Social networks often operate like hive minds: ideas are presented and regurgitated, dissected and discussed, and then reinterpreted and replicated over and over again. After a while, the topics become predictable, the same conversations occur simultaneously in isolation and in context. Everyone has the same thing to say about the same topic, and yet we can’t seem to stop talking about them. So what am I talking about that we can’t stop talking about?
Fakebook events. You know exactly what I’m talking about, right? On NYE 2015 I attended “Crying and Eating Bread By Yourself on the Floor,” along with 70,000 of my closest friends. On January 20th, 2020, you can see that I will “quit school and become a professional piece of grass” at Australia’s K-Mart headquarters. Dozens of these events sprung up right around finals season. Students around the world pounced on them, articulating the very real feelings of despair, hopelessness, and anxiety that accompanies secondary education.
Donald Trump’s latest offensive comment. It’s a different one every day. First, he made snips about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly being on her period. Then he suggested we close our borders to Muslims. And then he made a commercial about it. Then he threw some explicit shade at HRC. Whatever he did yesterday, today, everyone is talking about it, everyone is pissed off, and everyone is threatening to move to Canada.
Northeastern’s obsession with flat screen TVs (and ensuing capitalistic ventures). Every year, tuition hikes up, and inevitably, come September, along with the anxious faces of doe-eyed freshmen, impossibly, more sleek flat screens pop up on on every flat surface of Northeastern’s space-ship inspired campus. And with the flat screens, disgruntled students complaining about how their tuition dollars go towards flat screens and President Auon’s salary instead of to adjunct faculty and service workers.
We understand the logic: higher tuition = more flat screens = more students attending NU = more money for NU = more flat screens, et cetera, et cetera. But we’re still not happy about it.
What to call ISIS. Among my hip, liberal Boston peers, we know better than to suspect that ISIS operatives posing as Syrian refugees are infiltrating our communities, but in place of xenophobia-fueled, Arthur Miller-proven hysteria, we are completely preoccupied with what to call ISIS, like giving it a particular name will change the way the group operates or suddenly present a solution that the U.S. government has not yet reached. According to Obama, it’s ISIL. If you’re in the EU, it’s “Daesh.” ISIS calls itself the “Islamic State.” There are connotations and implications for each name, but for some reason, we cannot grasp that all of the labels describe the same group.
The Green Line. Since the Green Line’s inception, there has never been a day in Boston’s history in which not a single person lamented the Green Line’s deplorable (lack of) upkeep, its arrogant ignorance of timeliness, or its tendency to shut down at least once a route for no particular reason, leaving commuters stranded in sub-freezing temperatures, wondering, again, why they put any faith into the country’s oldest subway. Says the MBTA: *shrug.*