Social Media Will Make 2018 The Worst Year Of Your Life

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March On Washington Creative Commons

A vacuous YouTube star dabbed on a cadaver, our commander in chief tweeted a tiny-dick joke at the expense of a nuclear-powered dictator, Max Landis released tone deaf Lord Of The Rings, and the country is in a bitter wrangle over the latest Star Wars movie. I’d say we’re off to a racing start, ladies and gentlemen. If you have any resolutions, I congratulate you on your buoyancy, but please, continue smoking, fuck your keto diet, and don’t take up any new skills or hobbies. I predict, with an unsettling degree of certainty, that 2018 will be the worst year of your life. Yes, you personally.

Why? Besides the obvious economic, social and political obstructions holding back our would-be utopia, the resistance against said obstructions is illusory, staffed by a clan of vapid, self-obsessed gadflies determined to start a revolution, only they’re not quite sure what they want to say or how they ought to say it. Our art suffers, our democracy suffers, and we suffer because, in the most promising technological age, narcissism is in vogue like never before. If every person looked in the mirror every morning and declared, “I am a boring non-entity,” everything would be AWESOME tomorrow. It’s as simple as that. That is the only solution to every problem the free world currently faces. That’s where it starts. Progress can’t occur when its authors only have themselves in mind. There are bigger, more perilous implications that loom as a direct result of this, but I’m going to keep this polemic focused on social media. First, because it is no small part of the problem, and second, because it falls more in line with my jurisdiction.

It’s a peculiar phenomenon. The Logan Paul curfuffle is erroneously characterized as a wake-up call. Somehow the 22-year-old millionaire at its center, the very one that 4.4 million of you follow on Twitter, is footing the bill for our culture of self-obsession. Every video that insipid asshole has ever posted is more than suggestive of a guy that would have zero compunction about capitalizing on the discovery of a hanging corpse in service of his self-aggrandizing internet fuckery. His clothing line is called “Maverick,” and is named after his dead parrot (poetic?). The day before the incident, Logan published a video titled, “2017: The Best Year Of My Life,” wherein he bragged with abandon about all the cars, followers and mansions he’s procured, while his entourage nodded somberly behind him. You’re not shocked by his actions. You’re not hurt by them. You’re ashamed, and rightly so, because you more than likely practice a version of the thing you’re condemning him for, every day. I am right there with you. I know what it’s like to desperately want to be a part of an idea, a movement. To be Promethean and integral to the billow of change. But I’m afraid that’s the wrong way to look at it. Tyranny is not your golden ticket into the “I matter" club. Examine your passion, study it closely, scrutinize it. Do you really want things to be better? Or do you want things to get good enough so that you’re not oppressed, but remain bad enough that you still have enough fodder for your morning Facebook diatribes?

Contrary to the beliefs of the leader of the free world, revolutions don’t start on social media. There are no shortcuts to courage and conviction. If you want to be one of the cogs that thrust meaningful change into motion, then read up, learn how to speak and write, and prepare for some dissension. Not your thing? That’s fine, just shut up and leave it to the professionals. It may seem innocuous, but this is how liberty dies.

Think about the March on Washington. Put into your mind the crowd of people gathered together 55 years ago. Before the internet, before cell phones. 250,000 people showed up for an ideal. We want so badly to mimic that moment of powerful solidarity, but we fall short. We fall short because today, we converge for all the wrong reasons. We’re so busy polishing our boots we forget how to walk. Our marches are a contemptible perversion, a parody. We use our impossible tools of communication as a back scratcher -- they're wasted on us. For our shortcomings, we pay a heavy price. 2018 won’t be the year you lose 40 pounds, or the year we figure out race relations. 2018 might be the year you die in a nuclear Holocaust.

 

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