“It’s so funny how social media was just this fun thing, and now it’s this monster that consumes so many millennial lives” – Cazzie David
Like many of you reading this article, I also use social media, and I also spend hours reading posts of other people. Moreover, I love Twitter, and I often surf it, especially when I feel blue and feel like all my friends abandoned me to die of boredom. I enjoy reading motivating and inspiring adage of celebrities who tweet on a daily basis and who used to encourage me to be better by giving tips on how to improve your life or become more successful.
But in recent present, my opinion about Twitter and other social networks changed after I saw the post of one guy who is a professional sportsman and who has hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram. That’s awesome, rights? Just let me be clear here, I am not trying to promote any social network or discourage you from using it in your daily life, but I am just sharing my experience.
The story I witnessed
Anyhow, I will continue. This person (professional sportsman whose name I will not reveal) posted a picture of his father being in an emergency room and receiving immediate medical assistance from healthcare professionals of some local hospital in his city. I was not shocked to my very core because of the tragedy or felt empathy with his father, but I was terrified with the idea that followers of this guy were more important to him than his own father.
I don’t remember the exact context of the tweet, but the sportsman indicated that his father just had a heart attack and all the family was waiting for the doctors to announce whether their family member will live or die. And this guy posted the picture of an older man connected to numerous machines with tubes popping out of his mouth on the Internet for followers to observe. I don’t know the exact the purpose of such action and whether this is normal these days to post pictures of your loved ones on the edge of death in social media seeking people’s compassion, but I believe that this is sick and disgusting.
I can never imagine the pain of a person when their relative dies or on the edge of death. It is a lottery, and life is a jackpot. What surprises me the most is that social media became some kind of invisible tool to improve our personal life in some way. I cannot call social media a drug which causes addiction because it is in our blood, in the blood of people who were born in the epoch of technologies and the mighty Internet. The need for utilization social media is integrated into our brain like software which regulates our perception of the world and people around us, and it controls our emotions and behaviors.
We feel like we must have a social media account, we must share our personal life on Facebook or Twitter, we must write something funny to make more online friends, and we must ask for empathy from people we don’t know on the Internet. The mother of the guy and his sister were with him in the hospital when his father was delivered to the emergency room. And instead of being with them and sharing this horrible experience, the guy decided to make a humiliating picture (humiliating towards his father who was unknown and became famous because of his appearance on the hospital bed) and post it on Twitter.
The meaning of “like”
By the time I checked his tweet, it already got over ten thousand likes and over a thousand comments. And that is the other thing which I could not figure out while being in the state of shock while watching the picture of dying man on the hospital bed. I could not comprehend why people liked the picture? I might be wrong here, but in my head, the word “like” means something satisfactory, enjoyable, or something that causes admiration. Trust me, if you saw that picture, you would never be admired or enjoyed watching it.
Anyhow, more than ten thousand likes were collected. Users were writing the words of sympathy and getting hundreds of likes for that and being rewarded with “thank u” from the author of the post. I neither liked the post nor commented on it. I simply pressed on the icon of the sportsman and angrily clicked “unfollow” in his profile. I hope his father got better, and the number of his followers increased.
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