One of my least favorite parts of this whole internet culture that has risen up is it’s really allowed use to see how dumb our friends are.
I mean, I don’t think any of us needed to know that, did we?
I was living in blissful ignorance. Seeing them just once in a while. Cracking the odd joke and then going back to my home and them to theirs. I didn’t need to know them like that.
But now, thanks to the nature of social media, I do. I know them too well. And I have to decide if I still like these dummies and if I can tolerate their dumbass selves.
Sure, they probably feel the same about me, but that’s not what this is about.
What I’m about to share is going to sound nitpick-y.
Perhaps a little ridiculous.
Even a touch judge-y.
I don’t know and I don’t care.
What I do know is that it’s something that bugs me. A lot. And it’s a perfect example of what I’m talking about, too.
As we know, everyone lately feels compelled to share their opinions all the damn time on everything. Fine. But it starts to get annoying when you begin to realize that their opinions are worthless. Empty. Just parroting something else they heard someone else say.
Yesterday an old co-worker/friend-acquaintance posted the following meme:
Which he followed up with the following comment:
Once again, the man who wrote two of the greatest books no longer taught in schools, is spot on.
Now what I took a moment and I googled the quote. Then I took a moment and I googled my county’s public school reading list. And then I took a moment and I rolled my eyes.
What I typed was:
If it makes you feel any better, he’s on the local high school reading lists here in Maryland. Tom Sawyer for Middle schoolers and Huckleberry Finn for High Schoolers. In fact, many schools still teach it and last time it made the news for being removed, it was limited to one private school. Also, there’s no evidence that Twain ever said or wrote that and it appears to simply be a paraphrase of a quote actually said by Robert A. Heinlein.
But I didn’t click send. I didn’t click send because this man has a habit of making know-it-all, pseudo-intellectual comments that end up being wrong which is why I even fact checked him to begin with. I’ve corrected him the past when he’s been just laughably wrong, and he didn’t even bat an eye. His response was something like, it doesn’t matter, because the sentiment is still the same.
Can you imagine? He lives in a world where facts don’t matter as long as it feels right.
I pointed out back then that what he was doing was essentially spreading misinformation, and while everyone makes mistakes, it doesn’t take long to do just really basic fact check to try and avoid that. But clearly he doesn’t care about any of that.
That bugs the shit out of me.
I’ve been seeing more and more of this on my timeline. Information that is just blatantly wrong, even without checking up on it. Every day, I feel like I’m just being bombarded with just lies and no one is bothering to fact check themselves before posting. It seems as if they just go, “Oh, this seems right, *repost*”.
That just seems so irresponsible and it’s frustrating to watch – more so when the people doing it are doing so with this air of smugness. As if they’re spreading some sort of informed enlightenment to the unwashed masses that is their friends list.
I still haven’t figured out what the right thing to do in response to these kinds of posts is. Do I just ignore them and unfollow people if they post a lot? Or do I comment and let people know that their misinformed? People take being wrong – even if it’s an accident or with something as silly as a meme – really personally, which is why so far I’ve just chosen to scroll on.