A time maybe when it’s not so bad to be a Doubting Thomas

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Technically, I am on Facebook and I do have a Twitter account, but they’ve been slumbering for a long time in the depths of electronic cloud layers without being disturbed, and I cannot say that it worries me too much.  Out of sheer curiosity, once or twice a month, I might dip into some Facebook correspondence and hear that such-a-one has gone away on holidays for a week or two; or that a new car has been purchased; or that young Johnny has come third in the annual school sports event; and while all those things are beautifully inoffensive, there are . . . well . . . more things in my life to concern me.

I am seriously unfazed by all the fuss about the influence Facebook possibly could have had on the last US Presidential election, but then I thought that if Facebook could manage to influence the US people to vote in Donald Trump, then it must be wondrously influential or else there’s a serious IQ deficit with a large chunk of the voting population in the world’s biggest democracy. Somehow, I’m tending to come down on the side of the latter scenario.

Social media is though here with us and here to stay as well. Few of us could now imagine living without our mobile phones, whether it be to receive a call from an offspring stuck for a lift or to find the local weather forecast for the week ahead. There aren’t many of us who at some stage haven’t turned back while on the way to work after that sinking feeling of the mobile phone being left behind.

Maybe, along the way, it could lead to something of a revival,  in what we in the business of reporting would regard as genuine, independent journalism, for never was it more important to have someone that can be trusted, without fear or favour, to check out and set out, the facts of a story.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been truly astounded at the stories that have been related to me about dead bodies being found in toilets; young people who have reputedly ‘passed on’ after having their drinks spiked; and of the vilest assaults that have occurred in Galway city.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.