I don’t really enjoy policing Facebook and I’ll probably never say this to my friends personally, but every year around holiday season there is a certain type of person who believes that is their one true calling to post pictures about societal inconsistencies with the actual message of a given holiday and I’m here to tell you: stop.
I know what you’re thinking.
“But Brian, people aren’t really thankful if they trample each other the next day for various electronics.”
Trust me, I know. About ten people posted this on my wall this year, and last year, and the year before, and more than likely, next year. They’ve posted it using what I suspect is the exact same image, maybe using a different font, but with the same 19 word message that everyone has heard before.
“Some Americans are really greedy and they are ruining my holidays by not celebrating them the way I do.”
I assure you that by now everyone with a marginal understanding of the purpose of these holidays can also tell that these behaviors are not what the holiday was about in the first place. We’ve all seen A Christmas Carol and we pretty much had it established since we were three years old that greed is not what the holidays are about.
I’m also fully aware that the Internet is where originality goes to die and that memes are essentially used to fill the void where actual thought, action or anything else might’ve taken place. The Internet has gone long past kicking dead horses and has moved on to simply burning bankrupt glue factories in which parts of the horse may or may not have been used at some point. Image macros are the future and are going to be used to point out everything wrong with the world without actually requiring someone to do anything about the problem.
It’s not impressive, we get it. You are a clever person who has figured out what’s really going on with these Black Friday shoppers. Facebook does not need to be enlightened about your amazing discovery.
If you want to do something meaningful and impressive, go out and picket a Wal-Mart for the people who have to work on holidays just to make ends meet. Post about that; go ahead and invite your friends. I’ll come out, it’s a good cause, it actually does something to solve the problem. I’ll sit in a jail with you and we can share pictures of our experience so other people can write clever things on it and post it as if they had anything to do with it. Then we can laugh about it.
Until you do that though, stop posting the stupid image macros. If you want to have a real discussion about the issue, talk about it with your friends and family. Don’t participate in any of this stuff that is ruining holiday experience. Go beyond empty online posturing and try to make the holidays better in your own way. There are always going to be people who turn the holidays into a consumerist nightmare and I can pretty much promise you that none of them will ever affect you in any meaningful way if you don’t let them.
Beyond even the holidays you’re also going to realize that there are a lot of stupid people in the world, doing a lot of stupid things that you may find ironic, or that you don’t agree with. You may have the sudden urge to post an image macro about how “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
Just don’t do it. If it’s been said so many times that you suspect your friends may audibly sigh when they read the sentence, it doesn’t need to be said or posted in any form. The image of a person representing your point of view explaining this concept to another person who is clearly an idiot does not add anything to the dialogue.
Changing the background does not change the content.
So in closing, I sincerely hope we all have a wonderful holiday season this year. I hope we all celebrate it in a way we find appropriate and we can all just ignore the people we don’t know who get posted on the internet that don’t celebrate the way we do. Don’t make an image macro out of it, just do it.
Brian Fosdick is a senior JTC major with a minor in political science and enjoys when you send all of his hate mail/love confessions to email@example.com