During tax time I came across a Facebook post/ad from a well-known tax-preparation company and the vast majority of the commentary that followed reduced to: “They charge too much. It’s cheaper to prepare your own taxes. And you get more money back.” which meant that instead of merely ‘liking’ the first instance of this popular opinion, people felt compelled to offer up ad nauseum cover versions of it. This is a phenomenon you will see under damn near every popular article on the web. Very little banter, just over-eager parrots. Question is: Why do we do this?

Maybe it has something to do with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

If you scroll through pictures taken by tourists at the Leaning Tower of Pisa you’ll notice a striking similarity: Diverse peoples from all over the world visit this historical site and take the same damn picture. It’s like it’s some kinda rite of Pisa tourist passage. But I get it. The experience of visiting the site is what we value, not the mundane pose. Yes, 87 plantarfasciitrillion people may have been here before us, but those people WEREN’T us. Besides, they were here then, we are here now. BIG fucking difference.

Oh, and even if you reject the Pisa tourist status quo and go for a more avant-garde forced-perspective1 shot it would just be a REACTION to the sameness, which would make your ‘daring’ pic quite derivative.

Many of us share third-party information on social networks not to edify our friends and followers, or to inspire conversations that challenge deeply-rooted preconceived notions, but to passive-aggressively punch people in the face. The ‘meat’ of the information doesn’t matter. We know that most of the people who we’re presenting it to won’t even read it; we know they’ll just glance at the suggestive headline, gawk at the attached image and scroll to the comment section to scan remarks written by people who also didn’t read the content. Hell, WE didn’t read the shit either! We’re just in it for sport. To play a game with people’s emotions. Yeah, it’s disingenuous, but we don’t care, we’re just mad (read: lonely as fuck), sitting giddily behind our screens waiting for poor souls to comment in earnest so we can hit ’em in their weak spots a few times.

Why though?

What do we get out of this? Why do we feel the need to indirectly directly ‘attack’ people. What is our PERSONAL-ass beef with them? And it doesn’t matter if the article we posted contained ‘accurate information,’ or raised ‘valid points’—what do ‘WE’ have against the people we’re trying to hit over the head with it? Are we mad at them for being outsiders? For merely existing and providing a stark contrast to us that renders any ideas we have about absolution moot? I mean we JUST bought the hype we sold ourselves about being the only one on this blue ball who mattered. We have neither the time nor the patience to ‘consider’ a being who counters us in ways we cannot understand.

So we won’t.

But we will.


This shit’s confusing.

1. The ending of this had me thinking it could be a dope viral marketing campaign for a horror flick.


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