What’s that? Some celebrity sent a mildly offensive tweet? Well it’s a shame that person said that, but I don’t see a need for a public outc….oh, wow. People are really worked up over this. This celebrity is receiving death threats, and many people are calling for the cancellation of a tv show that this celebrity is involved with. All of this over a single tweet? Isn’t this all a bit much?
One would think so, but no. When something remotely disagreeable happens in our culture, we can’t help but get up in arms at the drop of a hat. Sure, we’d all like to think that it’s because we’re soldiers for an equal and just world, but the unflattering reality is that our society has a problem. We are addicted to outrage.
I’ve noticed his trend mostly among people from the ages of 16 to 30, depending upon respective life circumstances. It seems that people of this age group aren’t really happy unless they’re fighting against some kind of injustice. But instead of actually doing something about it, like protesting, fundraising, or holding an intelligent debate, all of which requires work and dedication, they instead write FB posts, blog entries, and short articles that simply express how pissed off they are that [insert bad thing here] is going on. See, it’s the sad duality of being an American that the only thing that outweighs our sense of moral superiority (about anything) is our laziness. Even our activism has fallen victim to our supreme laziness.
Realize something here, people: sending a tweet doesn’t make you an activist; and shaming people that do things you don’t “agree with” doesn’t make you a protestor.
The perfect example of this is something called “manspreading”. I was on the train, and a woman yelled at me for sitting with my legs a little too wide. She then directed me to a NY Times article about “manspreading”, referring to it as the ‘new scourge of public transportation.’
I am all for equality for everyone across the board. A person should be defined & judged by their choices, not by their gender or skin color. And I also realize that there are still strides that need to me made for women in this country.
But come on? Manspreading? Really? That is an inconvenience at WORST.
And that’s the problem with spoiled Americans that want to be activists: they confuse injustice with inconvenience.
When a woman on the other side of the world can get her hands chopped off for trying to vote, you don’t get to complain about ‘manspreading’ like it’s a real issue.
The whole ‘manspreading’ thing leads me to another point: people are getting fired up and outraged about ALL THE WRONG THINGS. When Trevor Noah was announced as Jon Stewart’s replacement on the Daily Show, that should have been a time of song and celebration. Instead, a bunch of narcissistic jerks with nothing better to do other than police the internet dug up some MILDLY offensive tweets he wrote a year ago & felt it necessary to share their findings with the world. This caused a bit of a backlash, none of which will ultimately effect Trevor Noah in the long run. My problem with this is that THIS is what is causing a stir in this country; Not homelessness, or rampant political corruption, or the increasing militarization of the police, but a couple of low-grade jew jokes on twitter. All that tells me is that these people don’t really care about the “issues”; they care that people think they care about the issues. Outrage has become the new opiate of the masses, and FaceBook, Twitter, and Tumblr are its enabling pushers
You want to be an activist? Fine. But BE AN ACTIVIST!! Don’t just talk about how things piss you off on Facebook, tumblr, and twitter; that’s just you trying to remind your friends how cultured you are without actually doing anything, which is actually a very selfish motivation.
Organize a protest. Start a petition. Host a fundraiser. Get involved!
But if all you’re doing is tweeting or tumbling, you’re just an Outrage junky.
*P.S. – I fully understand the irony of the fact that this post is expressing outrage about outrage.*