Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Save The Outrage

Another week, and the Internet is angry.  This time, they are extra angry because a small, momentarily unsupervised child managed to circumvent the Cincinnati Zoo's safety protocols and fall into the Gorilla exhibit, which ended tragically for an endangered gorilla.  Why the outrage?  The Internet is outraged by the death of such a beautiful animal, the Zoo's lax security, and the parents' possible negligence.

Outrage is so common on the Internet these days that most of us don't even blink.  It costs nothing to be outraged, after all.  It costs nothing to be angry in your own home, sign a few internet petitions or to click 'share' on social media.  We can do this, be outraged, and then feel an inflated sense of accomplishment, as if we singlehandedly defeated the ogre of whatever made us angry.

Our outrage is fickle.  For example, where's the Internet's anger over the missing 7 year old in Japan, whose parents left him on the side of a bear infested forest road as a punishment?   Where's the frustration over all the murdering going on in Chicago?  We get outraged like a sudden storm in the spring, swirling up in the unstable atmosphere of the Web and then draining away just as quickly. 

If your outrage isn't going to lead to positive action, knock it off.  Just being outraged over the death of an endangered animal isn't going to bring it back.  Being outraged is useless, unless it's followed by action.  If you are angry about the death of a gorilla, but can't be bothered to help your local animal shelter, your outrage is useless.  If you're angry about the parental neglect that contributed to the death of that gorilla, but refuse to help the thousands of abused and neglected children out there, your outrage is useless. 

Save your outrage. Keep it to yourself.  Spare us all from the sound and fury that ultimately means nothing.  


7 comments:

  1. Well said, Tina. I am guilty of this recently when I voiced my upset that community accepts homelessness as inevitable. You're so right: "If your outrage isn't going to lead to positive action, knock it off. "

    We should take action, do something positive towards the larger goal. Absolutely agree with you.

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  2. Well said, it is a sad thing that happened but that's it. It happened. All the kvetching in the world will not undo what happened.
    The only good is that the zoo should have a design that can prevent this from happening. At zoo Atlanta, there is a plexiglass wall. Whether the parent is lax is a judgement we can give a lot of parents. The zoo did what they thought they had to do and I am not going to second guess them. Unfortunate things happen.
    The thing that get's me with internet outrage is how would you like it turned on yourself.

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    1. I honestly don't know what I would do if I were internet outrage famous. Fortunately, I'm just a small cog in the machine!

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  3. Wow did you hit the nail on the head. Outrage on the internet is so wasted. I don't comment on any of my 'redneck friends' posts about the election on facebook.(I thought they were nice, anyway, it all changed since the primaries.) I have hidden them on facebook until November, and may unfriend them, if they continue in this vein. It is all too much for a moderate from California. BTW,I have been reading you all along...but just found out my comments for everyone do not take, unless I am on firefox.

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    1. Thank you for reading! Yes, I've had several family members unfollow me because of my "liberal" political views. This election has brought out the crazy!

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  4. Thank you for putting this into words!

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