Back in the day when internet was still an alien concept, opinions used to be widely repressed. If you had lived in the Middle Ages, telling your neighbor that you saw the town priest rolling in the hay with the tanner’s wife would have cost you your tongue. People back then were so used to being subjugated by a higher power that they would instantly cower at the thought of even voicing something out. The town baker’s bread is moldy, you say? Don’t even think of telling it to his face. He might not let you buy bread next time; quite a quandary since he’s the only baker in town. Grumbling about the high rents set by the lord? Don’t you dare whisper it. Before the sun sets, you’re sure to have a heavily tortured limb. A lord is usually not a forgiving man.
The advent of the 20th Century heralded the era of revolutions and counter-revolutions. Rebellions and oppositions against established rules permeated the air. At this point, ordinary people began to think that their own opinions actually mattered; that they have a say on almost anything under the sun — from how their country should be governed and to what color of undergarment they should wear. And so, kingdoms fell, empires collapsed and the mighty kings and emperors were cast down from their golden thrones and generally buried six feet under the ground. And it’s all because ordinary people began to give importance to their own opinions.
From then on, with democracy and freedom spreading through the winds, ordinary people started to exert influence on the order of things. Corporations, politicians and businesses paid obeisance to the common person and his opinion. They became dependent on the whims, tastes and moods of the masses.
And then came the era of the internet and social networking. In this age, popular opinion has now become a rule instead of an exception. Every little thing you do, every tick of your body, is carefully scrutinized. If you do something out of the ordinary, your destiny is two-fold: you’ll either get bashed to kingdom come or liked, shared and tweeted all over the world.
Most days, people will do crazy things just to be tweeted or liked. They’ll disfigure their faces with ugly duck poses on camera, tweet things that are better left unsaid like taking a dump, post about every little heartaches (imaginary or otherwise) like anyone cares, and some would even go to the extreme and do something ghastly, like murdering someone or killing one’s self. And all for that one teeny tiny precious like or tweet.
Someone might say, ‘What’s wrong with that? Everyone does it, duh!’
First things first. Likes and tweets are synonymous to an opinion. Or to be more exact, they are visual representations of a person’s opinion on certain things that they see online.
So what’s wrong with that? Well, for one, obsessing with tweets and likes has made opinions cheap and worthless. Nowadays, nobody cares about actually explaining their side of things anymore. They’ll either just like it or tweet it or plus it (if you’re one of the rare people who actually uses Google Plus) and then move on. Gone are the days when people would actually expound on their personal views about things that they observe around them.
Let’s say here’s a fat guy who’s on a diet. After two months of rigorous dieting, he posted a pic on Facebook because he wanted to hear feedbacks. But what did he get? A hundred likes and a few tweets. Fat guy is in nirvana and thinks his diet is really working. Nobody even bothered to say, ‘Holy guacamoli! You’re even fatter than before!’
And so we have now become the victims of popular opinion. What used to be an awesome power that toppled kingdoms and empires now threaten to enslave everyone. We have now become a world obsessed with likes and tweets.
And another thing that makes this whole shebang so so sad is that opinions that really matter is now so hard to find. It’s like trying to find a single haystack in a room full of cows.
Some random guy once said, ‘Opinions are like butts, everyone has one and they all stink.’
And oh, how we love those teeny tiny precious likes and tweets. They have such a sweet, addicting badussy smell.
1 like = 1 prayer