Breaking the Internet.
Do you ever stop to think who it is that makes these things happen? An individual does not just simply break the Internet. It is us, here on the real-life side of the screen, that support the hype that allows views and likes and shares to accumulate and then break the Internet.
There are many very interesting things in the world. There are so many interesting things in my country even. South Africa is a land of wonders and worries. It is fascinating. Yet we choose to click on the ridiculous images, videos, memes, gifs and youtube channels that show and teach nothing but how to waste your time and life.
I was asked a while ago by a friend of mine if I had seen the, then new, now old, Rihanna music video for Bitch better have my money. At the time, I had not seen it. It was all over my news feed, torturing me with it’s millions of likes, comments and shares. I refused point-blank to click and watch it. I knew that once I had watched it I would then be supporting images that I don’t like, messages that I disagree with and a general method of performing and sharing that I do not find savory.
I chose to boycott the stupid. I chose not to be a part of a number that tricks people into believing that what they are about to see is worth their time. I chose to withhold my vote. The first few times it was really hard. Curiosity killed the cat, right?! I have subsequently watched the video. Societal pressures are invisible, huge and SO REAL.
I am now at a place in my new-found boycott strength where I can totally avoid the stupid. I still slip up when it comes to Beyoncé but then again, let’s be honest, no matter how brainless B might seem, she is making music like a champion. No matter how hard I try, I can’t not love her. But the Nicki Minajs’ and the Taylor Swifts’ and Miley Cyrus’ of the world, them I can ignore with ease.
How to start.
After seeing the image on your news feed.
1. Ask yourself if watching this video or reading this article or liking this image is really going to leave a positive mark – are you going to have learnt something important/interesting?
2. Are you watching just so that you can have something to talk about?
3. Is this REALLY something worth talking about?
4. Are you comfortable with being a part of a number of people who support shallow, uninformed, American-media-bound attitudes?
5. Has your life changed now that you have watched the video, read the empty post, laughed at the bad meme?
We are slowly turning into a generation divided. Some of us working toward changing the world all guns blazing, throwing large sums of money around and causing more problems than solutions. The others of us turning a blind eye and living life like the world belongs to us and that tomorrow will never come.
Then there are people like me who don’t have large sums of money to throw around and work hard to get by in life so that we can better ourselves and by doing so better our communities and ultimately better our countries. I am speaking to those of you who want to do something but feel like you are drowning in things that should be done.
Choose one. Boycott the stupid. Support local industry purely by not clicking on those videos that keep popping up on your newsfeed. These things are there because you click on them, because the media deduces from patterns that we create, that we want them. Let’s begin clicking on local artist, local talent, local models, local musicians, local comedy, news, fashion, food. Be conscious. #BoycottTheStupid. Be kind to yourself. Use your mind.