A Rare Ode to Social Media — Nicole Sallak Anderson

Nicole Sallak Anderson
9 min readNov 6, 2022
image via Pixaby

With the news of Elon Musk buying Twitter, the pros and cons of social media are yet again in the news. Depending on which direction you lean-right or left; those standing tall in the middle don’t matter-Musk’s intrusion on Twitter is either the worst thing that’s ever happened or the funniest. While I’d suggest that the fate of Twitterdom isn’t as important as any self-absorbed blue-check-verified Twitter user might believe, it has led me to envision a sort of fantasy-one in which each of our narcissistic billionaires (I’m looking at you Bezos and Gates) buys a major share of a social media outlet and drives it to ruin in his unique way. Musk is killing Twitter for liberals; I imagine Gates could kill Facebook for conservatives and who knows what damage Bezos could to do TikTok kids. Fire everyone, piss off your advertisers, threaten to remove the direct lines of communication that make users most happy. Ah, that would do it, and it would help humanity in ways most folks haven’t considered.

I’ve been watching the world for a while now, and there’s no doubt that the rise in anxiety, social disorders, and insane thinking in our societies today can be pinpointed to the rise of the smartphone in our pockets. Not necessarily the social media apps themselves, but the constant stream of data we allow into our lives. This is causing measurable brain damage at a mass scale. Spend one moment on Iain McGilchrist’s website and you’ll understand the picture. A simple example: I’ve heard many folks mourn the loss of friends since Covid hit the scene. The losses have been tragic for some, not only because they had a disagreement with someone about how to manage the whole affair, but because the other person has demonized them while also demonstrating neurotic and violent behaviors never seen before. Most folks assume this is because the other person has been indoctrinated by misinformation. This could be true, but what if the real issue is the amount of information the person has consumed?

I had friends send me fear based information on a daily basis from both sides of the argument; those who would tell me to never leave my house again or I’ll die of Covid or worse, and those who told me that if I took the jab, I’d suffer immeasurable damage. The fear and anger from them felt very similar, to the point where I had to ask…

Nicole Sallak Anderson

Novelist, California wildfire survivor, essayist. Find my latest novel, It Takes Two, a romance with a reincarnation twist @Amazon. www.nicolesallakanderson.com