This post is borne of the “furious-typing-Kermit-the-Frog” moment I had last night, aimed at someone I love, and is also my reaction to a whole passel of re-posted and inaccurate posts that hit my newsfeed this morning that are drivel passed off as actual news.
Read first for context: https://goo.gl/oUvJh5
Repeat after me, 3 times:
“These memes, unverified stories, and mislabeled/doctored photos are hurtful, incite anger, perpetuate prejudice and spread lies.
These memes, unverified stories, and mislabeled/doctored photos are hurtful, incite anger, perpetuate prejudice and spread lies.
These memes, unverified stories, and mislabeled/doctored photos are hurtful, incite anger, perpetuate prejudice and spread lies.”
I will admit to posting a few unverified stories over the years. Not many, but it has happened. When called out, I have apologized and deleted the post.
It doesn’t matter to me what party or agenda the BS meme or ‘story’ supports-if it’s inaccurate or unkind, it’s inaccurate or unkind.
A couple of hints: if the source (hint: the word “source:______” is located at the bottom of the post, or if you’re forwarding an article you can tell whether the article is from a verifiable news source/show or simply a blog/opinion show) is an email from Drunk Uncle with a million forward arrows and has multicolored flashing ALL CAPS, or if the post has any version of:
“Where’s the outrage????”
“Why isn’t the mainstream media covering this?”
“Forward this to everyone you know!”
“Sadly, the people who NEED to read this, won’t…”
or ANY emoticons whatsoever?
I’ll venture to guess that it was invented by a troll who needs clicks and likes to generate income on their monified blog. Or a troll who is very desperate for any attention. Or a pundit who needs ratings and wants to push the agenda that will keep people reading and/or tuning in.
I’ll further venture to guess that the story/meme/email was never vetted (yes, mostly because it was made up, but stick with me) even once, much less three times with reliable sources.
These memes, unverified stories, and mislabeled/doctored photos are hurtful, incite anger, perpetuate prejudice and spread lies. They feed the flames of homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, partisan divisiveness, and supremacy.
What’s the payoff of posting these? What does the poster get out of it? What part of the brain lights up when that dastardly ‘send’ button is hit?
And don’t get me going on the plain old mean memes. Tell me, and I know some of you did it, what warm fuzzy feeling was stirred within you when you posted ape memes of our first Black President and his wife? What good came out of it? Yes, freedom of speech and all that. But my question stands: Whose life did you improve by posting it, or any other name-calling snark? If yours, was improved, how? Answer in the comments because as a student of how the Brain works, your answer would be of interest to me.
Our Internet presence is our personal Brand. For me, it’s cats, kids, Education, imposing my hippie-ish philosophy on anyone who hasn’t gotten tired of it and un-followed me, and the over-posting of the cool quotes I aspire to live by. And “Malevolence-Free Monday,” which I realize is monumentally cheesy and makes you roll your eyes a bit. I’ll take it. Roll away. I believe in putting compassion in the world’s bucket.
Better than people reading my posts getting pissed off because I spent my time tossing anger grenades around to see who would pick one up and get blown to pieces.
p.s. Getting pissed off because my opinion is different from yours? If I post my opinion in a civil way, your choice in getting upset is on you. If I do it disrespectfully, it’s on me, but a different opinion is simply that, and is not a personal attack.