Tuesday, 3 March 2015


This meme has received criticism, can you guess why?

The objection is that it's a huge assumption that just because you care about one thing enough to talk about it ad nauseum, it doesn't mean you don't care about other things. And quite so. Those who were derided for being shallow for the interest they took in the colours of a dress last week fought back too. We can't always be serious, or talk about serious things. There's more to it than that obviously, there's the fear of getting into "deep water" on sensitive topics, so some people deliberately choose to avoid them. There's also a feeling of helplessness.

Or maybe they really don't care.

I've heard many times how somebody is always on the same topic or topics. Recently a friend whose serious posts are invariably about racism was told she sounded like a broken record.

Think about it for a moment, if it is tedious to you to hear about racism, or whatever form of bigotry, day in day out, imagine how much more tedious it is to actually experience that, day in and day out. If you are troubled by hearing about it, again, perhaps you are part of the problem.

Before we can change anything in this world we need an awareness of it. We must talk about it. If we become bored by it, this is actually a sign that there is still a problem to be fixed.

I love social media. I get up every morning, do my immediate essential tasks, and then settle in for an hour or so of pure social media indulgence, maybe with a couple of slices of egg and toast. As I see what people are talking about I see things I agree with, things I don't agree with, and things that are of no interest to me whatsoever. What I do next is entirely up to me. I can argue, sympathize, ignore, and go off of tangents. I'm completely free to do all of this. So I engage in what interests me and ignore the rest.

Some of it is serious, some is most definitely not. I can handle both at once, it's really not hard. It just takes a bit of maturity and sincerity. Sometimes I decide that kindness is the most important thing of all and I show support to people who wouldn't miss it if I didn't, but it may brighten their day and costs me nothing.

Sometimes I see a bit of nonsense that the pedant inside me cannot resist. I am fully responsible for the consequences of deciding to respond, so I'm careful how I word things, and I pick my battles.

Sometimes I see things like this:

I feel very strongly about marriage equality and LGBT rights. I don't need to, I could ignore it. But I feel strongly about equality and fairness generally, and here's an area where I see a lot of harm being done, for no good reason, so I tend to speak up. 

On the other hand, I get myself into trouble anytime I discuss anything to do with the Bible. Not my book. So, it might not be prudent to share or support this particular meme. It doesn't mean I won't discuss this, but there's a better time and way to do it. 

It could begin an interesting discussion, or it could lead to "OH NO NOT AGAIN".

Would anything new get said? I doubt it. Would anyone learn anything? I doubt it. Is there anything positive to be gained from sharing it at all. Probably not. 

But you see, if you care about something, whether it's world peace, human rights or just KNITTING, then if it matters to you, it matters to you.

Now I freely admit there are things that I roll my eyes and yawn at when I see them being written about. Sports and coffee spring to mind. If I was to react negatively to every coffee meme or comment I came across, I'd be friendless. Nobody would tolerate that level of negativity to harmless, personal thoughts. I'd be such an arse to even mention it. And unlike those who suffer racism, it does me no harm. So, as tedious as it is, I let it go. 

Same with sports. Yawn, snore, zzzzzzz. I have zero interest and when there's a big game and everyone is talking about it, I could be really obnoxious about it. But where would that get me? It wouldn't win me any awards, so I just let it be.

These are not important things. One way OR the other. 

But some things are important. Unnecessary starvation due to war, corruption, exploitation, etc. The loss of endangered species due to hunting and habitat loss. Pollution. The ineffective legal system. And all of the various forms of bigotry. These are things we should be talking about.

We can apply ourselves to fluffy topics too, without any harm. We need downtime and we need joy in our lives. We need silliness. 

It's only a problem when ALL anyone ever cares about is the fluff. When their only serious thoughts are the whining and melodrama in their own lives. These people are shallow. 

If on the other hand you simply fear controversy, then you're just a coward. You won't always be right, you certainly won't always be popular, but instead of being part of the problem, you could be part of the solution. It's all a choice. 


  1. Y'know, Melanie, I'm pretty much through with social media. It doesn't make me happy, it often depresses me, and it seems to me that it shortens attention spans and devalues thought. But then I'm not exactly a social type, as you probably know quite well.

    The problem with memes like the Spock one is that it does serve, like everything else, as a distraction. There are a lot of people who, yes, use things like that awful dress as light relief. But one hell of a lot more actually live on from distraction to distraction and don't ever, under any circumstances, think of real things at all.

    And that isn't illogical. It;s tragic.

    Mini-rant over, carry on.

    1. Sorry for the ; instead of the ' in "it's". A mistype.

  2. One reason why I don't always react to your blogs, especially if I have been reading them on the tablet, is because I generally agree, and saying so gets boring.