View from the Pines: I’m Recovering


By Jim Coleman, Special to The Paper

Before you panic and wonder if you’ve passed me in the grocery store and you could possibly be exposed to the Plague, let me assure you that I’m not recovering from COVID-19.  I’m recovering from a sickness that is far more serious than COVID.

Before I disclose the thing I’m afflicted with I’d like to give praise to the Coweta County Health Department.  Because of my advanced age, I was able to get the first COVID vaccination this week.  Whoever organized the local effort to distribute the vaccine evidently used to work at Chick-fil-A.  I’ve never seen anything so efficient and organized and staffed by polite professionals who were working outside in the cold in rain.  Two of the workers even commented that I didn’t look old enough to be there which confirmed my theory that even fat looks good tan.

I’m recovering from a systemic sickness that is far more serious than any biomedical affliction.  The pandemic that is spreading rapidly and is sucking the life out of American society is SOCIAL MEDIA.  I’m far more terrified of that than I am of a virus that has a 99.3% survival rate.

I even took a break from this column over the last few months because I’m disappointed and frankly disgusted to see what is happening in our culture.  Whenever problems arise in our personal, businesses or social lives, it’s very easy to concentrate on and attempt to treat the symptoms.  The danger is, we get distracted and forget to pay attention to the disease while we are treating the symptoms.

I am thoroughly disgusted by the behavior that I have seen from just about everybody in the last few months.  We are at a stage now where there is no right or wrong.  There is only noise and it’s deafening.  Nobody is right. Nobody is wrong. Lies are the truth.  One of the reasons is that social media does not have the ability to assign a value to anything.

Every idiot in the world has exactly the same platform and the same opportunity to spew whatever kind of stupid opinion or theory they please.  And another of the symptoms of this disease … the DEATH of Journalism.  I don’t mean CNN and FOX.  I mean real Journalism. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I can’t help you here.

Here are some of the symptoms of SOCIAL MEDIA DISEASE;

     1. When your feet hit the floor in the morning you pick up your phone.

     2. You post something and then you check 20 or 30 times during the day to see how many LIKES you have.

     3. If you get a SHARE, you are ecstatic and start to believe that you are somehow influencing somebody else.

     4. Your value to society has a number assigned to it, it’s called FOLLOWERS.

     5. You hold your phone over your head when you take a selfie and then you edit before you post.  God forbid that the real you should go out on the airways.

     6. You are infuriated when you are forced to be subjected to opinions other than those you agree with.

     7. You pontificate about epidemiology or constitutional law or any number of other topics that you are imminently unqualified to discuss.

     8. You make value judgements about your fellow man based on a sign in their yard or a cap they have on.

     9. Here’s the #1 symptom.  You have been deluded into thinking that you are going to make a difference in the world or that you are going to change someone’s mind with your posts.

The hammer is a great tool.  Because of it we are able to build mighty structures and warm homes.  But if I beat you in the head with it you will die.  The hammer is still a hammer.  The problem is in how the tool was used.

I’m trying to recover.  I have not watched network television since the first week of October.  I realized that we have surrendered our morals and our rational thought to a handful of private companies that have convinced us that they have our welfare at heart.

This column may or may not get posted on social media.  You may or may not agree with what I have to say.  Believe me when I tell you that a sign of my recovery is that I don’t care.


  1. Sherry Lyons 9 February, 2021 at 08:31 Reply
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    Stellar message! Beautifully written and great reminder to everyone.

  2. Carol A Foster 9 February, 2021 at 11:52 Reply

    Jim, this is soooo true. I’m at the point that all this social media is the worst thing that has happened in our modern society! Thanks for expressing my feelings so eloquently.

  3. Anna Waters 9 December, 2021 at 16:07 Reply

    Thanks, Jim, love your column, it is a bright spot on the computer. We have not found anything like this here in Vermont!

    Bpb & Anna Waters

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