For the Love of God, Would You Stop Sharing that Video?

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The net is saturated with unwholesome content, and I’m not just talking about pornography or lucid perversion; I’m talking about the bizarre videos and photos of gory events that make it to social media almost as soon as they occur. People waste no time in proliferating news of misfortune. As of this moment all you are doing is reading my post, but when you are ‘just having fun’, does it matter how far you go or wonder at whose expense you are?

There is nothing wrong with wanting a good laugh; we are gregarious beings; always wanting to connect with other people and have fun while at it too. Graciously, social media affords us the opportunity to connect with people world over and to share anything of interest; even what we find funny.  There is something wrong however with the way we keep pushing the boundaries of fun and how we make ourselves happy. We have fallen on paradoxical times and fun is not fun enough anymore, we need a dose of sadism to spike things up a bit.

Our eyes are glued to the screen in excitement long after the fun is gone; we are like giddy little kids in a toy shop! But even kids have enough sense to look away when it gets inappropriate. The pictures have changed from funny to unpleasant and we are still laughing. It looks to me like we would laugh at any cost! There used to be a clear disparity between entertainment and absurdity; we used to laugh at a good joke and recoil at obscenity; we knew when fun had ended and something else had begun. Pause, think, when was the last time anything obscene made you shudder on social media?

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Do you think you are absolved of blame? Before you answer, you may want to look up some of your activities on social media and see how they fit into normal, sane and humane behavior. When you post videos, photos and comments about people at their worst or at least in uncomplimentary situations, do you stop to think about how it makes these people feel? Or how you could be reminding them of things they have forgotten about themselves or desperately wish to. No one likes to keep reminders of their own past failures and folly. People are a little more fragile than you think; two out of every three persons that have successfully carried out a suicide were depressed. Every forty minutes a suicide occurs!

I’m not making an excuse for suicide or for weakness. I’m just saying we don’t have to be so standoffish about other people’s misfortunes; we shouldn’t shut up our bowels of compassion just because we are at the playground and we think we could use a good laugh. You may not have the cure to someone’s depression, but you can choose not to be the reason for it either.  Someone’s life may depend on it.

And what about the effect of your actions on people who care about them? Of course they have loved ones, a lot of which are on social media. They see your posts, and they read your comments, and it breaks their hearts to know there is nothing they can do about it. I saw on Facebook a few days ago a bizarre picture of a man who had been killed by his wife in his sleep. The picture showed his deeply lacerated neck and bloodied remains, and I thought to myself, ‘how unkind it’d be for an old friend to bump into such a traumatizing picture!’

Do you get a kick from watching pictures and videos of people scared out of their skin, or in their savage behavior, or fighting for their lives or even dead? Think about it. If you do, what does that make you, a fun loving person or a sadist? Not everything is fun or funny; some jokes are sick and shouldn’t make you laugh! Fun may be going right for you but you are going wrong.

I’m sorry I’m touching on a sensitive spot, probably getting you on the defensive but I know you would protect your loved one as much as you can from the world’s impersonal glare; if it were in your power their shame would not see the light of day. Ask yourself would you be laughing as much if you were the one on the screen right now; the object of ridicule? Would the joke have the same appeal if it was on you? If not, please make a mental adjustment; and the next time you want to unwind by seeing a funny video, be sure you would still be laughing if you were watching you in sucsh reproachful spectacle.

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