Did social media play a role in the coldblooded murder of Robert Godwin, Sr., by Steve Stephens over the weekend, as live-streamed on Facebook?
Stephens obviously wanted his ex-girlfriend to see him do it, so that she would feel guilty for the rest of her life for the old man’s death. Now, Stephens is also, very obviously, a sociopath, who probably would have killed somebody at some point for some self-aggrandizing reason. Certainly, though, he killed Mr. Godwin because he could stream it. It wasn’t about Godwin. He was just a kindly old man at the wrong place at the wrong time. He was a prop in Steve Stephens’ grotesque Movie of The Week. Without the allure of instant infamy that comes with live-streaming a murder, perhaps Mr. Godwin would still be alive today, collecting his soda cans along the highway.
Therein lies the poison of social media: The drug of Fame.
Make no mistake, social media is a drug, and it is highly-addictive. Like booze or meth or heroin, it magnifies our personalities, the good and the bad. If you are a vain person, social media will magnify your vanity to the point of narcissism. If you are an angry person, it will fuel your rage. In the false world of Facebook and Twitter, assholes are bigger assholes, creepy people are creepier, and crazy people fly off the rails of their sanity every day. Moreover, as the addiction takes hold of your life, it tricks you into thinking you are being more sociable, when, in fact, the need for it only increases your isolation from genuine, interpersonal relationships.
As far as its impact on society in general, Facebook has become a sort of virtual crack house, where all of us are screwed-up junkies rolling around in our own narcissistic delusions, and as the collective addiction becomes more profound and increased levels of the drug are required to maintain the same high, we have begun to set upon each other. What was once fun is now mean, and the suffering of others has become not only a form of entertainment, but also serves as the standard junkie’s lie, which is, “Man, I’m glad I’m not as f–ked-up as that guy!” I’m doing great! I don’t have a problem. Look how happy I am in all my profile pictures.
As I said, Steve Stephens is a murderous P.O.S. who must have had some crazy inside himself to begin with, and surely he deserves to be strapped to a chair and stuck with a needle. But let’s face it: every day on social media we see people who are going through break-ups or divorces, or some other bit of unhappiness, and who are, to a much lesser extent, seeking vengeance online. Moreover, if you’re looking for it, you will see every form of bad human behavior online, each of the Seven Deadlies, on full display, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Gluttony, lust, avarice, pride, despair, wrath, vanity, and sloth. Sometimes, you will see all 7 in one post. Sometimes, I’m the one posting it. Sometimes, you are. We all do. It’s a sickness. It really is.
The smartest people I know have completely disconnected from social media.
I wish I could, but, you know, I can’t. It’s my job. I have to post on Facebook. It’s not my fault. I’m a victim. I don’t have a problem. I could stop any time if I wanted to. But it’s okay, at least I’m not as messed-up as some people online. Jesus, compared to them, I’m doing great!
Look how happy I am in all my profile pictures.
Jesus loves you,