I dislike insipid and vacuous attempts at ‘caring’ at the best of times, but it’s becoming depressingly apparent that the internet has resulted in a new breed of insincere sincerity: Facebook humanism. Believe it or not, this isn’t a piece on Facebook itself. So before you navigate away from here, let me explain this striking phenomenon with an example.
An Israeli Apache destroys a Mercedes carrying a leading Hamas terrorist, along with his wife and maybe a child or three. There’s the typical uproar of protest by the usual suspects, such as simpering human rights organistions, Muslim watchdogs, government officials and the front line. These are the same outcries of disbelief, but are swiftly ignored under the glaring reality of the world and soon forgotten. But then there is the facebook group…
… normally one of the first to respond to an event of humanitarian strife, the facebook community concerned will create a group post-haste, normally entailing an insidious-yet-ineffectual petition to dethrone Israel, give the land back, kill the Jewish menace and so on. The group is then populated by hordes of well-meaning simpletons who proceed to sign the ineffectual petition and spam the group’s message board with barely literate statements that could only be inspired by the depths of ignorance that living in the 21st century can produce.
The benefit for the group’s members are twofold. First and foremost, their friends will see them to be ‘active’ in ‘caring’ for topical issues, and that notification that “Joe Soap has joined the group ‘Petition to Slay the Infidel Dogs and Save the Hamas Babies’? will create warm fuzzies amongst his or her friends. You get to be seen as a compassionate, informed individual taking a step off the sidelines and becoming active in a cause while really doing neither.
Secondly, you can actually convince yourself that you’re doing good. That, yes! You can make a difference! In joining these groups of mindless caregivers, you can truly believe that, like all the other hooting gibbons in their cages, you’re making a difference. Just don’t ask for money or, y’know, time…
This new wave of humanism has the potential to be quite dangerous. It can convince members that they are truly getting involved in grassroots movements of ‘the people’ to get rid of a humanitarian evil. It’s terribly Marxist, but utterly incorrect. Furthermore, and perhaps more dangerously, it can create the impression in the individual that they are becoming ‘informed’ on topical subjects, when all they’re really doing is reading a fluff piece written by the group’s creator (or copy-pasted from an actual news site) and adopting a horrifically malformed belief on the subject.
Needless to say, anyone joining these groups who might highlight their collective stupidity is pounced upon with all the zealous fervour only a pack of screeching monkeys can muster. Group members will lash out violently and mercilessly, sparing nary a thought to logical impediments (let alone spelling and grammar). Nobody likes being called an idiot, especially when, deep down, many might actually acknowledge their ignorance on an issue, but profess to ‘care’ regardless.
Facebook humanism is a terrible deception. By joining these groups you are directly sealing off any potentially meaningful humanism you might possess. The irony of course lies in the fact that most consider themselves to be all the more compassionate for it. It’s a lie, it’s idiotic and it should be stopped. I think I shall make my own group; “Save the World from Moronic Masses who Profess to ‘Care’? or something to that tune. Fighting fire with fire! Or rather, fighting a wet tissue with, well, another wet tissue.
The Xenophobic violence in Jhb resulted in my Facebook notifications inbox being bombarded with group invitations and petition requests, all to “end the horrible violence!? Here’s a heads up folks. You’re not helping anyone by signing these things or joining these groups. You’re not a humanist, you’re a goddamned sheep. If you truly wanted to help the victims of xenophobia, buy a box of food and take it to the police station, or offer your own time to help the many volunteers already there. If you want Israel to be removed, join Hamas or another equally savage terrorist organisation. I’m sure your unique traits of mindless obedience and misguided zeal could be applied quite vigorously with a suicide vest. If you want the Tibetan oppression to end, chain yourself to Chinese embassy’s gate and howl loudly while the security guards gleefully bludgeon you with billy clubs for caring so much.
Humanism is a farce most of the time, but Facebook humanism elevates the bleeding heart mentality to completely new levels of idiocy. So the next time you get an invite for a group to “save the starving kwashiorkor babies of Somalia?, please click ignore, and then remove that friend from your list. It’s really the humanitarian thing to do.