Has Social Media Turned Us Into Idiots?

Bob Gerometta
3 min readMay 24, 2022

Maybe not — but it sure has shortened our attention span

We’ve all heard the rants about social media: it is filled with vitriol, it is all about marketing, only celebrities get major attention, etc. But certainly we can get past what we don’t like there using blocking and muting — even though that is a pain in the ass.

In my humble opinion, vitriol, marketing, and celebs crowding the spotlight are not the issues with social media. Before we gt into my evaluation, let’s understand one thing — social media has replaced all other internet applications for dispensing information — whether it be truth, fiction or elaboration. People rarely visit websites unless they are “news” sites,and they are just social media on an extended scale.

A good deal of this is caused by the fact that people use their phone for internet browsing — especially when they are at work and can’t use their office PC because where one goes and what one is looking at is usually monitored. I won’t get into how sitting at your desk with your cell phone in your lap watching a dog chase a Frisbee is effecting efficiency . . . that’s a whole other story.

People on their phones — social media is perfect for pushing out material. All the “apps” let one quickly see what is going on — little browsing is required. And it carries over to non-business hours too. It’s so easy to click and “see” what’s happening. It has “trained” us to make little effort to use the net for what it was intended — to bring real information to our fingertips.

But why bother? Our phones allow us to quickly move about, see what tickles our fancy, and get at whatever we want. Social media and our phones have trained us to be lazy — intellectually lazy, my friends.

Take a close look at the linkage between your phone’s apps and TV. Whether you change a channel or click on another app, you are being subjected to a “stream” — you are not seeking out information. It’s being pushed out to you — just like TV. Social media is now nothing more than another one way push of information. Oh, you can respond to posts, but unless it’s a close friend, your response goes into the quicksand of AI, where statistics are counted, the person is not responding to you — just caching your response.

Bob Gerometta

Gear head, archivist, historian, mystery writer — I’ve been called a “renaissance man”, but I’m very, very sure . . not