The Internet Is Lazy

But you already knew that, right?

This week, the Internet went through its usual paroxysms over the “hot topic” of the moment. This time it was the “First Kiss,” a video purporting to be footage of complete strangers kissing for the first time. My usual reaction to seeing all the You MUST see this video, ERMAHGERD! comments is to completely ignore it, hoping the hype goes down. This time, I bit. And as I expected, the hype let me down. Because truly, who wants to watch people awkwardly mash faces.

I digress. As the social media about the video reached a fever pitch, the other shoe dropped, so to speak. The kissers, gasp, they weren’t only strangers. Apparently, they’re also models. And the video wasn’t just for the sake of showing the intensity of initial physical contact. It was an ad for a clothing line. Color me surprised…

At this point, I’d checked out because nothing is ever as it appears online. But The Internet had other thoughts. Article after article about the “value” of the video, whether the fact that the people were models mattered, were we duped because it was an ad instead of unaffiliated viral content. The next wave of reaction posts were, predictably, folks’ takes on the “First Kiss” – a “real” version with non-models, a joke take on hand jobs, even one with dogs.

Now, I post this all to say that I wish it wasn’t all so predictable. Every five days or so, someone uploads an article or a video or a photo that takes over the conversation. The hot topic isn’t limited to social media, since the traditional outlets trawl social media for their filler content. After the first wave of shares and posts, then the response (#thinkpiece) from everyone with an opinion comes down the pipe followed by the responses to the response. It’s ubiquitous, it’s everywhere, and it’s exhausting. Most of all, it’s lazy.

Knowing how limited our attention spans are when we’re online, and how much information is out there, I encourage everyone to expand beyond their current outlets. Look for new writers, new perspectives and stories that maybe aren’t BuzzFeed-worthy but worthy of your attention. Think for yourself, don’t be lazy like The Internet.

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