We are the social media generation using the internet to sign petitions, raise awareness and try to make a difference in the world. To bad that the use of hashtags are making America not only look like we have no attention span, but also reveal to the world that the American people only concern ourselves with what is trending, and then we are ready to forget about it after our tweets have at least 10 favorites.
The latest craze in twitter justice and everyone is ready to rally behind the cries for hanging the dentist who hunted down the lion. Let me first say, I think its pretty pathetic and shows just how small your manhood is to hunt for sport, not for food. But that is besides the point.
We American's are agreeing with Peta (already this is a bad idea) that the murdering of this lion should be a main focus of life right now! But does any of us really know what it is like to have to deal with a Lion on a regular basis? No, because our lions are behind fences.
Goodwell Nzou, currently located in Winston-Salem, N.C. wrote an amazing article about living with the constant fear of lions during his childhood in a village in Zimbabwe. He argues that an animal who torments and murders villagers on the regular makes us ready to kill, yet we were silent when the Zimbabwe King threw himself a birthday party involving the slaughtering and eating of many exotic animals. Do people not know about that because it wasn't a hash tag? Sorry here I was thinking you knew about what happened in the country you are fighting for.
When half the people who hash tagged Cecil the lion can't even point out Zimbabwe on a map, do you really think we have a right to comment on anything?
P.S. Where are the mountain lion hashtags because we almost completely hunted that species to extinction.
We all remember this one, 270+ School girls were kidnapped from the Chibok Government Secondary School by Boko Haram Terrorists in Nigeria. Twitter freaked out. Even Michelle Obama made a video demanding for help and asking for the safe release of the girls. And after about 2 weeks, there was radio silence. Because the girls were not instantly rescued, our attention, social consciousness, and hashtags went elsewhere.
UPDATE- Just so you know over 230 girls are still missing and it has been over a year. Some of the girls are currently attending classes in the states and are trying to recover from PTSD while their friends are still missing. Wheres the national support for them?
This viral video really put into perspective the idea of "only a click away". While millions of people watched the half hour video and "covered the night", Invisible Children, the producers of this video, are under a lot of heat because their video completely over simplified the situation, gave false information into the whereabouts of Kony making their plea for the Ugandan army to intervene stupid, and made a terrorist a national celebrity instead of belittling him into a failed warlord.
It can be argued that "a click away" can have little to no effect on the cause except making people feel good that they "made a difference". Being able to throw money at something does little to change the problem where as proper education with real information about issues can make all the difference.
Don't get me wrong, I believe that social media is making a huge difference in the spread of information. Using twitter to inform people of current issues is a great way to get even the most disinterested involved and informed.
However, unless we are spreading the correct information and change the way we use hashtag social consciousness, then America will forever be known as the "fast food generation" of change. The ones who care about the issue as long as it can be neatly resolved quickly and with minimal effort aka a tweet.