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The United States of America: Watching My Country Die One Conversation at a Time

Updated on May 12, 2020
Kyler J Falk profile image

Social issues can only be remedied by a collective acceptance of those opinions we view as opposing our own.

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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

Trickle-Down Cruelty

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.

Source

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?

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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!

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    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      10 months ago from California

      I'm also trying to take an active approach to recognizing that my abstract reality is not, in fact, reality itself. It is difficult, though, to write a piece and also explore that side of you that is wrong without waxing loquaciously, a problem I have even if I'm not trying to self-analyze. What makes it even harder is being attacked by people using their version of abstract reality as a tool for harm, rather than education.

      I highly value that you can go out of your way to admit it, and even make me feel comfortable in admitting that most of what I say is not correct, but simply evolving away from being completely wrong.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Rodric29 profile image

      Rodric Anthony 

      10 months ago from Surprise, Arizona

      "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!"

      I love that! It is so true in my estimation. No one I have read seems to consider they may be incorrect about an assumption, including me. I am actively working on my ability to self-correct.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      11 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Oh please don’t humor me. Tata

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      11 months ago from California

      Whatever helps you to feel more comfortable, it seems you are unwilling to break away from prejudice behavior even when I go out of my way to humor you. I don't entertain dead-end conversations any further than giving the truth.

      I hope you can escape your need to project partisanship on everything and everyone one day. Until then, see ya!

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      11 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Well, they’re not dividing us, this is “ faster than Biden sneaks a whiff of a little girl's hair.”

      That tells me all I need to know. No politician doing it whatsoever.

      Your statement is not civil discourse, it’s divisive. And it shows no respect for me as a voter.

      Which is ok, because I have zero respect for Trumpers, and don’t pretend otherwise.

      If you just joined here, don’t worry. There are a whole lot of people who claim to be independent, equal opportunity haters, etc.

      Inevitably, they all turn out to be rightwingers.

      Sometimes we say more with what we don’t say.

      “You play nice, while we smash your face” Is not gonna work.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      11 months ago from California

      I'm all for taking a stand, and your conviction is admirable. Yes, I tend to be politically inclined, slithering through the garden of morality like a serpent; so your judgement of me is not misplaced, and I won't have it be said I'm not, at the very least, an honest serpent when challenged. If you want my real opinion on the matter of politics, the opinion I rarely express so I may virtue signal more than I am being wholly honest, then I'll give it to you.

      I hate politics, and I hate all politicians. Where once I wanted to be a politician, I was unwilling to do away with honesty and that saw me ousted from many prestigious gatherings and groups faster than Biden sneaks a whiff of a little girl's hair. Based slightly in spite, peppered with envy, but overshadowed by a burning desire for transparency and verifiable change that affects the american people directly; I hope and beg for a violent revolution, a second revolutionary war.

      In that revolutionary war I'd like to take my place as a squad leader, bringing back old training the government gave me and put it to good use for the American people directly. However, I have found that no matter which way I present my views, dulled down or fully heated like this comment, there will always be more against me than there are for me.

      Case and point, our dialogue now shows that they'd rather see us divided from one another than rallied against them. I hope my candor is appreciated, but if not then c'est la vie.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      11 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      That was a joke to you?

      I found it offensive.

      Trump is accused of much worse than “gripping and sniffing“.

      Conveniently absent from your critique.

      I’d say pompous ass is tame. You also said you’d like to “take Biden out”. No such words about Trump.

      If you want to play the both sides game, fine.

      But like all people who claim to be “both sides” here, their preference, and yours, is clear.

      This is a war, and you have chosen a side.

      That’s my opinion.

      As the saying goes, there are no atheists in a pothole.

      Too many Trumpers and anti Biden progressives on this site.

      I am taking my stand.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      11 months ago from California

      I think my exact joke was, "Gripper and sniffer," and within that same joke I called Trump a pompous ass. Luckily it was within context of a heated debate occurring on a relevant article, and I agree that not abstaining is just another part of the vicious cycle. We can't all be perfect, anyone who thinks so is delusional; but we can strive to be more fair and impartial.

      I don't think many sane individuals would disagree with the vast swathes of evidence for Biden's unwarranted touching and sniffing, nor would they disagree that Trump is a pompous ass.

      Alas, I concede to your point that I am also part of the problem and I thank you for validating everything I've said up to this point.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      11 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      And you said Biden was a sniffer, or something.....on goes the cycle.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      11 months ago from California

      @Leslie: I agree, so we should cut the head off in a non-partisan show of unity. Partisanship got us here, serving the few who feed off the many. So rather than continue to feed any of those who only care for their own power, we could cease and desist, plant a garden for our neighbors, train those around us to fight, and stand strong on the defense of our own communities. All the while letting the politicians go at each other's throats, rather than letting them influence us to go at one another's.

      Alas, something tells me your sentiments come from a partisan standpoint. It may be the, "Ridin' with Biden," profile picture, or the immediate association of this article with the President rather than the self. So on goes the cycle, and on goes those of us watching as the paradigm crumbles.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      11 months ago from California

      @MG: If you want my prediction, it's going the way of all great nations in the past. Social collapse, and that's only if we don't start a war to hold it off for a little longer. The again, a miracle could happen and we all come together as a nation to elect competent leadership, but even that power we are said to have is little more than symbology.

      Within the next twenty years, if not as early as 2024, we will witness a heavy rewriting of civil rights and the destruction of the current social paradigm that is already in the early stages of collapse.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      11 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      There is no unity. There is this:

      https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/126207463383608934...

      Fish rots from the head.

    • emge profile image

      MG Singh emge 

      11 months ago from Singapore

      America's will have to thank deeply. There is so much division and animosity. I wonder where it's going to lead. Unity seems to be far away.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      11 months ago from California

      Thank you, Miss Dora, and may we all be contributors to the solution rather than the problem!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      11 months ago from The Caribbean

      You give Americans and everyone else some deep thoughts to consider. We are not totally unaware of these social dangers, but by spelling them out like you did, it brings them to the surface. Thanks!

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      11 months ago from California

      I'm very happy you agree with my sentiments on kindness, Donna! We as the people of the United States need to realize there is no, "We," as it concerns politicians and the people they govern. They are not on the ground with us, they are tasked with running things and we are tasked with supporting one another where they are failing. Kindness is that leap we need to make if we want any chance of retaining our wonderful country for one another.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Donna-Rayne profile image

      Donna Rayne 

      11 months ago from Sparks, Nevada

      Kyler, I agree with you 100%. Kindness goes a very long way and it's best we all talk to one another with respect and love. Slowly but surely this country is dying because so many people are asleep to what the government and/or elite are doing to this world. We need to stop them before it's too late and avoid their media traps!

      Great article!

      Blessings,

      Donna Rayne

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      11 months ago from California

      That sounds quite interesting, Linda, and having experienced virtual reality in many different capacities, from use for therapy to combat simulation, I can say that virtual reality is quite the interesting and potential-filled tool.

      I agree with your sentiment on empathy, and I think it really comes down to being unable to have the majority of conversation that is usually present (body language) completely absent online. When you insult someone in person, you can see every facet of their body language change and it expresses more than words could ever do. Body language is also a very large part of defense mechanisms that is completely eliminated online.

      So many pieces to this puzzle, it takes one article at a time to uncover it all and explore it; your addition is worthy of its own piece for sure.

    • Linda Courtney profile image

      Linda Courtney 

      11 months ago from Bloomsburg, PA

      I really do enjoy reading your articles as they are so insightful. I myself limit my social media viewing anymore as I can't take all the hurtful things I've read. I'm trying to surround myself with positivity and that doesn't do it for me. Some of it comes down to empathy. Since people have been spending more time conversing on the internet rather than in person they really do not have a sense of other people and where they come from. I'm reading a book right now called The Future of Feeling by Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips. She's writing about how virtual reality might be used to help people experience what others are going through in different situations in the hopes of developing more empathy from people so they aren't so quick to judge. I'm only half way through it and she's used a number of examples like being in a concentration camp or being in prison stuck in a small cell in isolation or even how it feels to be the recipient of bullying or sexual harrassment. It's hoped that virtual reality in this tech-obsessed world might help with better relationships. Time will tell, but the news and our leaders are definitely doing nothing at this point to help the cause.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      11 months ago from California

      Your analysis does provide more structure, and I thank you for it Chris.

      Per your questions:

      There are only two parties due to the underlying structure and laws that govern our government. We have a more central system, one where the power fluctuates based on the economy most often. If you want to bring in a new party, you have to both register under that party and get elected into a lower office under that party, then establish a presence in the people so that the lower houses get more of your party elected in down the line. However, independent or anything besides republican or democrat scares the American majority. Thus, "you wasted your vote," is a common phrase.

      The social media or the need to be cruel first, this has many facets and is worthy of its own article, but I'll try to keep it concise. As time goes forward we have a decrease in general welfare here in America. The wealth gap is becoming more and more severe as the capitalist monster demands, "Profit without a ceiling," or essentially our system demands an increase in profits every quarter or investors pull out and the business fails. In turn we see the consumer taking the brunt of the damage, with more unscrupulous tactics being adopted such as those mentioned in my, "Video Games Industry Secrets," articles; though no one really understands how that plays into politics and the overarching markets which are adopting their own versions. Basically I'd need to expand too far to hit that nail on the head. On we go to the general welfare facing a sort of artificial inflation under the capitalist idea of profit, much like the housing bubbles which helped to bring us into recession, and the middle class then separates farther and farther from the upper class.

      Once the wage gap gets so far apart, the inflation for profit becomes so high, we begin to see stress increase for most workers. The largest class of poor are competing with the middle class for bottom tier-jobs as people take on extra work, the ability to move up becomes null as more qualified people come in for side work and companies take advantage of extra hands over higher pay, and on goes the cycle of stress and unfair treatment.

      Ugh, there's so much more to this but I'd be sitting here writing all day if I explained. Basically social media provides an outlet for all this pent up rage, rage that we see our leaders and role models casting out on everyone, people think it is okay because everyone takes part in this in one way or another and the media uses it to kill the other side with accusations and character smears. It's a social cycle, one that ends with violence, much like the Romans saw an increase in as they expanded their borders.

      I hope I explained this well, but I'm afraid another piece would be needed to really explain it.

    • CHRIS57 profile image

      CHRIS57 

      11 months ago from Northern Germany

      Wow, i am deeply impressed by your article.

      I observe the US from the outside for almost 50 years with sympathy. One question always puzzled me. Why are there only 2 parties struggling for power? As young high school boy in the US, i researched and found: This bipartisanship is not in the constitution.

      Over time the many changes in society ask for solutions. If politics provide solutions, that are not satisfactory, this opens up trenches, cleavages. From what i had learned over the years, these cleavages are usually conquered by new parties. The new parties spread their roots in the cleavages and feed from disappointed and unsatisfied supporters of existing parties.

      If people think, government is not taking care of lets say environment, then a green party is born. If social and technological change makes the "working class" obsolete, then the working class party is disappearing. Change in society, change in social infrastructure is reflected by organised groups = parties in a democracy. Happened and happens in many countries in Europe, never happened in the US. Why?

      There is a deep cleavage in the USA. It is not a small ditch, it is a canyon. And if you want talk to the other rim, you have to shout, shout loud. That is where the cruelty is coming from. I am not sure that it is a trickle down effect. It might as well be a trickle up effect. People who are almost deaf, because they only shout, these people only listen to someone, who shouts loudest.

      About media and the hen and the egg: Was the need to be cruel first and the social media came later and was an amplifier or were the means of social media the initiator for cruelty? Just asking.

      I read through your article twice and i have the feeling, that in my layman analysis all the loose ends are getting a little bit structured. Thank you.

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      11 months ago from California

      Leslie, this is a facet I tend to ignore as it is one that is inevitable to be ignored completely. We live in a world of interconnectivity, that soon will be taken to a whole new level by technology symbiosis. However, as that is ten years or more away, with Elon's neural link being in the mid-stages of development, we must learn to adapt to the unavoidable. Now I fully agree with you if we could just cut this interconnectivity for everyone, limit our exposure to the most important community which is the one in our immediate vicinity, but this tech is only getting more invasive and prevalent.

      Thus it takes wonderful people, such as you, with an acute awareness of the problem to continue speaking out against it in public. We have to utilize what little power we are given, lest that be taken away too just like we see on social media. If the first step is social media silencing for anyone who dares to step out of line, such as youtube creators getting banned left and right regardless of stance, then the next steps make me even more worried.

      We can stop this dynamic now, before it becomes so prevalent that our entire social system collapses and America's fundamentals are rewritten. It will take blood, sweat, and tears of good people; but I'd rather go down fighting than in silence, even if I wish utter silence were the cure.

      Absolutely excellent and crucial input, Leslie, keep spreading these sentiments that all too often fall by the wayside!

    • lovemychris profile image

      Leslie McCowen 

      11 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      You are an excellent writer!

      But I have another take.....maybe we’re so awful online, BECAUSE we interact with people outside our community.

      Our communities are usually pretty “of one mind”.

      But, venture out, and you run into ideas you would never think to bring into your life.

      We have been terribly divided always. That’s why we had a civil war. That’s why we have different political parties.

      And I don’t see a way to end it, at all.

      For me, it began with “welfare queen”....demonizing poor women.

      Then, there was “you hate America”......

      How can you even begin to engage with people like that?

      Let’s not forget the horrible racist maligning minorities go through here.....China being the current craze.

      No.....the question is how do you get through to a hardened heart?

      Being nice gets you stomped on.

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