This is just an opinion…
Firstly, thank you for making it this far – despite the endless bombardment on television, social media…, your work place – you were brave enough to endure another coronavirus post… sort of.
I could have easily ignored the subject and post a standard generic post like there was not a world wide event impacting all our lives and I really wanted to talk about something that highlighted an ugly element in people (and I’m not talking about all the douches loading supermarket trolleys with supplies they don’t need).
Whether you are hiding in your bunker with a thousand toilet rolls or continuing your daily business at your local coffee chain wondering when the hysteria will die down, I wanted to discuss something that always annoys me…
The desire to be first.
What do I mean by this?
Whenever there is a big news worthy event, people jump on the bandwagon to offer their two cents on an issue – the focus is not to be factual but first.
The first opinion, the first answer. It’s not in your best interest.
It’s all for the sake of validation and likes.
This often leads to spreading of incorrect and potentially dangerous information.
In the case of Coronavirus it’s helped create a state of hysteria where people are buying toilet roll just because everyone else is.
The wild west
If I had to pick an era in history as an analogy for the stage our information age is in, it would be the wild west – a period of growth and wealth greater than ever.
Yet encountering the problem of rapid expansion, lawlessness goes unchecked – with social media sites acting as the sheriff what goes on and what doesn’t in their town, with big government getting involved now and again to bring certain notorious individuals down when they get too big and uncontrollable.
I could continue the comparison comparing people reporting others as a form of unpaid bounty hunter, but that’s where the analogy starts to break down.
But you can kind of see where a state of anarchy arises – what is correct and what isn’t?
Back to the need to be first…
Examining the type of information posted, you can break the content down into the following types:
I read a share on my Facebook suggesting coronavirus could be killed off by drinking lots of water.
Disclaimer, I’m no medical professional, but my talking bollocks sensors were flaring.
I wanted to share a screenshot and post it on here and let you be the judge, but was unable to do so as the Facebook AI bots had sprung in to action removing it, recognising the advice for the pure gubbins it the actually was.
That just goes to show, if it sounds like bollocks, it probably is.
Still, I continue to see old wives tales medical advice that would be too far fetched even for your Nana to say continuing to be shared.
A lot of people who share disinformation, generally do so in good faith – they are the types of posters who if a deadly pandemic wasn’t happening would be busy right now sharing images of the latest cats dropped in at the shelter.
Their desire to be a good Samaritan limits their ability to analyse and ask logically “what is the truth?”
Political finger pointing
I’m going to keep this one short, otherwise it might be interpreted by the online crazies as political endorsement.
The fact is coronavirus is impacting the world. This means countries with governments of a range of political leanings are being impacted.
And yet the political finger pointer is using this as an excuse to attack the political party they hate.
Earlier in the week Britain and the United States had two different approaches – one trying to keep business going as usual the other to lock down everything and isolate people.
Both had their critics, one was painted as reckless willing to murder thousands for the sake of the economy, the other was a racist for stopping people coming in.
It’s simply a case of damned if you, damned if you don’t.
Your friendly local community reporter
My Facebook feed has been populated with people thinking it’s fascinating to share images and videos of empty shelves at the local ASDA and provide blow by blow traffic updates of roads surrounding these supermarkets.
On my first working from home day I popped into my local Farmfoods and witnessed a surreal experience.
I noticed a pallet crate of toilet roll being unloaded. Unfazed I continued about my business and approached the checkout.
There I saw a mass of people come through the door in a sight you only see at a tourist attraction when a tour bus arrives.
The crowd marched over to the empty space were the toilet rolls usually sat and as the exhausted store worker pushed the rolls out, he got mobbed, with everyone picking at the pallet like a bunch of Hyenas on a toilet roll carcass.
Anyway this bizarre scene was brought to you by your friendly neighbourhood reporter, who seeing the same sight I did, decided to share in the local Facebook group with an update on the new consignment of shit roll.
Okay hands up whose seen a story like this?
“…I was in the supermarket and saw an old man looking lost and confused, I asked him if he was okay. It turned out he had walked 100 miles going round all the shops trying to find toilet roll – everyone had been rude to him and someone even punched him in the balls for the last sheet of Andrex.
As I just happened to have some toilet roll stashed in the car, I gave it to him.
He burst out crying saying I had restored his faith in young people and that I was like the second coming of Jesus.
I turned around and everyone in the shop was looking at me also crying… and then they broke out into applause…”
Perhaps I’m getting cynical but do any of these morality porn stories ever happen?
If find it amazing with these social media anecdotes the poster is always the hero of the story being so moral and right.
As I said on my Twitter
If you do a good deed and don’t post a brag on social media did it actually happen?
— James (@jameslanepm) March 17, 2020
Oh right, yeah I forgot… if people do something genuinely good they can’t keep it quiet and have to milk it for the likes.
Naturally with such an outbreak the conspiracy theorists go crazy on their keyboards.
And with many countries having time in isolation we are getting some fantastic works of fiction.
If they weren’t so libelous I would suggest these would bring some originality back to the film industry!
Please enjoy this masterpiece:
All this achieves is distorting the facts of what actually happened and achieves nothing expect giving the original poster viral validation that they came up with the biggest crackpot idea.
Look after yourself and your family
Anyway that brings me to the end of today’s post. This was more an observational rant than the usual content I post!
Please look after yourself and your family wherever you are in this beautiful world.
And please stop posting shit about coronavirus if it doesn’t help anyone and/or you don’t know what your talking about.