The Importance of Appearing Earnest: Social Media Run Amok

It is obvious that Twitter and Facebook have served a marginal and useful purpose.  For example a Facebook “campaign” to get Betty White to host Saturday Night Live so Facebook has proven the power to get an old woman, who is mostly “funny” to fans who think it is somehow hip to find Betty White still relevant, on a show that should have been put out of its misery 6 or 7 years ago. 

People are constantly posing questions on Facebook and Twitter.  Questions with no real purpose except to get some sort of superficial flood of comments and responses.  To quote Sally Field, “They like me, the really like me!”  Whatever helps you sleep at night.  Look how connected we are!

Then there are the social groups, “1,000,0000 strong to fight autism” or “1,000,0000 strong to support gay marriage” or “1,000,0000 strong against Arizona’s immigration law”  Do people not realize that there is nothing weaker than a Facebook group.  It is the Washington DC representative of social media, let alone any form of activism.  I never thought we could move from wristband awareness to an even more useless form of awareness, but thanks to the activism of Facebook users, there is no limit to the empty support people can provide.  Activism was downgraded to “awareness,” which was downgraded to “support,” which one day will be downgraded to, “huh?”

But a new low was achieved – a law school classmate of mine died very recently.  So naturally, in our culture of private mourning her Facebook page has been cluttered with messages, that she will presumably never read.  But I am not hear to judge how people mourn, especially those that were very close to her.  I would just like to know what the person who wrote “what happened?” on her page was thinking.  Facebook is superficial for sure, but perhaps leaving a post it note on her tombstone would be the only dumber thing I could think of.

We mock past cultures who developed religious faiths/superstitions as clouded and ignorant, but what is our excuse?  We are so enlightened, yet we have inflated our own worth and value and opinions bigger than any religion has – we .  If Oscar Wilde was able to write a book about the era we live in, it would be called The Importance of Appearing Earnest – a place where texting donations, tweeting opinions and Facebook posting support for causes or mourning someone’s death have become surrogates for real humanity and life.  That’s it for today.  I could go on, but I won’t. 

One other thing – there are too many people on Facebook and Twitter making really bad jokes.

  • Abbi Crutchfield

    “Post-it note on a tombstone” LOL!

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