Whew! Time to take a break and let loose a little bit!
Yes, it’s me! Don’t be shocked. I’m going to try and work on my rants and raves a little more frequently. So, I’m taking a break from Cocktails and Movies and job hunting today to talk about why there are so many feelings on social media out there…
If there’s one thing I’ve learned lately it’s that I’m super-cynical and my ability to care is counterweighted by a high degree of apathy about what is happening in the world. Or maybe it’s just the fact that I understand that the world is both a beautiful, caring and wonderful place; and at times it can be hard, callous, destructive and possibly a little bit evil. When “disaster” strikes, people are lightning fast to share how they feel about what’s happening. Nowhere do I see this more than on social sites such as Facebook, and possibly Twitter a little bit. (But you can only “feel” something in 140 characters on Twitter, which makes it the perfect place to hang out when every gets emotional over shit.)
Shootings, Bombings & Tornadoes – Oh My God!
In the day after the Boston Bombing EVERYONE was horrified and disgusted that any human being could be capable of making a homemade bomb and detonating it in a public place, killing innocent people. Within hours, many were vocalizing their feelings on Facebook with platitudes of condolences and outrage at everyone from the President of the United States, to Czechoslovakia (incorrectly, I might add) to immigrants and the FBI about who was responsible and how sad the whole thing was. Within hours of that, those same people were sharing pictures of a cat getting angry at a dog or some other shit. Outrage having passed, these people now went on to better things like discussing who the better coach is “The Voice.” A few hours of lamenting on social media and everyone seemed to feel better about themselves for having made their feelings known.
In May, major tornadoes swept through the Oklahoma City area and destroyed many homes, businesses and took a lot of lives. As the events were happening and more and more storms took aim on homes and areas that had been devastated in the past, EVERYONE felt the need to ask for prayers for those who were being affected.
Why? Did they know someone there? Was that their property that was being swept away? AND, did posting pictures of the happy hour cocktails they were having a few hours later diminish the pleas for those prayers? As for me, I was drawn in by the deadly beauty of one of Mother Nature’s most destructive forces on Earth. (I also get just as “excited” by hurricanes and will have The Weather Channel on 24/7 during hurricane season).
Here’s the thing people: life sucks. Yes, it can be a beautiful and wondrous thing and someday I really hope to see that side of the coin. I see a world in which crap happens every day. Bombings happen in Syria and around the world. Yet, I don’t see the various platitudes for the people suffering there. Why? The events happening a world away are just as removed as those of the Great Plains or the East Coast.
And while all this shit happens around the world, we have become less social with each other and relying on technology to share our feelings. As a society, we have retreated to our computers and entertainment centers and have less interaction with others of our species. It’s far easier to see a story on our “newsfeed” on Facebook, summon up the appropriate feeling and then repost with that feeling without actually having to be face to face with someone. I can’t remember the last time that I had an in person conversation about anything newsworthy that didn’t include allusions to “The Voice,” or other reality show. (You can see why someone like me can turn cynical…)
I am a man who will very rarely express my feelings towards anything; something I am sure that affects a lot of my life including relationships with the opposite sex. In the larger picture it makes no difference whether I am seen as expressing my feelings about what is happening in the world. To me, it’s a waste of energy and it’s just not something I do. There isn’t a lot to be gained for my opening up to lamentation. Or outrage. Or sadness. Or happiness. Maintaining an even keel has kept me sane and a full head of hair.
So, with that I’m so blank about blank. (and no, the irony of me expressing my feelings on a blog is not lost on me).