Oblivious to the Obvious

So here’s an example of the thing that’s distracting me from doing anything important for the rest of the day: a friend posted a picture on Facebook of her and her husband attending a concert by the musician Keb’ Mo’. Most of the comments were along the lines of “He’s great!” or “I’ve seen him twice!” or “Looks like you had fun!” – but then there was this: “Who is Keb’ Mo’?” It’s clear the person posting this question had to have been online in order to do so – whether via computer, tablet, or phone – so why didn’t he (or she, or they – I support all the pronouns) take the time to, y’know – actually LOOK UP WHO KEB’ MO’ IS?

The other common occurrence of this lack of initiative is when someone of note dies; you’ll see a post or a tweet, usually with a picture of the now-deceased individual, paired with a comment: “R.I.P. [Celebrity/Newsmaker Name],” or “Gone too soon (with a crying face emoji),” or “Oh, no!!” – and, inevitably, one of the responses tucked among the remembrances will be, “What happened??” I find this especially galling when the original post/tweet INCLUDES A LINK TO THE OBITUARY.

Now, granted – in this second example of the phenomenon there have been instances of “false flag” operations. As an example: how many times was Betty White’s “death” breathlessly reported online before she actually ceased to be? It is certainly shameful when someone shares a post of dubious provenance without doing their due diligence to establish its veracity. And, of course, such ignorance (or, at least, incuriousness) isn’t limited just to unrecognized celebrities or death notices; mis- and dis-information abounds in the political and medical arenas, with too many people all too glad (or mindlessly conditioned) to pass along any and every thing aligning with their confirmation biases, not caring one whit whether the purported information is truthful, has been taken out of context, or has any basis in reality. Examples of this are virtually all quotes you see attributed to the Buddha, Albert Einstein, or George Carlin.

We have a standing joke in our household: one of us (usually my wife, but I’m not singling out anyone here) (yes I am) will ask a question: “What’s the forecast for tomorrow?” or “How do you spell ‘bouillabaisse’?” or “When is the next total solar eclipse?” – whatever the question, it is being asked by an askee who is tightly clutching her (the only correct pronoun in this instance) smartphone in one hand – and the response is, “If only you had access to a device that could instantly access all the data in the world…” This response (which, while not singling out anyone here, comes from me) prompts one more question from the askee: “Why did I ever marry you?” Ironically, this is the one question for which a smartphone appears unable to supply an answer.

Actually, there is another question to which the answer seems evasive: “Who is George Santos, really?” But that’s an exploration I’ll save for another day when I again want to avoid doing anything important. It’s obvious today’s already shot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Start a Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: