Today as I was on my phone, I got a notification from Twitter basically telling me to check out the highlights of my friends' tweets. So of course I clicked on it to see what my friend's latest tweets were. As I was scrolling through this, I noticed something strange. There was a video of a guy flushing a hamster down a toilet. Why, you might ask? Because the girlfriend who gave it to him cheated on him. While I'm sure this is emotionally scarring to him, and I'm sure looking at the hamster was hard for him, I am left to wonder- why not give the hamster away to someone who would care for it? Why not literally do anything else to vent out his frustrations? Most importantly, why did he feel the need to record it and post it with a big "eff you" to his now ex-girlfriend?
The answer to the last question is quite simple. People find this kind of material funny on the Internet, and this satisfaction somehow made him feel better about his predicament. That's right, killing a hamster who literally did nothing to deserve it is seemingly hilarious, and rather than being appalled and disgusted as I was by this video, this guy was almost being supported by people on the Internet for doing this. Several tweets left laughing emojis and things that said something along the lines of "Bro you a savage." Now, the good souls out there who tweeted him back letting him know how wrong he was, I applaud you. The rest of you who didn't and instead supported this and retweeted this are the exact representation of what is wrong with social media. And this is just one example.
Social media is supposed to be used for a few things. Things that do indeed matter. Keeping in touch with friends and family, for one. Social media can also be used as an outlet for self expression, and to get your ideas out to people. But as the years go on, it becomes more and more apparent to me that social media has instead turned into a place for people to publicly call each other out, brings others down, and has basically become some public drama hub where you can either participate or sit by and watch with a big bowl of popcorn.
I can't tell you how many times I've gone onto Twitter and watched as people thought it was funny to "subtweet" people, knowing the other person would see it and of course say something, as every one of their followers watched the whole thing go down. From there, it becomes some big contest of who was the better person to "roast" the other. What ever happened to talking things out... privately? Why do so many of us get satisfaction from posting things knowing it would hurt and humiliate others?
These are questions I suppose I will never get the answer to, but my assumption is that it depends on the person. Some people follow the crowd of people who are notorious for getting so much popularity for bringing others down, and they want that same feeling of acceptance. Or quite possibly and unfortunately just as likely, some people are just outright mean and get personal satisfaction in doing this. Regardless, it's almost as though the Internet is brainwashed and things like cyberbullying and posting videos of abuse against innocent people or things is popular now.
This concept is something I will never condone. And as I grew up in a world where this is normal for social media, so will my kids. I can only hope that I, along with the rest of our generation could be able to teach our kids along with others that this is wrong. This is not cool, this is not funny, and this certainly does not make me want to be friends with you or support you. I feel like others should have this mindset as well, but I guess I'm a dreamer.