Archive | September 2013

I’m loving social media instead

This? This has made my jaw drop and my blood boil. This got me into a night-long argument on the Facebook page where I discovered it. Normally I stay out of such things, but…well, look at it. I mean look at it.


Yes, because of course this is how angels work. Angels aren’t the kindly, helpful beings you see on glurge sites. Angels need feeding, and the heart of their diet comes from Facebook exposure. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be Facebook. Any old form of social media will do. So long as you pass it on. Note, of course, the originator’s URL, tastefully understated (but still very clear). That’s completely by the by, of course. This has absolutely fuck all to do with increasing web traffic. This is all about testing your faith, which is something else that angels do regularly. But this isn’t a ‘test’. And it’s not from the angels. It’s manipulative hokum designed to target the weak and vulnerable – people who may actually need help – and persuade them that life will get better and their cancer will be cured if they pass on an image, and all for the sake of upping someone’s hit count.

As I said, I normally avoid arguments about this sort of thing. Religious debate online is five per cent evangelism and ninety five per cent trying to prove the other person wrong. I’m happy to let people have different beliefs to mine, because even if I don’t agree with them I am not going to be able to convince them with a bit of elementary logic and Wikipedia pasting – and even if I could, it’s a hollow victory, because all you’ve done is made someone else look stupid. Remember this, folks. I learned it the hard way so that you don’t have to.

But on this occasion I waded in, albeit in a very low-key fashion, because this is wrong. Its very inception was wrong, and at some point I will feed this back to the image’s presumed creator, when my blood pressure drops a little. In the meantime I’ve made a few salient points that have largely been ignored, which is what I expected, but at least I got to vent my spleen. “Where’s the harm?”¬† was challenged. “What if someone read this when they were considering suicide, and it stopped them?”. Which is a good point well made, but for every aborted grab for the painkillers, I’ll show you three people who prayed that their sick relative would get well only to have them die three days later, or – worse – four people who left their spouses and went to an internet romance hookup with a guy who then raped them, all because they believed the angels were watching over them.”

“Are you saying people are stupid, or unable to think for themselves?”

“No, I’m saying that people are easily duped. It’s very easy to get swayed by this stuff. I don’t think people are stupid, but I do think they’re naive and easily influenced and inclined to believe whatever they read on .he internet. It’s the same reason I’ll rip into the tabloids whenever I get the chance, because I see plenty of evidence there that people can’t think for themselves – or at least they can’t see what’s obvious to me and many other people I know. This doesn’t usually matter, except when it breeds fear, contempt and hatred (all of which sell newspapers). And in this case it reaches out to people who may genuinely be in trouble and need help – and they’re not going to get it from a repeated meme. So I’m not saying people are stupid, but I’m saying they’re misguided and sometimes led into things that in a proper frame of mind they might be more inclined to ignore. I think the sensible among us have a duty to do something about that.”

There’s a bitter irony in the fact that even by posting it here, I’m contributing to its exposure. But I’d like to hope that no one who actually reads this is going to post it on to their friends. Or if you were about to, I’d urge you to think again. If I can make just one person see how stupid this is, that has to count for something.

The sad thing is that the website from whence this came, whilst inundated with glurge, nonetheless contains a few nuggets of wisdom, choice quotes and worthy offerings. This isn’t one of them.