A couple weeks ago, social media was up in arms over the ignorant statements made to a GQ reporter after being asked to give his opinions on a particular topic. I had never seen the show and didn’t know who this guy was until the internet exploded with talk about him.
Comments like, “His First Amendment Rights were violated,” were equally ignorant. I’d be one of the first people to be up in arms over a First Amendment Rights violation, but the truth was that it was a tv station that fired him over his interview with GQ. Who knows? Maybe A&E wanted to fire him anyway and used this as their excuse? Bottom line is that this ignorant man was making thousands of dollars an episode to perpetuate his ignorance onto those who watch the show. (I still have never seen it, although I was slightly curious to see what the hype was about.)
It wasn’t just this whole Duck Dynasty that’s blown up on social media. There were many blow ups about “reality” tv stars, Miley Cyrus sports players, Miley Cyrus, tv chefs, Miley Cyrus, movie stars and Miley Cyrus.
I wasted my time watching a show on NBC called, “What We Wasted Our Time On In 2013.” It was so appropriately titled and I felt like I was in some Twilight Zone. It was the most insanely idiotic thing I’ve watched and yet, I watched, and instantly felt like the U.S. could be flushed down the toilet at any moment and the rest of the world would say, “Finally!” It was sad.
The “NOH8” social media campaign was huge. It really got people talking and laws started to change. It began in 2008 and is probably one of the most recognizable social media protests, but it seemed to stop there. When did our People of the U.S. stop protesting REAL issues? We’ve become so consumed with who is sleeping with whom (in government, in tabloids, on tv) and which “celebrity” is back in rehab and how Miley Cyrus is twerking her brain out of her head. We’re failing to see the bigger issues of our society crapping on itself and eventually getting flushed down the toilet because of it.
We as the “users” of social media have access to information (we just might have to go further than our tv’s or the first Google page that comes up or beyond the viral videos of the latest stupid video “challenge”), but we don’t utilize it. We see the headline of a news article our friends (real and internet “friends”) and we take it as truth and never look beyond that first glance. If you did, you might be as horrified as I am with the state of our society and take action.
Our society is getting mad over some guy on reality tv, but there’s bigger things to be mad about. How about getting mad that society (and our tv shows) perpetuates ignorance? How about getting into a campaign for equality rather than a campaign over this one person who represents a larger problem? How about taking a deeper look into the ignorant ideas that Congress enacts into law?
While you’re commenting on these “celebrities”, try thinking of the bigger issue at hand. Are you enraged that the guy from Duck Dynasty is talking about his disgust about the LBGT community or are you more enraged that society still fails to accept that whoever you sleep with or I sleep with is nobody’s concern as long as they are consenting adults? Are you really that enraged that Miley Cyrus is singing about doing drugs or twerking like she’s on the very drugs she sings about or are you more concerned that there are hundreds of thousands of girls who are doing drugs and stripping and prostituting themselves for more drugs and being violated and abused and murdered as a result? Are you that concerned with an ignorant old lady from the South who used/uses the “N” word or are you more concerned that racism still exists after desegregation happened only 50 years ago this year?
50 years ago, when we didn’t like our society the way it was, we protested our rights. With social media being the main source for news since 2011, police chiefs around the world are working to ensure our right to peaceful protest on social media will be stripped from us. The plan is two-fold,
A partnership between police departments and social media sites discussed at a convention in Philadelphia this week could allow law enforcement to keep anything deemed criminal off the Internet—and even stop people from organizing protests.
The pretty package we will get is that they will prevent crime, which would be wonderful, but not realistic. The organization of a violent occurrence using social media could be useful to law enforcement as a “heads up”, but in that case, there should be police procedures and planning to infiltrate the violence by ready-to-act observation rather than stripping us of our fundamental rights to protest or becoming the violent aggressors themselves.
A quote from an ACLU article words it perfectly,
History tells us that many of the fundamental rights we enjoy today were obtained after generations before us engaged in sustained protests in the streets: the prohibition against child labor, steps toward racial equality, women’s suffrage – to name just a few – were each accomplished with the help of public expression of these demands. If freedom of expression is the grievance system of democracies, the right to protest and peaceful assembly is democracy’s megaphone. It is the tool of the poor and the marginalized – those who do not have ready access to the levers of power and influence, those who need to take to the streets to make their voices heard.
Considering there are more users of social media than leaders with power and influence, it is no wonder those leaders would want to stop PROTESTS AGAINST THEM using those resources.
I watched the Michael Moore documentary Sicko about healthcare in the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, and France. A Frenchman was asked why there were so many perks in healthcare from the government. He replied (rough quote), “The French government is afraid of the People revolting against them. In the U.S., the People are afraid of their government.” So true!