This is a scheduled announcement that when you’ve been on the Internet as long as I have, you’ve seen an awful lot of stupid shit. In some cases, you were there the first time someone was dumb enough to try something, it got totally forgotten, and now the same old rubbish is being recycled again (and again and again).
Example: I’ve seen the ‘I forced a bot to watch X’ meme a few times now, each with a different subject matter. It’s a great means by which a comedy writer can eke out exposure and flex their social media skills. Good luck to them all, I say, this is a good use of the medium. It’s only the equivalent of that picture of the guy with the pretty girl, staring at another (clearly prettier) girl and the dichotomy that creates in our subconsciousnesses. It’s known as the DISTRACTED BOYFRIEND meme.
Memes are what makes the Internet tolerable. They are the distraction many of us crave in these dark, ugly times. It is also by far the best means to make information stick. It is no wonder therefore that certain commentators, who are incapable of altering the collision course this country appears to have adopted with it’s own self destruction, are using similar tactics to create a picture which is, like it or not, utterly false.
I’m seeing a lot of stuff like this of late: high-profile personalities ‘bigging up’ the fact that once upon a time, this country was fantastic, and it clearly isn’t that way any more, and really, it’s beginning to piss me right off. There are two reasons for this. The first one, perhaps unsurprisingly is that it’s just not true. The Olympics did not somehow make this country a better place to live in. Yeah they were great, and the legacy’s been awesome, but truth remains the UK was shit beforehand too.
The second one’s more insidious: this isn’t meant as a means to get people encouraged to do anything about the situation, it’s just for views, to create an illusion of participation and interest. The fact that other people don’t get this remains a mystery to me, until I look at a certain type of user on my own feed. They’re the one’s who don’t ever contribute anything of value to any conversation, but try and make you react in order to feed their own attention-seeking status.
If you go look at your feed, you’ll know who I’m talking about.
Occasionally, you have to assume some of the stuff spouted online is stated in total ignorance of what actually takes place online, this tweet being a case in point. I know that this definition has become a slogan and is being used quite extensively by a group of trans-exclusionary radical feminists. I can only assume that someone in Government would do their homework when receiving a gift such as this… that’s how this works, right?
On Social media, a lot of very stupid stuff happens. Most is easily corrected with retraction and apology… except that rarely ever happens. If you’re using your account to talk AT people and not TO them, you are part of the problem. Just being online, posting things, or talking to yourself in the hope people respond… what are you contributing? What’s even worse, of course, is when people respond and you don’t. You’re not in a conversation when that happens. You’re lecturing.
No good comes of discourse that is ultimately one-sided.