When and if I do facebook updates, I like them to be funny or helpful. I’m pretty sure people could care less about how many squares of toilet paper I use in the bathroom.
The trend to get someone to copy and paste something into their updates is interesting. It follows the tradition of email forwarding. People want to pass along information that strikes them in some way. I like original content more than forwards. I’d rather you told me about your day, and I had the opportunity to tell you about mine. Since you don’t always do that, I started this blog so I can tell everyone.
Is anyone out there listening/reading?
I don’t know if you remember or not, but when email forwards first became popular, people would get upset when you didn’t respond. It was as if people thought that was a personal communication that showed they were thinking about you. Just an FYI, It doesn’t really feel that way. It feels like you’re “blogging” and I probably will read the forward and then forget about it. It doesn’t mean I don’t care. It means I would rather hear how your hemorrhoid is doing than some joke your great aunt doohicky sent you.
There is an irrationality to facebook that the Southpark writers definitely portrayed in that clip I posted below. There’s irrationality to everything really. I received a letter in the mail that I opened this morning that said I owed $900 to Illinois. I almost lost my shit. I was so deflated and upset. I called, and they said that they didn’t have my W-2s on record and if I sent them in, it should take care of it and I won’t owe anything.
I’m sure if I would have read the paperwork more closely, I may have figured it out. But once I saw I owed almost a thousand dollars, I saw red … and that’s all I could see.
But back to the “forward” concept on facebook. You’ve probably seen memes like the, “If you like this message, copy and paste it into your update”.
There’s this one that I enjoyed about gay marriage.
If you aren’t pro-gay marriage, than you might find it somewhat irritating, but for the most part, it’s an innocuous update. It gives a pretty humorous rationale and it ends with a call to action. Great. Wonderful. Nobody’s too terribly upset.
But then there’s the conservative meme. Take this one for example:
One: it’s not original (and it has typos). And any Joe with a helmet knows that a conservative can’t come up with anything clever to save their lives. And two, which is greater than one … its call to action is hoping for President Obama to die.
“God and me [self sic], we’re pals! We want the same thing and that’s for Obama-mic-dumby head to die.”
I have a problem filtering out my words. But I can say I never asked, prayed, wanted, wished for, hoped for President Bush to die, be killed or whatever. I despised him. I didn’t like what he stood for. I didn’t like the information I got from him or about him. But I didn’t say — even in jest — that I hoped Bushy boy would get tagged with the sharp end of a deadly blade.
The above update is a prayer. Christians think prayer works. One would think that Christians would go out of their ways to “appear” Christian, and not hope through spiritual intervention for Obama’s death. How much stupider do you want to look? I mean, this just makes the Christian stereotype even more horrendous than it already is.
If anything, I would expect that Christians might do something that resembles a prayer that goes something like this: “Dear lord, help me to understand why you found it necessary to let historical events play out this way. Help me to understand and have patience for that which I don’t understand. Help President Obama make decisions for you. Amen.”
And that’s all you have to pray.
What I would like to see is people putting spin on memes. If you get a meme that makes you look as dumb as the prayer above, then stop the trend. Make an update that says, there are people sending out a memes that make us Christians look stupid by “praying” for Obama’s death. Say something like, “I hope we would behave in a way that was more representational of that which we believe, which is peace and prosperity and that god is in control … and I’m sure he’s got this one … ”
And this call to action is vice versa. If I see something that makes my fellow atheists look or appear asshole-like … I will make every effort to calm that storm too.
How about it? What do you say?