In light of recent Kony events, I found myself feeling more and more compelled to write about this, considering that an inordinate amount of the population (at least the population I know and associate with enough) can be found to be unnervingly hypocritical, and it’s very obvious when observed, to see that their priorities and moral stances can shift and reverse on a dime. So this encourages me to think about the mindset behind this thinking, more or less, what makes them do this? Logic would immediately dictate social networking. We live in a time where we have gotten as close as we can to having telepathy, without actually having it. People can send messages to one person, without speaking to or seeing them, and (generally) only that person receives the message. While this is not entirely relevant to my case, it plays a part in setting up the proper context for the reasoning and intellectual capacity of the people to whom I’m referring, specifically, my peer group, my generation.
It’s been made very clear, due to the insurmountable amount of views, comments, and shares concerning the Kony story, that people at some extremely primordial baseline, have compassion for other people, regardless of social standing, color, religion, etc. So this would insinuate that all of the people who share this viewpoint also share the same moral ground, correct? I would venture to guess that not even 7% of the people who exhibited this “outburst of emotion and sympathy” would even think twice about the numerous concurrent genocides, genital mutilation, savannah abortions, and beheadings that occur as I type, as you read.
This unusual spotlight occasion brings to light a trend that can be seen with disturbing clarity, especially when studied through Facebook and Twitter. These people who have come from out of the blue as civil rights activists and do-gooder humanists have done so out of inclination, mostly from their peer group. IE me. Well, not particularly me, as I often represent the opposite side of what they are, gun jumping people who use social media to explain to everyone how “good” they are. The same can be said for people who post pictures and videos of them at parties, shows, in public and general social outings. I’m not saying that it’s bad to do this; I’m saying it’s bad that people do it to show other people, to prove to everyone else that they are socially developed and popular, at least within their circle of friends.
Invariably we end up with the same trends, and over time, these become more and more obvious and identifiable earlier and earlier.
People will pick and choose their priorities based on what I believe to be two major components.
First, the ease of the cause- How much effort and consistent work will have to be employed to make it effective and widespread? This first aspect can be categorized into two smaller parts:
Is it a cause that people can rally around without having to take strong stances on one side or the other? Can it be shared with people without the fear of disagreement? (The fervor surrounding abortion is a good example of how both sides share and equally strong and dedicated followers, exemplifying the opposite effect of the this component
Next, does the coal of the cause require an alteration to the lifestyle that had not previously been practiced? (The varying degrees to which a person considers “alteration” is entirely subjective.)
Secondly- the domestic effect. Does the cause influence, or modify the cause-employers social stance? Essentially, this question asks “How will my friends and family look at me, treat me, and associate with me if I take up this cause?” Let us for a moment imagine that someone suggests that a racist term be classified as a non-slur, and should be freely inserted into common speech. The person signifying this movement has a few friends who belong to this racial group. They become displeased with the actions of their friend, and refuse to speak with him ever again. This highlights the effect, as it opposes their view and terminates the friendship with them.
This can be shortened to “risk vs. reward”, and is commonly used in gambling nomenclature, but it also applies to this situation.
These factors contribute to the dedication and comprehension of the cause, and oftentimes these assumptions and generalizations can snowball out of control, and reveal a side of someone that isn’t quite as honest as they would like to believe. After all, who would, under any real-world circumstances suggest that a man who enslaves children, gives them weaponry and tells them to hunt down their parents is a good person? No one, of course, which means the cause is easy to defend. Consider that all the foundation asks is either a small donation or to share the video to help “spread awareness”. That now makes two efforts that are easy to accomplish. Post it to your Facebook wall; you’ve helped the cause, right? Perhaps if you lived in a village under the control of Joseph Kony’s ‘military’, you might be more inclined to keep your mouth shut or suffer his wrath. But since the overwhelmingly vast majority of the people are posting this from the comfort of the United States, this does not affect their domestic relationship, and adds a third level of comfort and confidence to their help for the cause. Now you have three wins checked in your column for “risk”, and your reward is – You’ve shown everyone that you are a charitable, moral-based person. Now what do we have?
You have an immoderate amount of people focusing on one cause, unaware, or uncaring of the great deal of similar atrocities being committed every day, on equivalent or worse scales. It will stay that way, of course, until it becomes a trend. Until it becomes beneficial to you in some way, it won’t be of value to you, even if it supports your “ethics”. The importance has shifted from the viability and passion for the cause, as opposed to proving to everyone else that you believe the cause. It’s no longer any risk for the reward, making it palatable and trendy for everyone.
I miss the age of movements where the people were actually dedicated to the cause as opposed to dedicated to the attention they got for supporting the cause.
In light of recent Kony events, I found myself feeling more and more compelled to write about this, considering that an inordinate amount of the population (at least the population I know and associate with enough) can be found to be unnervingly hypocritical, and it’s very obvious when observed, to see that their priorities and moral stances can shift and reverse on a dime. So this encourages me to think about the mindset behind this thinking, more or less, what makes them do this?