A few days ago while browsing my Facebook feed, I noticed a picture one of my Facebook friends had shared. This picture read something in the form of “Starbucks is refusing to give coffee to the troops because it doesn’t support the war, we should boycott Starbucks, blah blah blah.” I see malarkey like this on Facebook every single day which just sounds idiotic and implausible, so normally, I just ignore them. But, since I was procrastinating calling a client who was currently less than happy with me, I decided to delve deeper.
If you read that and said, “Wow, Crash, it seems a little unrealistic that a company as revered as Starbucks would publicly shun the troops, essentially committing brand suicide,” you’re right. It was completely unrealistic. A laborious three-second Google search led me to the discovery that this rumor was false and had been addressed by Starbucks in 2005. Yes, a fucking decade ago. Problem is, this picture had been shared over 260,000 times by people either too lazy to use Google (or too stupid).
Blind social media sharing is plaguing this country like feline AIDS at an animal shelter. We the people are getting far too damn comfortable spreading whatever sounds good as opposed to whatever is right. At this rate, by 2020 our dumbasses are going to put The Onion out of business because of how rampant erroneous trash can get passed around. You may not be as worried as I am, but if this keeps up, future generations will be full of people who’ll believe anything. So if you won’t do it for you, do it for your grandson because if the tide isn’t turned, you’ll have to hear him tell you “that stripper really liked me grandpa.”
Every day it seems like more things that can be easily debunked as bullshit go viral which makes us as human beings look like complete dumbasses. Information and facts are more readily at your fingertips in the year 2015 than they have ever been, yet we still manage to fall into a propaganda campaign over a simple, overpriced, and basic white girl producing coffee chain.
People, before you blindly hit the share button (except with this post, share the fuck out of it without thinking whatsoever), take a breath and say “Am I 100 percent sure this is true?” You’re staking your name to something and endorsing it with your mouse click. It only takes a few crazy incorrect posts to be branded as that extremist conspiracy guy on Facebook, or even worse, leading more people to believe the baseless bullshit you’re throwing around like a laxative-eating monkey. It’s easy to get carried away, running full force with an online lynch mob, but shit, take a breather before you grab your virtual pitchfork and give it some thought and research first.
We all saw the meme about the veteran amputee runner coming in second to Caitlyn Jenner for the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, which pissed a ton of people off and started a huge viral push to let that injustice be known. I don’t care how you feel about Caitlyn Jenner, but hundreds of thousands of people ended up sharing something that really wasn’t true because there was no announced runner up, simply because they believed it without checking on it. Bear with me here, but wouldn’t it be slightly foolish for the worldwide leader to announce a runner up? You don’t think the ESPN PR department would’ve anticipated that kind of backlash against their already controversial choice? OH, C’MON!
You people who share political memes without thinking twice are the worst of the worst. There’s plenty of political strife and discourse in this country without blatant false posts scattered everywhere. I’ve seen shared photos of George Bush and Hillary Clinton both shaking hands with the same doctored photo of Bin Laden, followed with some tagline about why you can’t trust this person. Get a grip, you bastards. You’re talking about two people who have been under the highest level of surveillance possible over the last 20 years. Ask Edward Snowden. If the NSA can find your dick pics, I’m sure it’s not hard to find proof on whether or not George was slapping skin with Osama.
There’s just too much information available for us to devolve into sharing fake info all over the place. You want something shitty to share about GWB or Hillary? Holy shit, just Google it. I’m sure there’s plenty that’s actually happened to start an internet mob. Same goes for Starbucks and other big corporations. You want to make ESPN look bad? There’s over thirty years of scandal in that place, or just make a post reminding everyone that First Take somehow still airs every day. The point I’m trying to make is that sharing baseless gossip is for teenagers or Brad in the cubicle down the hall. Be an adult, educate yourself, and don’t be that blind post-sharing idiot. But definitely go share this post. .
Image via Shutterstock