Every couple of months, a new status update worms its way through Facebook promising to protect the “private” information you’ve been sharing with a bunch of virtual strangers on the internet. The newest one hit last night, and boy…it’s really…something?
Let’s just cut to the chase here. If you reposted that, there’s a big part of you that is a gullible moron. Now, I know that sounds mean, but seriously. You just read something online – a place not known for its veracity – and then reposted it without doing any research at all. People repeating what other dumb people tell them is one of the surest symptoms of being dumb.
In the future, you should realize that if a bunch of your dimmest friends on Facebook are reposting something on Facebook and engaging in an internet meme, that internet meme is probably total bullshit. Let’s consider some of the biggest ones the last couple of years:
Remember when you guys all posted that video about that mean African warlord so some rich white kids could make money and encourage U.S. military involvement in an oil-rich foreign nation…because we all know how well that usually turns out, and how many innocent children that saves? Oh, wait. No it doesn’t! And remember how you were going to buy your anti-Kony kits and bring him to justice this year and have a special day on 4/20 (you still did that) for that Christian evangelist organization who’s running it? Remember all the research you did before you reposted that?
What about the time when you changed your Facebook profile picture to a cartoon to help prevent child abuse? I know, it sounds silly now, but you were just trying to raise awareness about the problem of child abuse and cover that 0% gap of adults who aren’t already aware of that problem. We can all agree that raising awareness is a good thing, right? Well, no. Raising awareness in an incorrect way is a very, very bad thing, because you’re encouraging people to do something that doesn’t need doing and then making them feel good about the nothing they just did. Those are bad things.
Also, willfully disinforming people is a bad thing. Everyone has the right to their own ignorance. But go ahead and skip spreading it, okay? There are enough of you already.
Remember how you, you internet anti-geniuses, convinced everyone that there was a question about Obama’s citizenship status? Or how you convinced your uneducated friends that Einstein thinks The Secret really works, or how the Tea Party formed thinking the United States was founded as a Christian nation? Those are all products of dumb people reposting things they don’t understand without questioning them. That’s the mark of the anti-intellectual and it’s a good reminder of just how the education in our country is declining. But let’s move on…
Let’s go straight for the actual status update:
There are ways to know that the “legal notice” isn’t a legal notice at all without doing any research. First off, there’s an exclamation point – “For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!” Legal notices generally don’t feel the need to yell at you and the validity and strength of the statements held in them don’t change on the basis of exclamation points. That should seal it right there, by the time you finish the first paragraph.
But let’s throw that away. Let’s say that you reposting that nonsense really was legally binding and compelling. That actually makes you look worse, oh bottom of your class.
If you just read and reposted something that in some way was going to legally affect your rights as a person and you did so because you read it on the Facebook Wall (!!!) of one of your dumbest friends you, my dear, are the dumbest friend.
We’ve established that you have no legal knowledge and no ability to research subjects and find answers. Could you possibly expect yourself to know which passages of legal mumbo-jumbo (or in this case nonsense) would even be GOOD for you?? I could call up a lawyer right now and have him write a couple paragraphs that would probably commit you to serving a prison sentence in solitary confinement and you would repost it right away without knowing the difference.
And that’s the point.
Now you may think that this is trivial and I’m a jerk and why would I take the time to write this…and you may be correct on all counts.
But, it’s this sort of passive idiocy that allows Fox News to exist and for elections to be about topics which don’t matter at all. It’s this sort of thing that lets people believe that the gays are ruining their marriages. It’s this sort of thing that convinces people that global warming doesn’t exist or that evolution isn’t real.
Just because a bunch of people you know think something is true, that doesn’t mean it is. Especially if those are your dumbest friends with the worst taste. This is why you feel like it’s okay to listen to Nickelback.
Remember when your mom asked you if your friends all jumped off a cliff, would you?
Well, congratulations. You just did.