I’m scrolling down Facebook and I’m annoyed.
Annoyed at what people are posting and annoyed that I’m still “friends” with these people on Facebook.
For the past few months, we’ve all noticed the Trending News widget Facebook updates instantly on the right of our dashboards. Win-win, I thought. Users are more informed about what’s going on in Politics, Sports, Entertainment, etc., and Facebook benefits from the engagement and media buzz. Personally, I feel more in-the-know, and this is something I now actively look for every time I log on to Facebook.
But then I see my Facebook “friends'” responses to the news stories – which, as you’ve probably experienced yourself, are never the most educated, kind, or charming status updates. Kim Kardashian, for example, in any headline, is enough to spark a strong reaction from anyone on Facebook.
It’s 2015. Kim Kardashian is everywhere. Her family is always in the headlines. We know this. The latest headline and Facebook frenzy revolves around Kim wearing $300 Givenchy sandals, which leads me to something I think many people are missing.
She’s allowed to do that.
And let me explain to you why she’s allowed to do that. Kim Kardashian can go to dinner in $300 Givenchy sandals, because it is her life. She can also go to dinner in $3,000 Givenchy sandals, because it is her life.
Why this may cause outrage to you is understandable. $300 is never something I, or you, would ever spend on something like sandals, because we’d rather spend our money elsewhere – and also because we don’t have much disposable income (yet). For someone like Kim Kardashian whose net worth so far in 2015 is over 52 million, she doesn’t have to buy $20 Nike sandals just because you think that’s what sandals should be worth.
Did she need to spend $300 on plastic sandals when you can get them for $20? Yes. No. Maybe. It doesn’t matter.
Could she have donated the money to charity instead? Yes. No. Maybe. Again it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because what she does with the money she has earned is up to her, not you. And besides all of that, maybe she did donate $300?
But if they’re not commenting on the sandal issue itself, they’re commenting on how the sandal issue is a trending news story but the situation in Syria isn’t. Again, not a reason to put Kim Kardashian down. Kim Kardashian did not create the news story; she is just wearing some sandals to dinner. The media created this story, because they knew you’d share and comment on it, hence the reason it is trending and not Syria.
It’s one thing for a news source to be reporting such a watered-down entertainment article – yes, shame on them – but for you to be sharing it is exactly what they what. They want engagement, which equals more eyeballs on their content, which generates more money from your engagement, which means they get richer, and you just get less and less self-aware. You are the robot, not E! Entertainment for reporting the story, or Kim Kardashian for wearing $300 sandals.
This is a lack of self-awareness. This is not about Kim Kardashian; this is about you. Creating such strong opinions about the petty details of others’ lives will do nothing but weigh you down and prevent you from actually concerning yourself with your own life. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about Kim from Keeping Up With The Kardashians or Karen from the Accounting Department – let it go, and let people live.
Question your news, question the source, and most-importantly, question yourself on why you think what you think.