Because I have a very modest public profile as a writer, I get a lot of social-media connection requests from people I don’t actually know. Over time, I’ve developed a general rule: I accept nearly all friend requests on Facebook, followers on Twitter, whatever the hell they call it on Google Plus. And then I wait, and see what happens — what people post, how they use the platform in general, whether they feel the need to have a screaming bald eagle as a profile picture. If I like what I see, or feel neutral about it, I generally keep them around. If I don’t, I either bump them down several notches on the ladder, “hide” or just unfriend them.
They have to be pretty bad to be unfriended, but I was in a tetchy mood the other day, and unfriended someone I probably should have kept around. (Mood: VERY tetchy, come to think of it.) I did it because I kept seeing baldly inaccurate political posts in my feed, and it was one of those fuckitlifestooshortforthiscrap things. This time, I actually read one post, and followed the links all the way back. Here’s how one went:
OBAMACARE WILL ALLOW GOVERNMENT AGENTS TO ENTER YOUR HOME! linked to a slightly less hysterical post saying the same thing, which linked to a HHS website, which outlined? Anyone? Yes, a visiting-nurse service for patients who have difficulty traveling to a doctor — brand-new mothers, the elderly, the carless, etc. Those are the government agents. Nurses.
(I allowed one of these jackbooted thugs into my home after Kate was born. She told me I had a cute baby, and that breastfeeding would get easier.)
It seemed to crystalize something I’ve become increasingly aware of: No one reads anything anymore. And the social-media business model has this as its cornerstone. Just keep clicking, sheeple. Click, like and comment! Retweet!
Earlier this week, during the discussion of Yoffe’s rape column, attention fell on this sentence: “Researchers such as Abbey and David Lisak have explored how these men use alcohol, instead of violence, to commit their crimes.” Now, a reader with a room-temperature IQ could understand what she was saying here: That these perpetrators don’t hold a gun to a woman’s head, but keep refilling her glass. Nevertheless, this was a typical comment: “Someone needs to tell Emily Yoffe ALL rape is violent,” followed by the amen chorale. Don’t read. Forget comprehension. Just react!
Miley Cyrus, a woman who hardly speaks in Zen koans, gave an interview to Rolling Stone where she mentioned Detroit, and Detroit being as parochial as any tank town, the local media picked it up. The passage in question:
Miley’s transformation from America’s sweetheart into whatever the hell she is now kicked into high gear three years ago, when she went to Detroit to shoot a movie called LOL. “Detroit’s where I felt like I really grew up,” she says. “It was only for a summer, but that’s where I started going to clubs, where I got my first tattoo. Well, not my first tattoo, but my first without my mom’s consent. I got it on 8 Mile! I lied to the guy and told him I was 18. I got a heart on my finger and wore a Band-Aid for two months so my mom wouldn’t find out.”
Which a local TV station tacked onto a blatant traffic grab:
Miley Cyrus says she grew up in Detroit. How does that make you feel?…
Which prompted the usual responses, which ranged from “stupid bitch” to “she’s a liar.” And so a vapid pop star’s pedestrian observation on how she came of age was twisted into her somehow lying about an upbringing that’s been in every celebrity magazine in America, including Rolling Stone.
Nobody reads anything. Except you, of course. You’re reading this, and you understand it. Bless your heart.
James Hancock wanted to meet a woman who shared his core values. But when you’re a strict Objectivist, it can be a little tricky.
So he found a dating site catering to Ayn Rand aficionados. And he found one, and now they have…well, I guess you’d call it a marriage:
They now live with their 3-year-old daughter in North Walpole, N.H. Their dog, Frisco, is named for Francisco d’Anconia, the mining tycoon in “Atlas Shrugged.”
…Mr. Hancock says the couple’s shared Objectivist values ensure familial harmony. If their daughter doesn’t want to brush her teeth, they both agree that she has to do it. “There’s no back-and-forth or ‘well, just let her do it this one time,’ ” he says. “We know that if we don’t do this now, it’ll be worse later. So that’s logic and reason instead of just emotion and inconvenience.”
I don’t know how I missed Motivational Biden until now:
My new favorite person to see Tom & Lorenzo pick on is Allison Williams, daughter of Brian, co-star of “Girls.” She cultivates a sort of classic American/thoroughbred style that frequently comes across as boring. Or, as T-Lo put it, “She looks like a Chief of Surgery’s wife attending a hospital benefit.”
Attend the benefit of your choice this weekend, because it’s HERE.