Splendid Rubbish


I’m enjoying the Facebook photographs and tributes to your mothers on Mothers Day, and I added a photo of my mom too.  I wish you’d do things like this on the other 364 days of the year.

 Some of you contribute and make me think.  You’ve taken the time to consider something and speak your mind and I like that.  I may not agree, but I like the idea that you did it. 

 I did a short and unscientific survey a couple of days ago, and too many of you are still showing me your selfies and your food and your cats.  Some of you are young and beautiful, so the selfies are fun for ten seconds.  But really, don’t get so self-absorbed.  It all fades away or starts sagging. Trust me on this.   And enough with the food.  If all you have to offer is a picture of what you’re about to cram into your pie hole, then it is simply not an important day in your life. Go out and enjoy it.  Showing your food to everyone is the beginning of a neurosis of some kind. Seriously.  And your cat isn’t funny or cute to me. He’s your cat. Laugh at him in your living room and leave me out of it.  You see what you’ve done?  I can’t type now. I have to sneeze.

 (Short pause)

 Why have we invented something so splendid as the idea of social media–a marvelous way of communicating thoughts and ideas–and then trashed it with the trivial and mundane?  At one point in history, we invented words like trivial and mundane for things that are, well, trivial and mundane. I thought we did this so the important things could have labels like splendid and marvelous.  I like those labels.  Is our goal to confuse the superb with the inconsequential? Do we want our best thoughts and ideas displayed on the trash heap?

 Or is it just me? Does everyone else spend the rest of the day thinking about that picture of your meal at a restaurant, or the fact that you’re angry about somebody who did something? Usually you don’t even tell us what it’s about or who did it and even if you did, that’s not nice.

 If real life imitated social media, our world would be much more absurd than it already is.  People would be talking publicly and constantly, about nothing.  Our friends—and unknown people—would approach us in public places and shout “I’m quite angry right now and I want you all to know it!  But I don’t want to say anything else about it and oh, here, please have a picture of my breakfast.”  We would hear people in the supermarket shouting “I’m buying some Pepto Bismol right now!”  Most of us would quietly and quickly get away.  I hope we would, anyway.

 Shouldn’t social media imitate considerate life?  Would we not enjoy it more if it weren’t thoughtless?

 The artist Andy Warhol once said that in the future, everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes.  Even a guy who painted Campbell’s Soup cans for a living must have hoped we’d be more responsible with our little notorieties.

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