No More Complaints About the Internet Ruining Society. Seriously.

I enjoy Zen Pencils a lot. He’s a good illustrator with fine organizational instincts who takes his time with his comics. Above all, he selects consistently good subject matter and usually avoids filler — I tend to excuse his preference for overly sappy/dramatic/grandiose quotes by checking my cynical streak at the door (plus being positive and inspirational is kinda his mission, right?).

I’m used to paid bloviators (who are, as a rule, of an older generation) ranting in broad strokes with fact-less and overly-condescending1 tones on the subject of us narcissistic, attention-challenged youth who are ruining our selves and the world with technology. This one, though. Yeesh. Posting on Twitter or Facebook makes you an attention addict, on par with a heroin addict? Is that what we’ve come to?

That said, all afternoon I’ve been viewing my Twitter and Facebook feeds as if I was wearing a pair of advanced Ray-Bans that revealed every post to be some variation on “Look at me!” or “Validate me!” (and also “OBEY” and “CONSUME” but that I see that surprisingly often).

Is all posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc by definition a cry for attention and acknowledgment? Nope.

Is there room for simply sharing cool stuff because it’s entertaining/useful/important? Sure.

Is “I’m simply sharing!” a self-important, self-deluding excuse that screams “I have super awesome taste! Validate it, my friends!”? Probably.

What about the irony of tweeting this cartoon to disagree with it? I’ll pass on that one.

So there’s my opinion in 3 answers. I argue that there’s a difference between sharing cool or informative articles, videos, music, etc vs narrating one’s life into the intertubes as depicted in the comic2. This will just devolve into another “Is there such a thing as a selfless good deed?” conversation, but throw out your anecdotes and opinions below if you have them.

P.S. ‘#drugsarebad’ is definitely a hashtag Reagan would’ve used had Twitter been around in the ’80s (Related and hilarious).

Footnotes:

  1. Looking at you, Time. (I just can’t bring myself to link to the actual article.)
  2. Ignore the fact that I’m on a dirty toilet sprawled out like a heroin addict as I write this.