Serving the Big Horn Basin for over 100 years

Karla's Kolumn: What happened to communicating?

No one truly communicates any more and social media platforms are not really for socializing anymore and that's unfortunate.

NFL starting safety Jermaine Whitehead for the Cleveland Browns played Sunday and was waived on Monday, not because of his performance, but rather it was after he tweeted threatening language to some fans.

According to media reports Whitehead was getting criticized by fans for missing two big tackles during the Browns loss to the Denver Broncos.

Social media makes it easy for people to criticize, attack and bully people. You don't have to see their face, you don't have to come to the full realization of how your words can impact someone's life.

So in my scenario both the fans who attacked Whitehead for his bad game and Whitehead himself should not have been allowed on social media because they can't handle it.

But the other problem with social media is it has lost its purpose and its focus.

Social means "needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities" or "an informal social gathering, especially one organized by the members of a particular club or group."

But social media is no longer about reconnecting with old friends, it's about chain letters (if you don't read the end of this post you're not my friend, if you don't share this you don't love Jesus, if you click on this you will win airplane tickets).

Facebook is about memes and satire and fake news or old, old news, case in point the story about Harry Morgan dying circulated this weekend and he died eight years ago.

Snapchat and Instagram have filters so you can have fun with photos. I'll be honest the only time I usually get on Twitter is to check the NASCAR race updates or sports updates or see what's trending.

The only social part about any of the social media platforms lately seems to be people attacking one another through different posts or commenting on posts.

So instead of taking tests to determine if you are mature enough to post and read posts on social media, perhaps it is time we just get back to actually socializing.

While technology supposedly has made it easier for us to connect and communicate we actually seem to be communicating less.

I can text chat with a friend and its superficial things or abbreviated comments. But, when I call her on the phone we can chat quite a while about a lot of different things that we likely would not have texted about.

We are all victims of technology. When email came everyone was so excited because we could correspond faster and not wait for the mail. Now we have instant chat apps like Facebook Messenger and again instead of actually communicating, we're sending short messages, or worse - we're sharing memes, videos, chain letters, spam, viruses - but we're not communicating.

America has lost the art of communicating.

I remember writing my sister long letters when she first went off to trade school. My mother had oodles of stationery as she wrote to many friends on a regular basis. She talked to her mother on the phone every evening and one of her friends several times during the week.

I doubt she would have liked just sending out a quick text or a tweet.

But, going back to Whitehead and his fans, I believe if they had actually communicated in person then the tone and the words and the language and the attitude on both sides would have been very different.

If Whitehead had spent time communicating with friends and family about the game and about his frustrations on the loss instead of reading comments from total strangers, perhaps he would still be with the Browns.