Lemming Nation

The current craze on Facebook is changing your profile picture to a cartoon character because somehow that will draw attention to the problem of child abuse.  Actually, the new trend might be people reposting a rumor that the cartoon picture thing is a scam by pedophiles to somehow lure kids in with pictures of cartoons.

This is nothing unusual. My feed is usually filled with reposts of status updates about sisters, brothers, moms, 3rd cousins twice removed or whatever random relative someone has decided to “honor” that week.  These are then reposted by half the people on their friends list.  Possibly more active are the status updates that basically tell you that you are not a true Christian if you don’t copy and repost a status update about your belief in God.

Away from Facebook, there are the fun emails forwarded from friends and family about scary, untrue news stories easily debunked by a trip to snopes.  Unfortunately, no one takes this time because they must follow the command to forward this to all of your friends.

I don’t get any of this.  Why copy and paste these status updates or forward the emails?  Why change your profile picture for some random internet meme?  Are we all just lemmings now who follow along because it’s easier than actually having a distinct personality or thinking for ourselves? Do we think people will think less of us if we don’t do it? Do people think I hate kids because my profile picture is not a cartoon character?  Do people question my faith because I don’t repost religious statuses? Do I care(I don’t)?


One thought on “Lemming Nation

  1. a) People do it because it’s fun to feel like you’re participating in a group activity, even one with noble (albeit ineffectual) intentions. At least, I hope that’s why most people are participating

    b) Sadly, I see lots of hoax fwd:fwd:fwd:fwd emails from elderly relatives, parents’ friends, etc. that are emblazoned with something along the lines of “GUYS THIS IS SERIOUS IT HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY SNOPES.COM!!!!!!!1”. Of course, in most cases, it hasn’t. In the few cases where such things *are* true, they’re heavily misrepresented. Or simply outdated, such as “OMG NEW COMPUTER VIRUS!!!!” emails that are hand-waving about a real virus that was first (and last) relevant in 2007.

    (P.S.: We all know that you hate kids.)


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