Social Media and Moral Self-Licensing

When did posting to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like become equated to a social consciousness?  We have another tragedy involving terrorism and I see people changing their icons or profile photo to show support for the offended.  But honestly, what does it really do?  For most people that do this, the icon changing is all they do.  It lets them feel like they are off the hook because they changed it to say they did something, when in reality, you likely did nothing.   It gives you a moral self-license to say you do something and makes you feel better.

So those that choose not to change their icons or profile pictures, does it mean they are not offended or fail to show support for the cause d'jour?  Most likely not.  Perhaps those individuals have contributed to an aid fund without making the fanfare about it.  Perhaps they are helping people in the community affected.  Who knows?  If you are basing your opinion on whether someone has superficially expressed an opinion on a social media platform, then perhaps you might be spending way too much time on those platforms.

Now, for the crisis at hand.  How many people realized that Paris was not the city where terrorists attacks occurred.  Beirut had a terrorist attack attributed to ISIS, as a state allied with Iran, which is fighting ISIS in Iraq.  Turkey, a NATO ally and the base of Syrian anti-ISIS actions, thwarted supposedly an attack on the same day as the Paris attacks.  Remember the possible terrorist bombing of the Russian airline 2 weeks ago?  Another Syrian ally fighting ISIS in Syria...Where is the outrage and the support for those victims?  Why are we more aware and supportive for the Paris victims than for the other terrorist attacks?  (Rhetorical question).  

How many people were aware of migrant crisis in Europe before the attacks?  The civil war in Syria has flooded emigrants to other countries.  Not only is ther about 1.5 million refugees over the past 2 years in Europe, another 2 million have emigrated to Turkey, 1 million to Lebanon, 650 thousand to Jordan, and another 150 thousand to Egypt. Syria is a complete mess and ISIS (Da'esh) has taken advantage of this vacuum of power in this 3 way civil war.   The world has a mortal enemy now, and ISIS (Da'esh) needs to be taken care soon as a world, no matte what race, creed, or citizenship.  

 

School mist guilt trip?

Tonight was my youngest child's open house at school with the rigamarole that goes with it, including signing multiple forms (for Title I, allowed pickups, etc,), and were sent home the annual flu mist consent form.  This program has been voluntary in our school system for several years, but the pressure to get the students to get the forms filled out (preferably with a yes) has increased greatly over the past several years (even bribing kids with extra credit) in order to get 100% form return (and 100% participation).  The form this year (which I will get to later) differs subtly from the previous year, and in a somewhat manipulative way.

First, here is one of the original forms

2008-2009 Flu Mist Form

2008-2009 Flu Mist Form

2011-2012 Flu Mist Form

2011-2012 Flu Mist Form

2012-2013 Flu Mist Form

2012-2013 Flu Mist Form

2013-2014 Flu Mist Program

2013-2014 Flu Mist Program

Now we come up to this year's form:

2013-2014 Flu Mist Form

2013-2014 Flu Mist Form

You see that subtle change?  Let me highlight it for you:

Ah...add this social responsibility guilt factor.  Yes, I want to be a good guy and save everyone or No, I want to be a selfish bastard and not have my kids immunized.  Maybe that is what it will say next year.

Have we lost it?

As I write this, the date is September 11th.  The remembrances are occurring as I wake up this morning, just as the attacks occurred as I awoke 12 years ago. While sad for those affected by the attacks, let's remember that we are stopping to remember lest than 0.0001% of the American public who died that day.  

Because of this loss, we, as a country, have decided to go to war in 2 countries, trampled on the constitution (especially the 4th Amendment) with the TSA, VIPR, NSA spying on the American public, the increased pace of militarization of the police throughout the years, and the utter fear that people have allowed the government to instill in us (think how the citizens were told to "shelter in place" as the militarized police come and "rescued" them from their house). 

There is a fine line of remembering of what happened on 9/11 and allowing it to run our lives.  We have failed as a country to the latter, giving up freedom for security and rights for safety.  The terrorists of 9/11 may have won in different ways than what they thought they were trying to do by changing the American way of life for the worse.