Why is everyone so angry? The Pop Culture Machine takes a look at social media and the role advertisers play in getting people riled up over the wrong things. .
You know, just once, I would like to get up in the morning, and not see something about Donald Trump in my fucking news feed. Yes, we get it, people are angry, he’s an asshole, and he doesn’t even try to hide the fact that he’s full of shit. Oh America, you never cease to entertain. I’m Canadian, and the most exciting political news we get is Trudeau saying, “if Trump calls, tell him I’m not in”. Oooooh, scandalous.
Bullshit in politics is nothing new. Hell, dig deep enough, and you’ll find some pretty nasty shit from virtually every government across the globe – yes, even Canada. But when did it turn into such an obsession, that we have to hang on every piece of insignificant shit that comes our way, and call it news? The more insane, the more absurd, the more attention it gets. Aren’t there better ways to spend our time? Isn’t there anything else we could be doing to contribute to society? Well, according to the media…no.
The world runs on money, and a huge money maker is advertising. The more you pay attention to something in the media, the more eyeballs on the ads they try to push. The news could be complete pop fluff shit – and in the case of FOX news, about 99% of the time, it is. But they make it exciting by stirring up emotions. Personally, I don’t care what you say, you can take a pile of dog shit, swirl it into cotton candy with strawberry flavoring, and I still won’t eat it. But not everyone is as discerning… that’s a polite way of saying, there are a lot of stupid mother fuckers in North American society, who believe everything you put in front of them.
People like me get angry at that. We wonder, where did all these sock Muppets come from? Surprise, they’ve always been there. But before social media, we really didn’t have access to all of them. Oh sure, everyone knew at least one person they suspected of drinking Drano in their youth,
but because our circle of friends was limited by geography, the idiot ratio in our circle of friends was pretty low.
But today, the social structure has changed. Everyone has a mobile device that lets them plug into the internet; that wondrous invention that we use to share ideas and knowledge across the globe, along with a few pictures of cats doing crazy shit. With social media, we can connect with thousands of “friends”. This means the social group gets bigger, and the idiot count invariably goes up. Remember, just because someone has the IQ of a walnut, doesn’t mean they can’t go online and make you rethink “planned parenting”, so, thank you Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg for your contribution to society.
Suddenly, everyone has a voice, including the ones you kinda wish didn’t. Idiots may have saturated society, but they’re not the dominant crowd – they just make the mostr noise.
Go to a party with fifty people, and one guy sets the bathtub on fire – what do you think people will be talking about the rest of the night?
It’s different, it stands out, it provokes an emotional response, and it screams “look at me, I’m angry! You should be too!” This is the same formula that the media uses to push all the horse shit we come across, and right now, it seems that the the king of horse shit, is Donald Trump. Whenever he does something stupid, which is about every other hour, or so, it finds its way onto everything, and right on cue, people jump on that bandwagon, and vent their two cents…and yeah, I’m no exception. But that argument takes on the tone of a Jerry Springer show, when stupid people weigh in, and after about 20 minutes, the comments section looks like a race war run by toddlers.
The problem isn’t just the stupid people, it’s the misinformed people, that follow stupid people by giving them the benefit of the doubt, which ends up giving many a bad taste and leaving them questioning their place in society.
I see so many people, angry at the injustice that’s happening in the world, weighing in, essentially the same way; with memes and those little Facebook posts that ask you to “share if you agree.”
Gathering at a public protest take a lot of effort, I get it. there’s parking, you need a sitter for the kids, and in the back of your mind, you’re always wondering if you shouldn’t have worn that old shirt that’s already ruined, because nothing gets the smell of tear gas out of clothes. But believe it or not, public protests are still the best way to get your voice across – even if that voice often goes ignored. But social media? Well hey, I can weigh in on everything that’s trending, and I don’t have to go anywhere! But the problem is that, most people on social media don’t really give a shit, because it’s an impersonal setting. A lot of the time, it’s more of a, “well, I should be mad at this, soooooo…click like and share. Wonder what’s new on YouTube.”
Sure, there are cases when people get together for a cause;
raising funds for someone through kickstarter, for example, or connecting someone who needs life changing medical attention with people across the globe who can help – people they wouldn’t have found in a million years, otherwise.
So why do we focus on the negative shit?
Because the negative shit gets our blood boiling, and, believe it or not, it’s easier to make someone angry, than it is to make them happy. Humor is subjective. Tell someone to go fuck themselves, or better yet, tell your wife she looks like she’s gained five pounds. Watch what happens.
Actually no, don’t do that, I don’t want to be responsible for any 911 calls.
Negativity is easy. It’s quick, and it fits with the stress and speed of North American culture. Remember the words of Yoda; “the dark side is quicker, easier, more seductive.” It’s easy to feel that rush of anger and shake your fists in the air, but in the social media world, a lot of the time, it’s temporary. There’s that prevailing calm that sits in the background of your mind, watching as you go through a tantrum of yelling at the screen. It knows you’ll calm down – right after you hit like and share.
Like it or not, we’re social creatures, and no amount of texting and posting will ever replace the real feeling of an emotional connection, that’s why people still get together at things like barbecues and birthday parties. People often seek out ways of bonding with others of like mind, especially in a world that can make you question your sanity. A world where, sometimes, you just need to vent with someone so you don’t feel like you’re the only one. People need to feel something, in order to retain that connection to humanity, even if that feeling is anger from something out of your control.
But if it makes you feel any better, there will always be someone there to make money off it.