Likes for Sympathy

Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. LinkedIn. Pinterest. I use all five social media platforms and have posted this article across the spectrum to bring in a wide range of readers. You could be someone I know, someone I work with, or a random stranger halfway around the world.

I’m going to speak to you directly because what I want to know is why you’ve let yourself become an emotionless, double-tapping, brain-dead human?

Over the last year, there have been a great number of disasters causing an outpouring of emotion, including the tragic death of the owner of Leicester City FC and the terrorist attacks in both New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

What followed was people sharing their emotions across social media. What followed was brands sharing emotional posts at different times of the day to push the same message. But, for what? Reactions.

In the social media world, reactions are currency.

People and brands looking to show the world they have a heart through their social media activity, whereas all they’re doing is fishing for likes. The incident is their bait. Their choice of social media is their fishing rod. You, you’re the little fish they catch when you mindlessly react to that post.

When the average human being receives “bad” news, what’s the first thing they do? When that girl gets dumped by her “boyfriend” for the umpteenth time, what’s the first thing she does? “U ok hun? PM me x.”

Sympathy should motivate people to spend time with their nearest and dearest. It should motivate people to help those who are truly in need.

Do you want to know what people who are truly impacted by a disaster do? They make sure it doesn’t happen to someone else. Those nearest and dearest push for, and achieve, change. Those looking for likes, do nothing. Ask yourself, why are some laws named after people? Sarah’s Law; Claire’s Law; Megan’s Law.

Instead it motivates people to post online and watch the reactions and messages flood in as their phone notifications go through the roof and they experience the same rush a drug addict gets when he snorts cocaine.

These same people who get high from notifications then question why others don’t pay their respects via social media. Have we transformed into a society where if we don’t show our respects online, we don’t feel sadness?  Or is it that society wants people to suffer, so we can post online and sit back and watch our online personalities gain more followers?

The devolution of humans has turned sympathy into nothing more than a button.

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