Each week in LOL Interwebz, Luke T. Harrington explores the quirks and foibles of Internet culture from a Gospel perspective.

There was a time when hack comedy was mostly about what the deal with airplane peanuts is and what things in Soviet Russia do to you. Now, though, it’s about oversharing on social media: literally every clickbaity website ever has to have a “hilarious” article about the stuff they’re sick of seeing you post to social media.

Which makes me wonder, what is it okay to post to social media, exactly?

I’m not sure, but what I do know is that maybe we should all learn to put more effort into understanding and supporting each other, instead of being perpetually annoyed that other people have lives. In the meantime, here are six things I’m sick of hearing you say you’re sick of seeing people post on social media…

1. Pictures of their ugly kids

Why you complain about it:

Because you get it! They’ve procreated! Congrats, guys! They don’t seem to understand that while they might be in awe of their kid, he looks exactly the same as every other kid ever. Seriously, they need to give it a rest until he actually accomplishes something more than a poopy diaper.

Why you seriously need to get over it:

Because—I promise—they’re not posting those pictures of Junior for you. They put them up because if they don’t, they have to field dozens of calls from Junior’s grandparents complaining that they never post any pictures of him.

In any case, if you actually fly into a rage at the sight of children, you need to take a second to consider where your life has gone horribly, horribly wrong. I’m not here to tell you that “Be fruitful and multiply” is a command issued in a literal sense to every individual on earth, but at the very least you ought to be okay with other people doing it. After all, those ugly kids will be paying your Social Security, assuming that’s still a thing when you’re retired (it won’t be, but still).

2. Their stupid slacktivism

Why you complain about it:

Because changing your profile picture to a cartoon character will not stop child abuse. In fact, I’m fairly sure that making a kid sit through those stupid ’80s cartoons we used to watch would be child abuse.

They’re not making a difference—they’re barely even thinking about making a difference.

Why you seriously need to get over it:

Because at least they’re trying to make a difference. 

Your annoying friends see a problem with the world and take to social media to raise awareness of it; you see a problem with the world and take to social media to mock them for trying to raise awareness. They might be accomplishing nothing, but you’re accomplishing less than nothing—all you’re doing is making people feel terrible for caring about something. Would it really be an improvement if everyone in the world was as aloof and detached as you are?

3. Their annoying PDAs

Why you complain about it:

Because you get it. She’s in love with her husband. Real original sentiment there, kid. The whole Internet really needed to know.

The lady doth protest too much, youthinks.

Why you seriously need to get over it:

Because you know what else is a public declaration of love? A little thing called marriage. Or didn’t you notice that marriage is conducted in the sight of friends, family, and God himself? Has it even occurred to you that marriage only even makes sense in the context of community? That your vows aren’t just to each other, but to God, your church, and everyone in your life? That we all have a duty to support and nurture each other’s marriages?

Besides, maybe her husband really is that great. You jelly, bro?

4. Their moronic political views

Why you complain about it:

Because arguing about politics is a waste of time. Nobody ever changes their minds, and everybody just ends up mad. Didn’t their mothers ever tell them to avoid talking politics or religion?

Why you need to seriously get over it:

Because the fact that people get worked up about politics and don’t change their minds is the whole problem.

With politics, we’re discussing the future of everything; if you can’t discuss that peaceably, there’s no hope for any of us. And as for people never changing their minds: if someone shows you you’re wrong, just change your mind. Be the solution to the problem there, sport.

The reality is, at some point we need to talk honestly about the pressing issues facing us all, and it seems to me that the Internet—where people can take their time to craft reasoned, well-sourced arguments—is a much better forum than real life (where we have to think on our feet and usually end up in childish shouting matches).

5. Those insipid memes they’re always forwarding

Why you complain about it:

Because you get it! Kittens are adorable, velociraptors are philosophical, and doges can’t form complete sentences! Give it a rest! The Harlem Shake was, like, two years ago, guys! Move on!

And stop trying to make “fetch” happen! It’s never going to happen!

Why you need to seriously get over it:

Because, wow, man, I bet you’re fun at parties. Someone tries to brighten your day by sharing a quick laugh, and all you do is get annoyed.

Seriously, what did you log into Facebook hoping to find, dude? We played the flute for you and you didn’t dance; we sang a dirge and you didn’t mourn.

6. “IM SOOO DRUNKKKKK!!!1111”

Why you complain about it:

Because drunk people are super-annoying.

Why you need to seriously get over it:

Nah, actually, I’m with you on this one.


8 Comments

  1. “Because at least they’re trying to make a difference.”

    No they are not. They are trying to make themselves feel better about not doing anything. It may be that they can’t do anything through no fault of their own, either because the problem is too far away or their resources aren’t able to have an impact. Even if not, it’s certainly their right to try to make themselves feel better, but I am not required to participate.

    1. Brett knows. He reads the motives of strangers’ hearts. He sees the inner being with incisive clarity. He hears the whys and wherefores of every human and he knows them for whom they are, who they imagine themselves to be. He is, in fact, super human—perhaps even, dare we hope, beyond human.

  2. Only the person posting on social media knows his or her motives. But anyone can see the impact, and the idea that a social media posting somehow equals doing something is self-deludiing.

    1. Communication can change people’s minds. It can. It does. Changing the way people think about something can change the way they act. I am a different kind of person than I would have been without the influence of communication via the internet. And because I’m a different person, I do different things than the other me would’ve done.

      Multiply that paradigm and social activism comes off less ineffectual than you suggest.

  3. A hundred days after Boko Haram kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls, and nobody’s “brought back our girls,” nor is anyone tweeting selfies with that message on them anymore. Yay social media.

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