Remember the 90s? Remember when Gmail didn’t exist, and people actually had AOL and Hotmail email addresses, and every day you’d get a chain letter plopped in your inbox imploring you to save the bonsai kitten? And everyone had these ridiculous quotes in their signatures ~_*+tHat lOokED lyKe tHiS+*_~, and we all thought that if we forwarded this email to ten thousand people, Bill Gates would give us all $100?
I thought we’d learned from that. But like everything else in life, stupidity endures, and my social networks are not messageboards of my friends’ lives so much as they are a platform for the dumbest things to get shared and re-posted, in a terribly real satire of what happens when you enable mankind with free, fast communication.
Facebook, once a medium for Harvard students to do…whatever Harvard students do, I guess, is now a place where I see questionably designed images that are, at best, trite and misleading:
|I was flabbergasted at the number of perfectly reasonable people who demonstrated that they don’t understand how stocks, law, or common sense work.|
Okay, so Facebook is now taken over by dumb people who wouldn’t know good typography if an ampersand hit them in the face. Over to Google+, where none of the few people I have chosen to follow there believe in re-posting this stupid nonsense.
But wait! Google+ now shows me “What’s Hot,” which is the stuff that gets chain-emailed around by people I have absolutely no connection to. Which is why I now log in and see this:
|Don’t know about you, but if I look into someone’s eyes and I see their heart, I’m calling the ambulance.|
What the hell, Google+? The whole point of using you is so I don’t have to deal with the stupid people I know on Facebook! Why do you feel the need to show me stupid stuff made by stupid people I don’t even know?
My conclusion? Misattributed quotes, terrible design, fake stories, and saccharinely trite sayings are always going to persist. Scientists could invent a way for us to beam thoughts right into each others’ heads, and while a few people will use this in a groundbreaking educational way, the majority of them will be beaming “~Life isn’t measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away~ (George Washington)” into each other’s craniums while they walk their holographic robot dogs.
That’s depressing. Not fake-Lao-Tzu living-in-the-past depressing, just regular depressing.