CHANGE: Make It So...

Searching For Lost Souls
by Yours Truly
Published 05.21.20
LinkedIn Platform

I created this article in response to the endless brigade of self-help gurus, therapy specialists, and overall stream of fake positivity memes polluting the professional networking site LinkedIn. It is not an attack on legitimate professionals in their field with proven credentials – but a general statement acknowledging the many false scavengers taking advantage of hurting souls. I have since departed that elitist censorship platform, but I am fully confident these wolves in sheep's clothing are still in full assault mode. This is an essay to acknowledge their bullshit schemes, to wish them nothing less than spiritual bankruptcy for their diabolical shenanigans. May God have mercy…

Positivity. Kindness. Compassion. These virtues are whipped like a dead horse on social media. True, they are gracious platitudes in times of crisis, especially during a pandemic like Covid, but do they really serve any deeper purpose? Do they really fix the hurt within, the way we deal with reality beyond the daily facade? Do they really address the simmering issues of depression or anguish, fear and anxiety? Or is it simply a vein form of lip-service, a subtle way to get our kindness brand out there?

At any given moment, I could literally scroll through any social media platform and come across a post, article or meme dealing with kindness, compassion or forgiveness. That's just swell, and we should all be grateful for those powerful doses of positivity, but let's face it – after a while, the messages become nauseating. Our senses grow numb to the perceived savior syndrome, the notion that everyone's ailment will be cured if we simply believe in ourselves. How can this possibly be?

To be fair, I certainly don't want to see negative content. We get enough hatred and division from our toxic political leaders, but it truly makes me wonder how everyone became a self-help guru overnight. Seems everyone is a psychologist or mental health advocate these days. Guess I'll never need expensive therapy. I'll just go on LinkedIn or Facebook or YouTube, find someone who can make me feel better on the spot… until I log off and the misery returns.

I know – a pretty cold statement – but at least I'm honest. Perhaps many are certified, legitimate professionals, but how do we really know what their true motives or ambitions are? Far as I'm concerned, it's nothing more than a recruiting process, a pyramid hook in which trust is earned through a keyboard, where false sympathies and compassion are used to establish credibility for the so-called expert. How convenient – using psychology to trap wounded angels.

Again, I'm simply painting with conjecture. It is not my goal to undermine the good will of genuine humanitarians, nor is my arrow aimed at the heart of credible psychology experts. As a profession, it is an essential field in helping people deal with and recover from critical behavioral issues. I simply remain skeptical of any second-rate hacks scouring the internet for broken souls. It just feels icky and cheap – but believe me, these charlatans do exist.

I realize not everyone is diabolical or scheming, but once that well has been tainted, you will always question the water from which you drink. Trust is earned, never given. A proper relationship must be formed with boundaries, goals and respect. Positive reinforcement can never be measured through group chats or private messages. It is a dynamic that must remain personal and direct, an exclusive contract between patient and psychologist… period. Anything less is open to suspicion and scrutiny.

Let's be clear, I've penned my own chapters in positivity from time to time, but I always make every effort to clarify my position. I am NOT an expert. I am NOT trying to heal anyone. I am NOT trying to be your shrink. I simply want people to be their very best, because they owe it to themselves to have self-respect and love, to have confidence in the very essence of their existence. I'm not trying to earn a quick buck for my clever language.

I simply feel it is a dangerous game when you toy with the hearts and minds of strangers, soliciting the fears and anxieties of those with low self-esteem for personal benefit. It's borderline predatory and narcissistic behavior. Worse, it is incredibly shallow. If you do not have the credentials to be working with someone on a professional or mental level, spare yourself the legal jeopardy you risk if someone decides to hurt themselves, or worse.

This is such a gray area on social media, yet it is prevalent everywhere. There are no STOP signs or legal implications when tampering with human emotions, yet it happens, and not just from bullies or trolls. Bitcoin scammers, religious zealots, hack psychologists, faux life coaches… am I missing anyone? I'm all for happy clouds and memes of positivity, but at a certain point you can only sugarcoat a rotten donut so much. Eventually your teeth fall out. Life is difficult enough, lest we fall victim to snake-oil influencers or frauds.

Perhaps they are only satisfying their own tired egos through like-bait and connection stats, or perhaps they are trying to establish their own yellow brick road in psychology. Who knows… Either way it is a dangerous playground. I'm not willing to just open my heart and soul to any faceless jerk, let alone my checkbook… and neither should you. Social media is like Pandora's Box – once it has been opened, it can never be closed again. Be careful what you wish for.