Bartender Will Watson says he is feeling distraught about the world of late because of the Gaza conflict. The newly arisen crisis in Ferguson, Missouri is not helping his outlook.
“It’s pretty bleak, really. The whole thing. Every day it seems like it’s something new.”
Watson, like many others throughout the world, is fed up.
“It’s infuriating. I get on Facebook thinking ‘ok, let’s check out some cat videos and pictures of brunch’ and every time, it’s more posts about sh*t I don’t know about. I’m starting to lose hope my wall will ever be normal again. “
The new crisis in Ferguson, MO, centered around the death of “some kid,” is not helping, he says.
“I think the Gaza thing was really starting to fade and things were gonna get better. But then that kid died or whatever,” he said. “Hashtag ugh.”
Katie Marst, a junior at Oklahoma St., echoes the same sentiment.
“Yeah I’m over it,” she says. “My Instagram is for like, living your life to the fullest. Not tragedy, ya know?”
Living her life on social media is something Ms. Marst is quite adept at, as she is social media chair for her sorority.”We have hashtag parties for charity, and I help girls use the best filters, and set up fake accounts to keep tabs on boys. Things like that. “
Tasks, she says, that have been completely interfered with now that so many people are sharing videos and pictures regarding the two social issues, debating politics on an open forum, and organizing events.
Since the Gaza conflict began anew, “stand with Israel” and “stand with Palestine” hashtags and videos have been on the rise on social media, as users everywhere are utilizing the platform for more political means. Facebook alone has had millions of Gaza related “shares,” where users post content to their own wall.
The shooting of an unarmed teen, Michael brown, has also created trends. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other various forms of social media have been used not only as a way of drumming up support, but also as a means to organize and cover the events in a way the mainstream media outlets have not been able.
“It’s absolutely horrible,” Marst says. “They started doing like ‘Palestine stands with Ferguson’ selfies, but they weren’t even cute. “
Mr. Watson agrees. “It’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me,” he offered. When asked if he meant Gaza or the death of Michael brown, he asked, “Who is that?”
Both Watson and Marst insist they will not stop using the various social media they are accustomed to, and both hold out hope things will go back to normal. “I feel like my life is a little ruined. I made a joke about killing myself if it doesn’t get better, but all these people got mad because that weird dude from the Disney movie died,” Marst complained.
For his part, Mr. Watson is skeptical of online politics. “I don’t think people care about it really. They just want attention,” he said.
“Hey, do you think chicks would respond more to this pic of me shirtless at the beach or a status about how hard it is being a single dude with a good heart or whatever?”