Social Media and the Views to a Kill That Fuel the Ecstasy of Death
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg managed to quickly offer his skeletal condolences to the family of Cleveland, Ohio native Robert Godwin, the 74-year-old Black man who was shot to death by a deranged lunatic, who randomly cast him in the deadliest role of his life.
“We have a lot of work … we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening.”
The mentally ill individual who chose Facebook as his platform of choice for the unspeakable act he was desperate to commit is now dead. His name was Steve Stephens, and he was 37 years old. He shot himself in a car and was later tracked down and discovered by the Pennsylvania State Police.
For most, this signals the end of a bloody saga that frankly took way too long to be resolved.
But, the truth is that we are now embodying an era that lends itself to glorified violence that no longer relies on the appropriately rated movies to ensure the protection of viewers — who aren’t mature enough to handle a world of make believe dripping in fake blood — caked around wreckage that was disorganized purposely.
Social media was ushered into our lives with the ferocity of authority that seemed to rightfully assume that we were ready for the responsibility that comes with shedding your humanity at the behest of delectable bait.
The key for Zuckerberg and his fellow comrades in crime was to create a system that relieves the user of any sense of guilt or the normal emotions that accompany what would be described as unfathomable circumstances.
You are within clicks of loved ones which at first is a weird concept that leaves you begging for more, but as more additions and upgrades take over the landscape — it no longer feels odd to recognize that your preferred point of contact has dwindled down to scoping Hi-Res images and assigning emoticons to the ones that stand out.
Once that part of the puzzle was sufficiently completed, we were handed the keys into uncharted territory that would ordinarily demand the ravenous instincts of a wild animal, but due to our impressive adaptive nature — it was a no brainer.
We have slowly but surely developed the appetite for being able to witness the horrors of this world — fully shielded by the need to stay informed.
Facebook is thoroughly magnificent in it’s mission to feed the beast that would never have matured if not for the beneficial coaxing — that utilizes the strings attached to the pages of family and friends.
The timely blatant reminders of why they matter and how important it is to continue to support the network that keeps us all effortlessly connected.
We accommodated the façade and lazily allowed the fundamentals that separate us from the pack of wolves hunting for more despite having enough to feed on — to slip away.
The perpetual habit of revising your status and feeling armed with the evidence that supports your claims about why and how the world is going to end is hard to resist.
News agencies do their best but they can’t compete with users who scour the bowels of the net with the hopes of catching the most vile and utterly repulsive footage — that will inevitably increase their outreach and make those dismal numbers skyrocket into the realm of fame and validity.
Zuckerberg’s message of goodwill and his promise to come up with efficient ways to end the madness that he knowingly created is insulting and jarringly meshed with the hopeless climate — that is embracing too tight to ever let go.
I’m pretty sure we can all agree that we’ve past the point of societal rehab. There is no way we can go back to the period of sweetly hidden phone conversations in the closet — and the unwavering dignity of mankind towards each other.
The damage can’t be assessed until decades later when some of us are dust to dust and the ones who have survived the apocalypse — spend their time convincing the more enlightened batch — why it was necessary for blood, guts and video to merge into primed dailies that we shared while feigning disgust.
The views to a kill help to fuel the ecstasy and obsession with watching lone figures in their last moments — as they are unexpectedly accosted and then attacked into submission — before the final blow that immediately gathers our senses into how many times we can share and source for comments that compliment our commentary.
It’s the cycle of being celebrated for our thoughtfulness. We aim to please our followers with our lightening bolt reaction to current events, which should be paired with the media of our choice.
Death by means unnecessary is no longer an act that we dare to imagine rather than behold by hovering or clicking. We are encouraged to watch, share, tweet, retweet, like, and embed with the heartbeat of metal.
Death is such a crowd pleaser that media outlets and news organizations make it a priority. If your loved one dies — you can rely on outlets like People magazine — that consistently populates its front page with the passing of human beings who are either famous or perished in ways that lifts their anonymity.
While working out at the gym, the local news station reported on the older Black man who was murdered by a younger Black man. Before my very eyes, the video played and it showed the victim looking confused, scared and acutely aware of what was about to go down.
Thankfully I was spared the actual killing, but the memory of the man’s attempt to shield himself from the blast of bullets will haunt me forever.
I looked around to see if I could make eye contact with someone who might possibly relate to my current state of mind — like the old days.
The eyes were fixated on the screen but the bodies were detached and thriving. I was alone and whole in my grief.
Praying that nobody would notice that I was in fact — human.