Let’s make 2018 our year of living more humanely

It seems we cannot log onto any form of social media today without being bombarded with negative images, twisted memes and a host of other forms of nastiness that seek to play to the very worst of our instincts and frailties, fears and demons, as we are invoked and provoked in the name of furthering some political or ideological cause.

False claims abound telling us with great and unverified authority that refugees-criminals-foreigners-welfare recipients-(your favourite boogieman goes here) are being treated better than veterans-seniors-homeless Canadians-(your favourite downtrodden Canadian) by the provincial-federal-international organizations.

Despite the overwhelming preponderance of declarations by the scientific community that climate change is upon us, is human caused and is fast reaching crisis (read human extinction) proportions, ideologues will fly in the face of all evidence to declare the whole thing a massive hoax perpetrated by left wing/environmental activists or some other group of acolytes that follow that perfidious demon sometimes known as David Suzuki. Reason and well documented facts need not apply—just look outside, it’s so cold that it’s obvious “global warming” is some kind of sick environmentalist joke. It’s snowing in Florida for crying out loud.

The whole sorry mess is enough to drive any reasonable human being mad.

In case you have not heard, most of these social media contrivances (and that counts both left wing and right wackiness, let’s not just pick on the right as tempting as the Donald might make that approach to most Canadians) are what is known in Internet parlance as clickbait. It is all designed to blow our minds and get us to click and share. With each of those click and shares dollar signs light up in the cash registers of a group of trolls that probably don’t give a Hootsuite about those of your personal demons they are playing on.

As we slowly watch our well-meaning New Year’s resolutions to walk more, eat/drink less, quit smoking or perhaps even call mom more often, fall by the wayside, let’s just try to hold onto a resolution to treat our fellow human beings/pets/undocumented aliens with a little more humanity. We can start by resisting the temptation to share any (yes that means even Trump-bashing) social media memes that vilify or denigrate others, whoever they may be. It’s a simple thing. Just say no to click and shares of any kind of nastiness—no matter how much we agree with the sentiment.

That one little lack of movement will help ensure that a lot of the fictional news that is investing our timelines will quickly disappear and you will be helping to make 2018 a better and more humane year.