I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I love the interaction with close friends and being able to chat to friends who don’t live close by. I hate that stupid people are allowed to use it. Some days I feel like I am caught in a giant vacuum of stupid and I worry about the next generation.
Everyday I log on and there is ‘share this’ or ‘like this’ posts telling users that they are going to die tomorrow or that a simple like will give little Timmy that kidney he needs. These posts have hundreds of thousands of likes and shares. There are that many stupid people on Facebook. Every time someone I know shares one of these posts I have to refrain from saying stop it, you are a fuckhead. I usually meet halfway and make a status about it, public shaming always works well.
The posts that make me want to stab myself in the eye so that I never have to see them again however are the hundreds of ‘share this post to win *insert electronic device*’. Do people really believe that some random company is going to be giving away 5000 Ipads every week. Apparently so because I keep seeing the damn posts, which of course are sponsored so they will always appear, even when my friends don’t like them.
Today however I felt that the ‘share this’ stepped over the line. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have no doubt heard about the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Circulating around Facebook this afternoon was a picture of a little girl running in a race of some description, accompanying that image is a statement designed to pull at the heart strings. It says that this little girl was killed in the bombings. This photo is a scam. This little girl was not killed. She wasn’t even running in the marathon. Yet people mindlessly shared the picture without checking facts.
The Foundation who did take the photo are urging people to report the photo. The most chilling comment on the status however is one that must be from the mother of the little girl. It reads ‘No, that little girl is safe & sound and sleeping in her room…’. How horrible it must be to log onto your Facebook to find your child’s face plastered across it, being toted as the poster child for a bombing she was supposedly killed in.
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, we are all guilty of it at some stage in our lives. I guess we just need to learn from these mistakes. Think, does this seem too far fetched, because chances are it is.