16 November 2017

Feel Good, Inc.

A couple of news stories have been swimming around my world the last few days. One is local, one is on the international stage (literally and figuratively). But both of them have something in common: emotion versus fact.

A couple of quick summaries: The local story is a guy that left his place of employment voluntarily and without notice, and wants to keep the canine partner from his job. The other story is a world-renowned rock star shares a photo from a fan on a social media site. The fan complains, resulting in a terribly inconvenient 45 minutes that the rock star has to spend to get the issue resolved, at which point he (the rock star) posts a rant about how rude the fan was for getting him in trouble and unleashing his fans upon her by naming her, publicly, and threatening to ban her from ever coming to his shows again.

These stories appear to have nothing in common, and at their core, they really don’t. But the response to them are nearly identical, and something so new as to be baffling to people on the outside looking in – if there is such a thing any more. In both cases, battle lines have been drawn on social media. People have chosen their sides and will not be swayed by such piddly little things as facts and laws. This is HOW I FEEL, dammit, and MY OPINION, and that makes it right! And if you disagree with that, you’re wrong! And then the name-calling starts. And then escalates.

People like to feel. They like to feel good when there’s a heart-warming story, but they also enjoy getting angry. It sounds stupid, but it’s true. There have been reports recently published about why the “click-bait” type articles are so successful, and why the media is becoming more divisive. It’s because that’s what generates the most response. More clicks, more comments, and that means more money. So that’s not just imagination, it’s really happening.

You might notice I’m not sharing my opinions on the stories here. I REALLY want to, especially since I believe I’ve dug into both of the issues because I want to know the facts of the cases before I form an opinion. And it’s my own blog, so I should be entitled, right? But that’s not my point. My point in this writing is that the world we live in today, everything’s about feeling good. Spouting off whatever makes you feel right, whether you are or not. And in these cases, oh, so very many people are not! But it’s never going to change. This is the nature of humanity, and now everyone has a megaphone to scream louder into an ever-expanding world.

So what’s the point of writing this? None, really. I just like to write. But maybe, just maybe, someone will read this and in the future, they’ll stop and think before posting that “this makes me so angry!!!”

Stranger things have happened, right?