I never really liked television shows with laugh tracks. When the jokes fall flat, the laughs sort of force you to think something was funny, when it wasn’t. Of course, humor is subjective, as is any commentary medium, but clicking something into place that just doesn’t fit can turn quite painful. Need an example? Check out this scene from CBS’s Mom. Now tell me with a straight face that that wasn’t a big bucket of cringe.
Nowadays on Twitter, what really seems to matter are how many likes or retweets something gets. And obviously, if one wants to expand their social media reach, they usually do so by any means necessary. But what is gaining traction and popularity comes in the form of the most hollow and polarizing statements. They are the extreme viewpoints that have no wiggle room to them, whether they be anti-Trump sentiments, blanket statements, or outrage peddled as fact. And frankly, this is getting old to me.
I find it’s much easier to clap along with the rest of the crowd, since you don’t want to be the uncool odd man out. But what if the crowd isn’t always right? What if they’re being cruel for no other reason than to gain traction on Twitter? What will give you more satisfaction: likes and retweets over some nonsense, or actually connecting with another person over the profundity of human interaction?
It’s almost time for another year to reset. I submit we’ll be finding different things to be elated over, rather than the same old anger and outrage for popular points. Outrage always dies down. It gets stale, and there’s always the aberrations who pop up out of the woodwork, using others’ coattails for their own brand of success. We’re aware, we’re seeing more, and there will be many different voices who are ready to stand out in the crowds.