Why you should be too busy to debate this latest manufactured outrage on Facebook
Disclaimer: This post, by its most basic definition, brands me a hypocrite. However, this hypocrite is about to make you a better person. If being hypocritical once means the tribe benefits long-term, then I suppose I'll do it.
This week began like any other for me; up early, strong coffee, pack my food for work and head into the office as the sun crests over the seemingly unending horizon that makes up the plains of Wyoming. Once into the office, the week took the same ugly turn it always does. I logged on to Facebook and was immediately met with a wave of horrifying stupidity.
The latest topic offending people this week? The color of the very Starbucks cup sitting on my desk at that moment. Just 15 minutes before, I had unknowingly participated in an act of microaggression against Christians the world over. I purchased coffee from the devil himself. A corporate entity so devoid of spirituality, so bereft of goodwill, so offensive, that they had the gall to NOT print Christmas decorations on their cups. Here I was, thinking I was just buying coffee, when in fact, I had made a strong anti-christian statement.
The internets were ablaze with comments and posts from both sides. From hashtags like #AreYouSerious? to the more bumper-sticker-ish posts of *said in a deep southern accent* "Why y'all tryin' to take Christ our of Christmas?". A credit to my Facebook friends, most of them fell in the category of "This is so fucking stupid it makes my head hurt."
The problem is, it doesn't matter what side of these ridiculous, fabricated issues you fall on - you are spending your time talking about them (This is where the hypocritical part comes in. Yes, I know, I'm sitting here talking about it. You win.) You are posting about it, you are talking about it with your friends at work. Social media has become a valuable tool for companies marketing their products. If I was working for Starbucks, this is exactly what I would want from a new campaign. Get people talking about you, that's the name of the game. (It should be noted: Starbucks also announced the same day they would be paying for kids of vets to go to college, but no crazed evangelical preacher ranted about that on a video with 13 million views, so hence, no Facebook discussion).
When you talk about these manufactured topics, you are proving how malleable you truly are. This is what makes you a slave. You do what you are told, you talk about what you are told to talk about and you share the opinions you are told to have. Stop it. Spend your time talking about things that matter, or better yet, spend your time NOT talking. Spend it learning. The next time social media bands together to tell you what you should have an opinion about today, fight back. Be a rebel. Instead of getting sucked into some endless troll-fest on Facebook about the war on christmas, or the war on women or the war on men, or the war on this or that (so many wars!)...take that urge to post and channel that energy and time into reading a book, researching a topic online that you may not know enough about, or learning a new skill.
Social media can be a great tool that brings people together, but more often than not, it's a place for the ill-informed to spew their shitty opinions about shit that doesn't matter. If you want to play that game, that's fine. Be a slave. Be indoors posting on your computer. I'll be outside doing something cool or inside a gym lifting heavy-ass weight. Who do you think will feel better about themselves when they are finished? Come join me and be wild/STRONG instead of stupid/BORING.