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29 November 2020
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TIME TO CONTROL SOCIAL MEDIA?

Editorial

The Pandemic brought forward the dream of many talk show experts where now huge numbers of people work at home. We can look forward to many in the future not taking the long and stressful commute with resultant pollution. Optimists point to the fact that despite the harrowing experience of many service Industries and retail outlets the country actually fared better than most, and exports improved, our contraction has been one of the lowest in the developed world.

We have learned to stay in touch, socialise and work with the new technology. Families keep together by Skype, Zoom and Teams and a generation which found the Ryanair Website difficult to negotiate are now computer literate. Some elderly have now expanded their computer knowledge to the point of fixing computer faults and attaching documents, things that seemed unthinkable in recent times.

But the expansion of social media use has a dark side. Groups of people can freely post abusive or humiliating attacks on individuals without hindrance. Racist and other messages can, in an unanswered cowardly manner, be posted attacking people who really don't know how they upset someone. Often a group can form over drinks and plan an abusive attack on a person or individuals. Often innocents are blamed for crimes.

It is particularly cowardly to take an issue to the airwaves without the courage or the honesty to speak to somebody face to face to clear issues. We have been told that this problem is widespread.

We can welcome the new reality but controls are urgently needed so that the Law can address some of the awfulness of an abusive or an undeserved attack. We have been warned that there are downsides to all new technologies but we need a more efficient and urgent response to this.

Looking to a brighter future ....
Vaccines are coming and they are proven, so we can look forward to a more normal New Year but handwashing, cleaning and social distancing are here to stay.
Easter should bring a new Resurrection in many ways.

By the way, last week some in Lucan witnessed a Salmon run on the weir.
Thank God, Hope Springs Eternal!

Tony Feeney