The growth and success of social networking is evident our culture. Due to this success, news media outlets are more frequently allowing user comments at the end of the majority of news articles. Many of them even accept replies to comments so that a public dialogue/debate can go forth. This has been a blessing for the news media outlets, as it allows advertisers to get their name seen by the same people repeatedly.
However, it also shows that we have a large number of experts in just about every field out there! And when the “experts” are silent, others who are more judgmental (even hateful) crawl out of the woodwork. For example:
CNN News Headline #1: US is 18th in the World in Education
User Comment #1: We’re losing the race! We need to get more engineers, physics majors, etc. out into the workplaces pronto.
Replies #’s 1-4: I agree! I can’t believe that the US is now behind all of these other countries.
CNN News Headline #2: Radiation Problems Continue in Japan
User Comment #1: I have a PhD in Nuclear Physics. The problem in Japan isn’t that severe. It’ll take time, but no worries, folks.
Reply #1: I have a PhD in Nuclear Physics as well. Are you crazy!? This is a serious problem! I don’t want to use fear tactics or anything, but this problem is much more severe than you make it out to be…
Reply #2: I have an advanced degree in chemical engineering and I’ve worked in Nuclear Energy for 25+ years. You’re both right, but here’s what people really to know…
Reply #3: Wow, apparently the US isn’t at all behind in our Education system. “Experts” are everywhere!
This is a simple example. A worse one would be:
FoxNews Headline: 4-year old Kidnapped in Park
User Comment #1: It’s our Mooslem Kenyan President’s fault! The family allowed the child to be kidnapped on purpose because the health care bill will be detrimental to their family...and the rest of the nation, too!
There will ultimately be 20 replies, with many of them justifying the political statement made in the original post, but going on to say they’ll be praying for the family and the well-being of the child. Seriously? This is the best they can come up with? Perhaps our Education system is more behind than we realize.
Note to Self: Stop reading user comments. Just stop. While observing culture should continue to remain important, reading these comments swings wide the door to a judgmental attitude (Romans 2:1). Always remember that there will be scholars and philosophers ready to share their “wisdom”, but that true wisdom comes in preaching Christ crucified (Proverbs 2:6; 1 Cor. 1:20-25).