Sometimes Facebook just makes me feel very tired.
It’s not that I don’t want to know how my friends are doing or what they are thinking about these days. It’s actually those things I enjoy seeing the most.
I think where I begin to tune out is with the barrage of imperious links telling me why-I-must-fight-this or whats so-stupid-about-that or the-only-way-to-be-a-good-mom-is-to-feed-your-children-food-from-your-hyperallegenic-garden, and to-hell-with-anyone-who-takes-medicine-you’re-all-going-to-die. I thinks the last one I saw had something to do with suggesting that children with measles to all go soak themselves in ice buckets while providing them with the rights to bear arms if over the age of two.
Or something like that.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about having passion for what you believe and caring enough about something in life to try and make a difference in it. I just wonder sometimes if social media is the best place for all that.
I don’t know about you, but when I am surrounded by fanatical opinions yelling at me from every inch of my screen, I am not exactly inclined to join in or become immersed in a hostile cyber-space war.
All it really makes me want to do shut down my computer, get some fresh air, and pull my hoodie over my head.
Everyone seems to have an opinionated opinion about something these days, and I can’t help but wonder why. Do people really care that much about how inflated a couple footballs were or what Renee Zellwegger may or may not have done to her face, or is something else going on?
I’m inclined to suggest the latter. When I talk to people in real life and listen to what they actually care about, I’m not hearing all that. Rather, I’m catching a lot of desire and need to be a part of something bigger than themselves, valuable in a way that extends past a lot of random propaganda and ill-structured logic and emotional responses to things that don’t actually matter in the grand scheme of things.
I wonder if social media has become an outlet for an inborn desire in people to live out a cause worth dying for. I mean, all you have to do is scroll through some of the forum discussions online to find extremist language and explosive emotion being evoked by seemingly small matters. That is coming from somewhere, and I suspect it’s a little deeper than we sometimes assume. Perhaps I am giving us all too much credit, but at heart I think people are much more than what we’ve settled for.
I see it when people go to war, or when houses burn down or the innocent are hurt. People in crisis suddenly see what matters and everything else seems to fade to the backburner. Once hostile differences and debates are forgotten and we band together towards a common goal because it’s suddenly quite clear where our duties lie.
I think there exists in humans a natural and valuable desire to be part of something bigger than themselves and fight for something they believe in. I wonder if in our current culture and privileged state we have lost direction on where to express that. There is so much we have to be grateful for, and everything we need is just a click away….or so we’ve come to believe. Most of us aren’t having to fight for our lives or the lives of others on a daily basis, we don’t have a physical or clear manifestation of a cause, so we find one.Or two or three or a hundred.We find something to debate about and fight for because something in us is meant for more than we have. The trouble is, we think we have everything.
And maybe thats the problem.