By Kyle Harding

opinion editor

easterner.opinion@gmail.com

I used to think reality television was the best place to go to watch the slow collapse of western civilization.

Now I know it is Facebook. What good is watching people I will never meet, who could be actors cast in a role for all I know, prove themselves to be idiots? I can just log into my Facebook account and watch real people who I have known for years demonstrate their idiocy day after day.

Facebook is where I can go to see people I have personally heard utter the phrase, “Don’t believe everything you see on TV” blindly pass along obvious misinformation.

Miss those chain emails from the 90s? Don’t worry, somebody has a status update for that. Facebook can oversimplify a complex sociological, political or economic situation for you. Facebook can paint the grayest of areas into nice, neat black and white. Facebook can make you feel that if you “like” a post about breast cancer or special needs children or share a picture of an African kid with a cleft palate that you are actively making the world a better place.

Don’t like the president? Facebook is a place where you can find a picture of him and his wife placing their left hands over their hearts instead of their right at the sight of the American flag. That proves they are America-hating secret Muslims. Don’t worry about how the machine you are using to share that picture can be used to flip photographs.

Facebook is a great place to share fake news stories that affirm your political views. There is no need to check elsewhere if they are true, Facebook would not lie to you. Facebook is an awesome place to share quotes that validate your position. There is a perfect quote just waiting to support your position on anything. I think Morgan Freeman said it.

Facebook has degenerated from being a useful way to communicate with people to a glaring spotlight on our stupidity. Memes and pictures with text superimposed over them dominate my newsfeed. Friends of mine share supposedly “edgy” pictures and statuses to showcase the dark or sarcastic sense of humor they believe themselves to have, but the jokes are all lame and played out, and putting them over the top of a picture of people in Victorian era clothes does not change that. All caps and multiple exclamation points are the calling card of the modern imbecile, and they litter every poorly constructed post filled with misspelled words.

I am ready to call it a day on social networking. Alas, I am trapped. I chose a profession that requires I stay in touch with what is going on. Facebook helps me keep a finger on the idiotic pulse of pop culture. But if you have a job that does not require a social media presence, do yourself a favor. Get out while you still have your sanity. Kill your Facebook.