There’s an old theory, whether true or not, that there is no such thing as bad publicity. I’m beginning to think it is true, and that truth disturbs me more than you can imagine.
We live in a world where information (true or not, good or bad, reliable or crazy) is accessible at our fingertips 24 hours a day. As soon as a story happens–especially big, juicy ones where someone looks foolish, or fear can be fed, or hate and prejudice shine through, or someone has committed a horrific and violent act–it goes viral in a moment.
Because of this, 15 minutes of fame extend to 15 days, weeks, or months, perhaps even years.
And nothing improves.
Memes grow. People add rumor to fact. People start making ridiculous comparisons and the story never dies. That is until the next person who wants a little fame and glory comes up with something even more ridiculous to do/say/promote.
As the story grows into a monstrous pile of poop, it loses substance. It inevitably lends to attacks on someones appearance or stereotypes of an entire group because of one person who represents nobody but herself and her own ideas.
This just makes us all look foolish. While I may disagree with someone’s ideas or beliefs or philosophies, they should never be attacked for their appearance or intelligence or anything like that. In fact, they shouldn’t be attacked at all. If we must fight back, focus on intelligent arguments that counterbalance their points, not on who they are as a person.
I admit, I don’t want to see the image of a certain presidential candidate filling my news feed anymore because I find him repulsive on all fronts–but his appearance is the least important reason why I despise him so much. I don’t want to read any more about a woman who values her own religious intolerance more than her job, but again I don’t care what she looks like and attacking her for her appearance or her intelligence only gives her more glory.
Yet, that is all I see. And it has to stop.
We need to stop sharing the stories, spreading the nonsense, giving these people more than 15 minutes of time. I’m not saying we should hide away from knowing when and where injustice is happening. If a law changes because one person who holds a certain belief system refuses to do her job, then I want to know and speak out and object and fight. If a certain blowhard with more dollars than sense, more prejudices than knowledge, and more hateful ideas then helpful ones becomes president of the United States, then our country has big problems and I will be in the forefront of stopping him.
But, why do we have to help them by giving them another minute of our time? Notice that everyone knows who I am talking about, without naming a single name. Once I put their names in here it makes this easier to find, thus giving them more publicity.
Let’s stop doing this. Let’s give publicity to people we admire. Let’s share stories about people who are doing good in the world, making a difference, giving of their time and energy to make the world a better place. Let’s focus on them, extend their fifteen minutes.
If we ignore the blowhards, then maybe they will simply blow away.
Who do you want to see in the headlines today? Whose story do you want to share?
We all have the power to make a difference in this world with our own voices, if we use them wisely. How do you plan on using your voice?