (before Covid-19).
The volunteerism data from Statistics Canada suggests we are likely volunteering millions of less hours each year too in New Brunswick – although they advise caution with the data. This is particularly true – strangely – among older New Brunswickers, who presumably have more time on their hands these days (all this data is before Covid-19).
So we have 20+ million hours of more free time in New Brunswick and we decide to spend most of that time on social media.
According to one source, adult Canadians spend 1.5 hours per day just on social media (not including streaming video, listening to music or games). So, there are roughly 670,000 adults in New Brunswick (15+) at 1.5 hours per day and 365 days per year equating to 367 million hours on social media.
How about we shave 10% from our scrolling through Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter and put that time into something worthy like helping out a charity in our local community.
We will still have 10 hours a week for social media, outrage and snarky commenting (and no reduction of the 23 hours of TV or streaming media we watch on average each week).
If you volunteer more and help out your community, you might just end up with a little less righteous outrage and a little more understanding of the society around you.
I realize this is untimely advice in the time of Covid-19 but I still felt compelled…..