If you weren’t watching the 2015 MTV VMAs this past Sunday you were truly missing out. From Miley and her antics to Nicki vs Miley to Kanye making his announcement to run for the 2020 Presidential Election. This years show was a frenzy. Like with everything else these days, social media went crazy. No one could refrain themselves from tweeting, not even me.
I like to consider myself an extremely intelligent human being, and one thing I know is satire when I see it. Well that’s exactly what this years awards show was, from the subtle mentions of police brutality to how obsessed our generation has become with “one up-ing” one another on social media. I thought MTVs production team did an okay job of presenting real issues in a broad way most of their audience could understand. However, the more I read people’s reactions on Twitter, the more it became clear that no one seemed to understand what was going on.
As I constantly refreshed my Twitter’s timeline, all I could see was tweets filled with hate. For starters, several people weren’t a fan of this years hostess, Miley Cyrus. They didn’t understand the satirical skits. And when Kanye West made his acceptance speech for the Vanguard Award everyone seemed to be confused. The uproar of tweets truly puzzled me. I could have understood if people were upset over the fact that Rebel Wilson ignorantly minimized police brutality into a cruel joke. Instead they were just tweeting about their annoyance over Miley’s marijuana references. I kept thinking to myself my generation can’t be that stupid, right? It was like everyone missed the bigger picture.
I was bothered by the fact that people only watched Kanye’s acceptance speech with the intent to ridicule it. Kanye’s entire speech was centered around the importance of being an individual, yet no one was focused on that. No one cared about the valid and impactful points Kanye made during his speech, instead they waited for him to make the perfect expression so they could turn it into a meme and a gif. This is a real problem people. The crazy thing is people unknowingly do this on social media all of the time.
For a while I’ve been convinced only a select few of individuals believe in what they are saying on social media, and last night that belief was confirmed. Social proofing has become the norm. Unfortunately, we live in a time where people are literally saying anything on social media just so they can be relevant. People have become obsessed with the amount of attention they receive on social media. Retweets and likes have become the equivalent to sitting at the school’s “popular table.” People only care about thought-provoking content if by someway it can get them more followers. To paraphrase Kanye, Does anybody care about real shxt anymore?
Don’t get me wrong this post is not an attack on those who solely use social media for entertainment purposes. It is okay to laugh at gifs and Vine videos. However, we claim to be the generation that is demanding social change. I need people to understand it will take more than just hashtags to change the world. Yes, social media is an excellent tool to create awareness. However, once you have people’s attention what are you going to do to keep it? Have you been attending open forums? Have you been demonstrating? Most of you all are beginning to look very contradictory.
I want to conclude this post by simply saying this. If you call yourself having a stance on an issue, don’t throw it all a way because a supposedly funny gif/meme is floating around. Stop making senseless jokes out of others flaws (we all have flaws, just look in a mirror), there is nothing funny about that. Stop being scared of the reaction you’ll receive for thinking differently. It is okay to be different. It is okay to be an individual. And If you don’t understand what is even going on, just ask. Don’t just express something (especially on social media), because you want to be a part of the conversation. 9 times out of 10 you’re going to end up making yourself look silly.
Remember people to say what you mean, mean what you say, and if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. (: