The Happy of Social Media.

We want transparency — not to be honest — but to be sheltered.

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When we tell someone they look great, isn’t it quid pro quo? Aren’t we expecting the same in return?

Not that we can’t have occasional angst and outrage. We don’t mind speaking out against people like, say, Donald Trump. Everyone knows he’s ridiculous. But, as Michael Moore stated the other day, “That’s probably what got him elected. Giving everyone the finger makes him relevant.”

Maybe Donald Trump is our Archie Bunker, a man who gains a shadowy respect by expressing views we don’t want to express openly ourselves.

All In The Family shocked audiences in ways audiences had never been shocked before. Archie Bunker was transparent. Outside, we were shaking our heads, inside we were nodding. We were embarrassed — not for Archie Bunker — but for ourselves. Lear held up a mirror and we couldn’t help looking. Eight seasons later, we were still looking.

Thousands — if not millions — take to their computers each day, expressing outrage or support through the “comments” or “like” buttons.

After the episode of Maude, where she decided to have an abortion, the network received 17,000 letters. Some called the show “brave” while others described their death threats in graphic terms. There were protests, people taking to the streets, evangelists wanting Lear sent to the moon.

We can move on to something that makes us happy.

Our transparency has its own comfort level. We can be outraged, we can “comment,” we can “like.” But what makes us happy is we can also scroll away from it, too. We can click. We can move on to something that makes us happy.



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Robert Cormack

I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.