I’m not one of those people who start a sentence with “I’m never on Facebook, but I did see this one thing…”
Queue record scratch sound effect.
These are the same people who say, “I never watch TV, but I saw…”
I call bull. If you’re one of those people, sorry not sorry.
Clearly, I’m a social media fan. Duh. But even I will acknowledge the dark side.
The newsfeed is tricky. I noticed that no matter how many times I select “Most recent” in my preferences, it doesn’t stick and immediately defaults back to “Top stories.” Me no likey. The other thing I don’t like in my newsfeed? The flat-out meanness. And I’m not talking about the polarizing political views—and the name-calling. I’m talking about “entertainment” pages like Topix stars that litter the feed with headlines like “35 Stars who are now unrecognizable,” and then go on to show their horrific aging process. This morning I saw this one above a well-known celebrity:
“These 33 people proved they were human garbage in 2017”
I clicked it and the follow-up headline is “The worst people of 2017.” And yeah, I realize that because I clicked it, now it will likely be added to my “Top stories.”
The reasons why this is flat out mean, wrong and bad can be listed six ways from Sunday.
But I worry that we don’t notice. Not in the way it matters. I worry we take these headlines in on an unconscious level—we see them—and then we don’t notice just how mean, wrong and bad they are.
Yesterday, I heard Ann Curry on The View (yes, I watch TV. Shudder!) talk about meanness in our culture. She said we should not tolerate it. “We are better than this—“ she said.
From a distance, I’ve seen vultures descend on a target. It’s not pretty. We have a vulture culture.
Notice it, but reject it. Don’t descend. Don’t click on the garbage. Be better.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.– Psalm 139:14