The United States of America: Watching My Country Die One Conversation at a Time
America is dying, there is no arguing this point because it is becoming more and more self-evident as Americans become increasingly less self-aware. Each and every day there are millions, billions, trillions of social exchanges in the world; but here in America those exchanges are dominated by bitterness and spite. This isn't to say bitterness and spite are solely American traits, no, this is to say that Americans are letting these traits dictate nearly every interaction that isn't strictly compulsory.
Where once my country was a place I wanted to be, a land and people I would die for, it is quickly becoming the grounds for derision, division, and dictatorship.
A man cannot save his own life when even his leaders and role models are celebrating the plummet to their own demise.— Kyler J. Falk
Recently I came up with a phrase to describe what it is I believe to be the root cause of the degeneration of America, that phrase is trickle-down cruelty and it encompasses everyone's behavior in America. When even your leaders are unable to act like mature, civilized individuals, how is anyone supposed to move forward into a brighter future? The answer is that you either get lucky, or you enjoy the fall to your demise.
Make no mistake, as our leaders lash out at one another with every word, sharpening them like blades to cut deep into their opponents with great effect, we are not victimless. These types of interactions are absolutely abnormal, and most of the world would agree with me when I say that; yet, most Americans would not sit and agree with these sentiments despite their blaring truth. A lack of agreement, an inability to meet in the middle-grounds, and a deep desire to destroy your opponents outright lies at the foundation of American societal collapse.
Let's discuss the topic of immigration for a little bit here, a topic widely used as a tool of trickle-down cruelty, and subsequently performative cruelty; you won't find a much more volatile topic than this in America. The President and his opponents frequently and with great fervor paint their views of this topic with as much controversy as possible. Their goal is not to present a solution, no, their goal is to garner as much hatred for their enemies as they can and send their followers out like wild dogs to attack the mutts of the other side.
This is American politics, it is trickle-down cruelty, and so long as people want to be the lapdogs of wannabe dictators the cruelty will only get worse. Our country is dying at the fundamental levels of society, and this can be observed well on the platforms most readily available for observation and use... social media.
Social Media Massacres
I don't just see mild, inconsequential bickering when I scroll through social media. It isn't like walking down a busy outdoor mall walkway and overhearing an ignorant conversation, then going on about my day without a care. No, I see attempted genocides all throughout social media on a myriad of different topics, literal attempted massacres.
Now this isn't because people are evil, disgusting creatures who thrive only upon the emotional and physical suffering of others, although some of them may be; this is because social media has allowed us to have a conversation with the world rather than just our immediate community. In an immediate community you cannot act this way and get away with it, but on social media you can get away with just about anything and have an army to applaud you and back you up. This is a symptom of trickle-down cruelty, it is performative cruelty.
Essentially, when people go on social media to argue they aren't out for reaching a mutual outcome that benefits everyone to the best of everyone's determination; people go on social media to hurt those they perceive as enemies as deeply and irrevocably as possible. How could they know any better? Even their leaders and role models want them to do this, and when mommy and daddy dictators tell us to do something, they encourage our thoughtless and insensitive behavior, so do we follow like good dogs.
The far-reaching consequences of what so many in America view as totally normal are taking their toll, and people need to recognize this sort of behavior is the beginning of the end of America as we know it. We already see the symptoms that are most readily observable, social media sites going out of their way to limit freedom of speech under the guise that we cannot behave properly with our rights.
It is time to shape up before the silent fear this behavior is creating offers a door of opportunity to tyranny, the same tyranny that has been knocking since the inception of our wonderful country.
Americans would rather tie you up like a hog, bleed you on a stage for all to see, than let you have a say against their beliefs. They do the same to one another, and their leaders use this to the advantage of tyranny.— Kyler J. Falk
Silent and Unexpressed Fear
As the use of social media becomes increasingly prevalent, to the point where social media is the only social contact many people get in their lives, so increases a silent and unexpressed fear of real-life interaction. Many people are afraid to speak in public because of the shaming and performative cruelty they get from those who use social media as a shield to hide behind, and the trauma of repression is seeing a withdrawal from social interaction as a whole. This fear, I believe, is the driving factor in increased suicide rates and the ongoing decline of America's social infrastructure.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. and if you take a look at what many people say in their emotional posts on social media, the plethora of different calls for help, we'd be able to surmise collectively that the social structure of America is collapsing. You can't make a post, not a single post that calls for social justice, without someone attacking you for it. Here in America, the land of the free and home of the brave, we are slaves to our own cruel oppression and it is driven by our silent fears.
What are we afraid of? I'll tell you the answer to that concisely: We as Americans are afraid of being wrong!
Strange, don't you think? Yet if we look at what triggers people the most, what really grinds their gears and is the source of argument to begin with, is our incessant need to be right about every little thing. We in America fight tooth and nail for every little inch of what we believe in, and that pride is blinding us to those who'd stand right by our side if only we saw our common enemies.
Alas, our common enemies are the Americans we hold so dearly, in positions we cherish deeply, and so we choose to distance ourselves into isolated echo chambers.
Do you think that the social infrastructure of America is collapsing?
Social Distancing Without a Virus
I say that here in America we have been practicing the act of social distancing long before any viruses came along and demanded it of us. It's called the two-party system, and it dictates the very core of American politics and social infrastructure. You'll never see someone so bitingly bitter, even with their own friends as they feign camaraderie, than when discussing things from a partisan standpoint.
Sure, at the end of the day a rare few can pretend like they're friends despite their blaring differences in social belief, but if the minority dictated what was right and wrong in America then we'd all be better off. Things aren't all peaches and cream, however, because Americans are drastically abandoning community ideals in droves so as to pursue isolation from their countrymen who'd rather hang them than give them a voice.
Equally, those who find themselves brave enough to withstand the onslaught are really just jamming their fingers in their ears, spinning around screaming, "La La La La La La La, I can't hear you! La La La La La La!" and that isn't bravery, because as soon as their perceived opponent is done berating them as they twirl so do they take on the position of aggressor. No progress is being made, and at the end of this pitiful show they go back to their echo chambers and sob uncontrollably about how everyone is seeking to oppress them.
What many would call hypersensitivity, snowflakey behavior, or any other demeaning and hatefully connotative terms, has now become the fundamentals for the collapsing social systems in America and everyone is both victim and perpetrator!
How do you fight an invisible enemy that infects everyone at the social level, presents itself as friendly and progressive, all the while it derides and divides even the closest of relationships? With fair and impartial love, acceptance, and understanding!— Kyler J. Falk
Stop Before It Is Too Late
Each and every time you feel like you need to join in on an argument, to add your two-penny worth, to lace each and every sentence with hateful connotations and biting wit... take a second to stop and reword what you say. There is no reason we can't all have fair and impartial discussion, the type of discussion that brings positive change and understanding for the better of all. I mean come on, we've been taught these sentiments since the time we were able to talk.
At least I hope we have all been taught the elementary phrase, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," because it really does wonders as far as reaching healthy conclusions. You can say nearly anything you want, on any topic you want, without ever insulting anyone or trying to hurt them deeply. Heck, you could even hurt people indirectly if you so desire it, just by being better than them through love and acceptance!
All I ask, all I have been asking for years, is that we stop this collapse of America and that starts with individuals taking it upon themselves to abstain from the current downward spiral of the American social paradigm. An act of kindness as small as abstention can travel the entire world over. Imagine scrolling online and never feeling angry, sad, or full of pity for your fellow Americans as they attack one another?
Stop giving our leaders and role models reason to play on our frail emotions. Be America's strength in the face of its increasing weakness!