This is an exceptional post:
I would like to discuss the portion I highlighted, and this:
I believe the ailment America and most of the west suffers from is multifaceted but the main component is media, with a large sub-component being social media. For the older population probably the "news" is the biggest factor and for the younger population probably social media is the bigger factor. Those in the middle suffer a double whammy.
I quit following "the news" a few years and my mental health improved significantly. But I still had a fly in my ointment. It got worse over time. After covid hit, it was downward spiral. I couldn't believe half the population is so stupid because they believe "this" and the other half is so stupid because they believe "that." And I couldn't believe how hateful they all were in throwing their ideologies at each other. The world seemed like not such a great place.
So before getting to the mental state where I was ready to quit the world, I quit the thing that was influencing me to think how bad it is*. Since then, my only "social media" experience is forums like this, and I mostly stick to the technical threads and leave threads like this unread. The only reason I skimmed this is one to see if anyone brought up the reason why "going postal" is a term.
Since then, I have been a much happier person. Since then I have more time for things that matter. Since then I experience the world as it is, not as how Facebook wants me to think it is. Which brings me to:
* In case you didn't know, Facebook AI curates your feed to show things that it knows will get you fired up. They've figured out that things which make your blood boil, generate more engagement (more ads seen, more money made) than pictures of cute kittens. They give you just enough cute kittens to keep you from feeling like it's an absolute cesspool of rank butthurt, but in fact, it's an absolute cesspool of rank butthurt. ON PURPOSE. Facebook is a cancer of society and I think it and every other social media platform plays an appreciable yet unfortunately unquantifiable role in nearly every major tragedy like this one.
Please, quit social medial. You will be glad you did. It matters not how many uplifting memes you read, share, or re-share. You're playing a game that is rigged against you and they wellbeing of society, and you're just a pawn.