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Social, or Anti-Social Media? - Poetry For Thought

John is passionate about human and animal rights, social justice, equality, and the environment, and likes to convey that in his writing.


I know a few people who have commented on posts on Facebook and Twitter(or in fact posted something themselves) and had others take what they said out of context, thus leading to a heated argument and conflict of opinion. This is the danger of communicating via the Internet and not in person. Facial expressions and body language play a big part in portraying the true meaning or feelings behind our words. Without these, it is too easy for what we say to be taken out of context as offensive or derogatory when that wasn't the intention.

Social, Or Anti-Social Media

How can you judge me

If we haven't met?

Do you know my life story,

Or even want to?

Why do my comments

Incite your anger?

They are meant for the eyes of others

Who know me better,

And have lived my life.

I have no wish to upset you,

To abuse or disrespect you.

So why do you comment

With sarcasm and contempt?

Do you hate expression

Or are you just expressing hatred?

At an innocent post by me

Meant only for friends,

Expressing my feelings

Through freedom of expression



Speak to Me!

Smart phones, dumbing us down,

Verbal communication, becoming redundant.

Face to face, only on FaceTime or Skype.

We chat on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo IM,

Not to neighbours over the fence.

Even phone calls have given way to SMS,

Texting is the current fad.

The written letter is almost dead,

Most postal services are reducing delivery days,

Email has taken over from snail mail.

People are becoming more reclusive,

Even dating on-line, no physical contact necessary.

Sharing photos, cyber sex, virtual courting.

No need to shop in-store,

Everything is available on-line, and cheaper.

Many now work from home,

No office contact or team-work required.

All our banking and bill-paying

Is done via the Internet as well.

Soon there will be no need to leave home at all,

Cars will be redundant.

Eventually we will lose the art of speech,

Evolutionary change - no longer needed.


Let's communicate face to face.

Look into my eyes,

Hear my voice,

Shake my hand,

Hug me,

Read my body language.

I am a living breathing being,

Not some virtual computer entity,

Speak to me!


Cyber Bullying Is A Crime.

Chloe Ferguson took her own life after years of both physical and cyber bullying.

Read Chloe's story, and then help stamp it out by signing this petition against bullying (both physical, and through social media).


© 2013 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 08, 2015:

Hey Missy, it's always great to get your comments on one of my hubs, especially if it is one of my older ones. That is greatly appreciated. Yes, let us certainly find a balance in regard to socia media. It is a very important and somewhat disturbing issue..especially with online bullying and trolling etc. I have written a few articles/poems about the subject. It makes me feel so humbled that you enjoy what I write and I will go and check out your latest hub. Cheers.

Missy Smith from Florida on September 08, 2015:

Hey Jodah, I caught this article and poem of yours while looking over my latest poem, I just wrote about social media being like a drug. Every point you made here is correct. I sometimes get sad about how it has sucked us all in. I think it has it's good points, but we need to find a balance. I love everything you write, so I was happy to catch this one on my page. I'm going to share, because it's still such an important issue and my reason for writing my poem was to make people realize the need to grab some sort of normalcy again. Let's find that balance shall we! ;)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 26, 2014:

Very well stated grand old lady. The sound of laughter is perhaps the most difficult thing to replace..rotfl just doesn't cut it does it? Thanks for reading and your kind comment.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on October 26, 2014:

This is so well stated. It's very true that when we get used to SMS or Facebook, et. al, we lose the overall intention of what was said, which could be conveyed by tone, facial expressions, etc. Even Skyping is not the same as being together, when you can tap someone's shoulder or go out and enjoy real face time. Lol, rofl and a smiley face can never replace the sound of someone's laughter.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 02, 2014:

Thanks for your kind words fpherj48. Isn't it said when we have to make an extra effort to keep close personal, face to face contact? When it no longer comes easy and natural, when the first though is to text, email or message on Facebook. Thank you for doing your bit to keep human contact and communication "real" rather than "virtual."

Suzie from Carson City on September 02, 2014:

Jodah......This is so stunning and I believe you have expressed quite beautifully, the feelings of so many. Your words definitely echo in the minds of those of us who spent the majority of our lives without technology of this proportion.

Some friends and I recently had this very conversation and in the end, we were in agreement that the person to person contact....face to face interactions are sorely missed. It is a matter now of making the effort to keep personal, close contact a conscientious focus. Thank you for this profound work, Jodah....Up++++

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 02, 2014:

Thanks for reading Gypsy and for your interesting comment. I use Facebook mainly to keep in touch with family and close friends as well. I generally don't get involved in anything too controversial on there..it can just lead to disagreement. Thanks for sharing this.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on September 02, 2014:

Voted up and interesting. Great hub. I have gained a lot of friends on the social media sites and have joined quite a few groups simple because I've been asked and because I have an interest in the group. I post and reply according to what others are interested in. I attempt to respond positively and if I cannot I simply say that even though I don't agree I respect their opinion. Facebook is the place where I connect with my oldest and dearest online friends and it's been no problem but I do know there are limitations which one must never overstep. Passing this on.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 22, 2014:

Hi again Jaye, I appreciate your insightful comment that added even more substance to this hub. Thanks also for the vote up and sharing.

Jaye Denman from Deep South, USA on July 22, 2014:

John - This is a terrific hub, and your poetry makes it so clear that while technology may help our lives, it can also hurt. I deplore the loss of personal contact and real connection that can't be fully replaced by electronic interaction.

As for social network bullying, people who are most likely bullies in person are even more emboldened by the impersonal medium of Facebook or Twitter. Yet, words and pictures on a computer or smartphone screen can harm just as they can by other means.

Disagreements about politics, religion or even topics that one might not think will incite anger and controvery, cause verbal conflagrations on forums all over the Internet, even on HP. This is a sad state of affairs. Like you, I believe we should all remember that each of us is a living, breathing human with feelings that should be respected.

Voted Up++++ and shared


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2014:

Thanks for a second time Flourish.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 21, 2014:

This was worth a second read. Well done again.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2014:

Thanks for reading Trisha and for your kind and insightful comment.

Trisha Roberts from Rensselaer, New York on July 21, 2014:

This hub speaks in so much truth, especially of today. The internet yes does have benefits, but it also has the power to hurt others. Sometimes people forget how damage can be done even emotionally through words of others. Many times people read something and they don't understand the tone of that context and are eager to feel how they think they have read it. It is horrible to see Cyber-Bullying, and I see how it's became more common today than ever. This was a very interesting hub to read my friend. It is all the honest truth.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2014:

Thanks for reading Peg. Some people seem to be braver on the computer than they are in real life, and therefore unfairly critical. I have seen unkind comments on You Tube songs as well and I agree, if you don't like something, turn it off. If I see or read something I don't like (a hub for instance) I just don't comment rather than be nasty.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2014:

Thank you for your generous comment Jan. I added the second poem and reshared this because I have a lot of followers now that I didn't have 8 months ago, and it s still a relevant subject. Almost every forum I have visited here has had an instance of someone being offended by what another says. I'm sure it isn't always deliberate bullying or offence but it comes over that way. I have noticed two hubbers in particular who always seem to come over as blunt and sarcastic. They probably don't even realise it and probably are just trying to be helpful. I am sorry you experienced a similar forum attack. Thank you for the vote up and share.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2014:

Thank you for your kind comment wordswithlove. I also have seen both sides of the social media coin. The wonderful people I have become acquainted with on Hub Pages and the like far outways the negative, but I have learnt from experience how to ignore or avoid most of the latter. I do still see others being bullied and degraded regularly, hence the need to write this hub.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2014:

Sorry to ruin your makeup Shyron. My writing seems to be making a few people cry lately. As long as the tears are needed and healing I suppose it is ok :)

Thank you for the vote up and share, and yes, if we ever meet face to face you can give me a hug.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 21, 2014:

Your expression captured in this beautiful poem says so much. It always makes me wonder why people have to express their hate to strangers behind the computer screen. Would they be as unkind in person? I see it a lot on songs with comments on YouTube. My feelings are, if you don't like the song, turn it off. Why insult the artist or the performer or the writer with negativity? It is mind boggling.

Janis Leslie Evans from Washington, DC on July 21, 2014:

Jodah, so sorry I missed this one 8 months ago. This is incredible as you hit many nails on their heads with pinpointing our loss of humanity with social media. It is very sad as we look at the truth of it, even with all the positive technology brings. I recently had an incident where I was wrongfully attacked in a forum by another hubber after she totally misread a post I wrote in support of another hubber. She apologized but it hurt and disturbed me because it was way off-base and is now permanently in cyberspace but untrue, totally not who I am as a person, a therapist, or Christian.

My favorite lines in your poems:

"They are meant for the eyes of others who know me better . . ."

"Eventually we will lose the art of speech, Evolutionary change - no longer needed."

So impressed with this, Jodah, voted up, useful, awesome, and sharing!

Neetu M from USA on July 21, 2014:

Well-spoken and articulated, John. A glut of anything, including social intercourse, can have very negative impact on society as a whole. My introduction to networking (on small sites, not Facebook) began 3 years ago, and much to my consternation exposed the very things you have mentioned. Offensive thoughts, sarcasm, contempt, all of the pent up hatred brazenly hurled at others from behind the invisibility cloak made me think, "Are we as humans really so full of venom inside that has found a way to express itself now that we don't "face" the person we are addressing, in person?" Of course, not everyone is like that, and I have also met many amazing people over cyber space, whose kindness, warmth and caring personalities are reflected in the waves of the same cyber space, as clearly as if one was seeing them in person. That is why I still am "connected".

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on July 21, 2014:

John, it is all your fault! I just got up put my makeup on to wait for people to come for home repairs and now my makeup is ruined, washed away by my tears. Thank you for that, I needed the release that tears bring. And I like Phyllis would like to meet you face to face and hug you.

Voted up, UABI pinned to Amazing HubPages and shared.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2014:

Thank you Phyllis, I know most people embrace technology. I do up to a point myself but feel guilty if I rely on it too much. I don't like it to appear like I am lecturing people, just feel it's my duty to issue reminders now and then and make people accountable for their choices. I am far from perfect, but I would gladly accept a face to face chat and hug from you. You are a good friend too. Take care and thanks for the vote up and share.

Phyllis Doyle Burns from High desert of Nevada. on July 21, 2014:

You know what got to me the most, Jodah? The picture of the two old men chatting over the fence. Those days seem to be gone forever as we rush in and out our doors with our errands in mind, or chatting on the cell, not paying attention to our surroundings and neighbors. One of my most pleasurable times of the day is when my neighbor and I meet out front and talk about nothing in particular, just sharing our thoughts and enjoying being together. Society has become technological to the degree of impersonal. Your hub and poems say it all. Well done, Jodah, well done. voted up/across and sharing. Thank you for these reminders to not let the personal touch die. If I could, I would walk to Australia, look in your eyes and hug you. You are a friend with a good heart.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2014:

Thank you Chitrangada. I appreciate your kind words and support. Thanks also for voting up and sharing.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 21, 2014:

Great points here! Now who could think, one can compose a poem, even on this topic! You surely have very creative expressions and you do it wonderfully.

Thanks for sharing this thought provoking hub! Voted up and shared on HH!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2014:

You are so right CMHypno. I agree totally. We all need to know when to say "enough is enough" and opt out of an abusive conversation, bar the offender, turn off the device etc.

CMHypno from Other Side of the Sun on July 21, 2014:

Unfortunately Jodah a lot of people forget that electronic devices have off switches and social media has delete or disallow. People allow themselves to get caught up in abusive conversations online that they wouldn't tolerate in real life, they would just walk away. We have to set boundaries that feel right for us individually in cyberspace just as we have to in real life

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 20, 2014:

I have just added a new poem to this hub "Speak to Me!" and additional photos, so I thought I'd re-share it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on March 03, 2014:

Thank you for commenting DDE. I hope you are never a victim of cyber bullying again.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on March 03, 2014:

I have once experienced cyber bullying while writing for another site and she was banned for bad behavior it is scary.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 25, 2014:

Thank you for reading this ologsinquito. I totally agree, Thanks for reading and commenting.

ologsinquito from USA on February 25, 2014:

Cyberbullying can be a terrible problem, and we need to shine more light on it, as articles such as this do.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 17, 2013:

Thanks for reading Kim, and your kind comment. Yes, bullying of every kind needs to be stamped out, unfortunately social media provides a new and easy platform for bullies to do their nasty work. Cheers.

ocfireflies from North Carolina on November 17, 2013:


Bullying of any kind is a serious issue and cyber-bullying puts it in a whole other level of complications. Your poem is excellent and shines light on a very serious issue. V+/Share


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 14, 2013:

Thank you teaches, Yes unfortunately it happens all the time. Maybe schools need to start teaching "Social Media Etiquette"as one of their subjects.

Dianna Mendez on November 14, 2013:

It is a good piece of advice, Jodah, to warn others about writing with precise meaning and words. I too have had others take my words in the wrong context.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 08, 2013:

Thanks drbj, so true

drbj and sherry from south Florida on November 08, 2013:

Social media can drive us apart as well as connect us, Jodah, and you are wise to have perceived this.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 08, 2013:

Thank you Mklow1 for your kind words, and for reading this poem. Your case study sounds fascinating and I would like to read one of your works on this. Everything you've said is exactly what I believe is happening in regard to our social mindedness.

Mklow1 on November 08, 2013:

Ironically, I am doing a case study on this exact thing. One of my works cited is an article in the Medical News Today titled "Do Cell Phones Make Us Less Socially Minded?" where the author says that although we are becoming more socially connected by social media and cell phones, we are also becoming less Socially minded. In other words, social media fulfills the basic human need of belonging, so we find it irrelevant to actually find that out in the real world.

Most other studies also show that we are more connected globally but we are less empathetic.

Cheers to a great poem! Thumbs up.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 08, 2013:

Thank you Eddy for taking the time to read another of my hubs and your kind comments.

Yes Wayne, you are so right in what you say. Social media is probably becoming one of the greatest phenomenon in our world today and who knows what's ahead.

Wayne Barrett from Clearwater Florida on November 08, 2013:

Very true. Social Media has become a phenomenon that I think we have just scratched the surface of.

Eiddwen from Wales on November 08, 2013:

Another wonderful hub Jodah and thanks for sharing.


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 07, 2013:

Thank you Suzanne for voting 'awesome'. Yes, poor Ronald Wayne. I hope he invested his $800 wisely, maybe in Samsung...lol.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on November 07, 2013:

An interesting opinion and poem! I particularly liked the pic of Ronald Wayne's bad day. Awesome!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 04, 2013:

Thank you for the wonderful comments Laurie. I agree life has got too easy for most of us. I am as guilty as everyone for choosing to use the remote.

Rayne123 on November 04, 2013:

Great hub and great poem.

I agree its technology that we must know how to use or we risk unwanted comments/friends.

Its hard to tell the emotion of the other person, even texting someone can be taken the wrong way. I miss the good ole days of actually talking in person and then going to see them.

However the internet allows us to get a start with whatever we are doing. (Although a lot of famous/authors/writers/artists/performers got their start without technology. It may just be that we are a slave to the internet and are accustomed to taking the easy way out now.

Its like a habit. Its like the remote control. Do we really get up and change the channel when the remote control is right in front of us; probably not.

Great hub


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 04, 2013:

Thanks Bill, and FlourshAnyway,

Both your comments expand and clarify the message of the poem. I think everyone has experienced it at some time.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 04, 2013:

It is easy to be taken out of context when face-to-face communication is missing, as it is on Facebook. The nuances of verbal intonation and facial expression are gone, and particularly if you don't know the person it is easy to read into a comment meaning that the commenter did not intend. It happens all the time with email, too. I liked the poem, as it communicates the befuddlement and light disgust that accompany being misunderstood.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 04, 2013:

User beware! That should be the warning on Facebook. I am actually a fairly sarcastic human being, but I don't even try sarcasm on Facebook because it offends and hurts too many people. Great points here John!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 04, 2013:

Yes Martin, I'm sure a lot of people are in the same boat. Social media isn't all bad, it just facilitates the subject of my poem. Thanks for your kind comment.

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on November 04, 2013:

Great poem. I can't say much since the social media drives my poems.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 03, 2013:

Yes Anna, you hit the nail on the head. Thanks for your comment.

Anna Haven from Scotland on November 03, 2013:

It is so true, what your poem expresses. The interpretation can be so far from the good intention, unfortunately.

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