As I scrolled through my social media accounts just before bed last night, as I do every night, I was struck with an almost sickening realization. Among the videos of cats, memes and the occasional post about someone’s kids doing something “amazing”, was a common theme of apathy and negativity.
Tweets about wanting to die….but in a joking way. (Not funny, by the way). Negative posts about the election, climate change. PETA protesting movies due to alleged animal abuse. Instagram selfies of people complaining about work, school, family, friends.
Every post, tweet, meme or picture that I came across seemed to be pointing out the flaws of a person, of people, of government, religion, environment etc…
I noticed, that the public has three levels of extreme, “Oh My Gosh I LOVE this”, “Oh My Gosh I HATE this” and finally, “I don’t care. At all.”
“Oh My Gosh I LOVE This” is reserved for pictures of cats and babies, dancing puppy videos and the occasional Meme about something totally relatable.
“I don’t care. At all” and “Oh My Gosh I HATE this”, are, however, a completely different story. These apply to all things, including the pictures of animals and babies that are supposed to be in the “LOVE This” category. People, I noticed, were far more likely to give a negative opinion than a positive one. It wasn’t the beautiful story of the family who went to hell and back in order to be able to adopt their foster child and give her a loving home that got the likes, the comments, the reactions, it was the picture of Donald Trump, the posts about Black Lives Matter.
That being said, social media is one of the best tools of our modern day (in my totally humble and completely inexpert opinion). Organizations like BLM, PETA and other various social groups use social media as the tool for activism and have accomplished numerous WONDERFUL things with its help. In this respect social media seems to be the ‘final frontier’. If you can make it big on the Internet, you can do anything.
But I still wonder what makes people more likely to respond to something that they HATE or to something that offends them, than they are to respond to something happy and beautiful, something that they LOVE. If everyone started only reposting this that made them smile, or contemplate, or learn, perhaps the world would be quite different. Who can tell?
Maybe I am being soft, after all I am a millennial, and we know, because it is continuously pounded into our heads, that millennial’s are no good cry babies (Seriously. Get a grip. When can we stop trying to blame everything bad that happens on Millennials?) But I hope to see a shift soon. A shift away from hate and negativity and towards love, acceptance of ALL people for ALL reasons, be it religion, political views, sexuality, race or anything else.
There are too many beautiful things in the world that are being missed because hatred of something else swallows them up. Its time for the internet to be happy again.