Monday, February 29, 2016


One thing I’ve noticed more and more on Facebook is outrage. People are outraged over illegal immigrants. They are outraged over Donald Trump. They are outraged over abortion. They are outraged over #OscarsSoWhite. Facebook has evolved (or devolved) into a place where you air your grievances over hot-button issues.

I get it. I’ve played the game. I’ve ranted. I’ve posted my #HotTake of the day.

However, I’ve gotten equally as tired over everyone’s outrage. Is everybody’s life really that bad? (Or is it that hunky dory, full of flowers, smiling children, and delicious food made by your loving significant other every night?)

I read this article this morning called “What’s the Point of Moral Outrage?” The authors conducted a study where they concluded that expressing moral outrage was self-serving. [It] can serve as a form of personal advertisement: People who invest time and effort in condemning those who behave badly are trusted more.”

I think this is 100 percent accurate. While we may want to rightfully express a concern that is important to us through a Facebook or Instagram post, I think there we do this in part to benefit ourselves. That may not be the full reason we do something, but I know I’ve liked the warm fuzzies that I get when I post or retweet a statement that expresses my concern towards a particular issue.

This issue tears at me. On one hand, I like to be seen as a citizen of the world who cares about other people. On the other hand, who does a 200-word Facebook note really benefit? A few people might nod in agreement and learn something they may not have otherwise, but does it move the needle?

One of my favorite Bible verses is from Ash Wednesday: Matthew 6:5, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

I like that verse because it’s still relevant a few thousand years later. You could easily substitute “standing in synagogues and on the street corners” to “posting on their facebook wall and tweeting on the street corners.”

I try to approach my faith like that. Do the good things, but don’t necessarily tell the world, “LOOK AT ME AND ALL THE GOOD THINGS I’M DOING.” God sees what you are doing. It’s all right.

I’m still not sure how accurate this is, but this was posted a while back about how Jay-Z and Beyonce have allegedly provided
lots of support for protesters in Baltimore and Ferguson. It’s all been behind the scenes and quiet. I like the thought of this. Two of the biggest music stars in the world providing money to a newsworthy cause, yet they don’t want credit for it? It’s comendable.

To get back to my original point, what’s the proper way to express outrage in order to initiate a call to action, but not make it all about yourself? I have no idea.

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