I just went to facebook after game 3 of The NBA Finals and saw this update:
“LOUSY role model, overrated as a player and yet anointed by David Stern to be the face of the NBA. I do not have the words to say how good it feels to see the Spurs send LeBron down in flames – BY 36 POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!”
And I had two instinctive responses; first I wanted to comment and second I wanted to unfriend this person.
Yet this status updates is a perfect example of this disturbing trend I’ve been noticing the past few months all across social media. And to state it frankly, it saddens me. I’m saddened that we’ve become a culture that has to trash celebrities we don’t like with the most hateful and almost violent rhetoric. And it seems like Twitter has just poured fuel on this fire.
There are definitely a select few celebrities who seemed to have invoked and incurred the wrath of many a twitter user and I don’t understand why. Tim Tebow, Dane Cook, Lebron James, Barack Obama are some of the names that come to mind of celebrities who no matter what can’t win with a large percentage of the masses. But this new trend is more than people stating their dislike, its a venomous, malicious type of trashing that I’ve not seen before. Its personal attacks with the most foul things you could say to another person, and it seems to be fashionable.
I mean I get it, I get that there are certain celebrities who rub us the wrong way for whatever reason, but when has that general and benign dislike morphed into the kind of personal attacks that seem to be the norm now? I remember the days when if you didn’t like a performer or entertainer or whatever you’d change the channel. Now it seems people intentionally watch performances of celebrities they hate so they can trash them on social media. So you don’t like Tim Tebow? then why watch him play football? So you don’t find Dane Cook funny, then why watch his special on TV and attack him personally on Twitter? And why feel the need to tell the world that you don’t find him funny, and that you never will, and how you think those who like him are the worst of the worst? I don’t get it. So you don’t agree with the policies and values of Barack Obama, do you have to wish him the worst tragedy and unspeakable pain and call him despicable names? Why?
Can’t you say, “sure, I don’t agree with his views and decisions and stances but he’s still a decent human being.”
There are so many celebrities and entertainers I don’t particularly care for, and that’s why I just change the channel. There are some tv programs I don’t care to watch, some interviews I don’t care to hear, but I don’t feel the urge to take to social media and trash that celebrity. I don’t hate them personally, so for me this vehement hatred is really a mystery, I don’t understand it. Why don’t you just change the channel and find something else to watch?
And the worst thing about this trend, is that I see so many Christians part-taking in this as much as the next person. In fact ,in the Christian sub-culture this trend has taken on a life of its own. If its not conservatives trashing Rob Bell or Steven Furtick, its moderates and liberals trashing Mark Driscoll and John Piper. And Rick Warren seems to be getting it from both sides. Aren’t we supposed to live by a higher standard? Aren’t we supposed to be the very exemplars of generosity and grace? That’s what especially bothered me about the status update above? Honestly, I think we can do better.