Monday, September 16, 2013

Empowering the Idiots

One of the truest things you can say about the impact of online-all-the-time social media on our culture and society is that "we haven't figured it out yet."

We haven't figured out the legal boundaries of what employees can say about employers without risking termination.

We haven't figured out the legal intersection of social media postings and custody of children.

We haven't figured out where the line is that separates teenagers' 1st Amendment rights from things that might be construed as serious threats.

And we certainly haven't figured out that a couple idiot Tweeters do not speak for the mood of a country.  Certain news organizations, however, can use those idiots to push their narrative, and they do.

Let me get this straight:

1. A beautiful woman of Indian descent was crowned Miss America.
2. 99.99+% of Americans simply went on with their lives, genuinely not caring one way or the other, or maybe giving her passive support (i.e. 'good for back to my errands.')
3. A handful of people used the #MissAmerica hashtag to attract attention to themselves for making vile comments about her heritage.

I could find a handful of people on Twitter who are saying the moon is made of cheese.  Does that mean that such a statement captures the national mood?  No one would take that seriously.

This cycle could literally never end.  ANY TIME that someone wins something, is elected to an office, or is otherwise recognized, there will be SOMEONE ready to write some flip, vile comment on Twitter.  Whether it's a teenage boy out for jollies, whether it's a deranged loner who really means it, or whether it's completely staged in order to set up a 'teachable moment' (remember the staged racial stuff at Oberlin a little while back? Google it) it does not merit the front of page of CNN and the Globe.

Well, at least I say so.  But then again, I'm not the editor of either one.  


Renee said...
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Renee said...

The Pope mentions something within context of a 12,000 word interview. Every news/social media outlet reports it out of context. It's like the news media did a word search on specific words, and did what they wanted with the Pope's statement to fit a juicy headline.

I don't expect a non-Catholic or even Catholic to study and read the interview or the Pope's first Encyclical, but the media went haywire. They mashed up his words to serve their own purpose.

It's a wonderful interview, and in teaches in the same spirit of the previous Popes. Pope Francis isn't the radical, and the media spins it. The media went crazy that Pope Francis used the subway...

Do you know what car Pope Benedict use to drive?

Answer: He never drove a car, because he always lived in a city with public transportation or he could walk.

Also I would of never of know about Miley Cyrus and her twerking if it wasn't for... the evening broadcast news. I don't have cable or watch entertainment shows.

The media is self serving, it's about desperately getting the most out of our short attention spans.