The Art of Social Media Pandering

There has become a social justice prevalence to pander to anyone that claims they have been wronged or are victims that began around 2008 in the US.

It is finally starting to fade and it couldn't happen too soon.

Most days I ignore it, but some days it's just funny, or sad, or pathetic, same thing I guess.

Some synonyms of the verb pandering could be; Indulge, Gratify, Cater To or Play Up To.

This is usually going hand in hand with a very vocal and very minor aspect of society.

How I see this most often is someone acknowledging another person with a level of mindless social media drool to some obscure event compared to substantially more important things going on in the grand scheme of things; and not doing the same to other people that have not claimed they are special or entitled.

Pandering in this sense is the equivalent of everyone should be given a trophy, because they are a beautiful and a genius and special and we should celebrate even the most inconsequential and trivial thing to ensure that everyone is more special than yesterday.

Which honestly, is just dumb and of course completely meaningless.

I have this social media friend that is well read, smart and has lot of followers.  If one of his friends of a very vocal religion has some event occur based on their beliefs he goes out of his way to wish them a Happy Pastafarian Seasoning Day.  But if any of his friends of another religion have some equivalent level of celebration he says nothing.

I find this so puzzling, but I find it pandering when it is continually done.

The reason why is simple, the Pastafarian belief is in the news, good or bad, so he must be part of that process.  Because the Pastafarians also claim they are being victimized at every turn, my friend must double down to compensate for this claim and over-acknowledge their existence at every turn.

In these cases the truth or statistical relevance rarely matters.

If one Pastafarian received less than platinum level service at the local pizza shack and claimed it was because of their Pastafarianism, my friend would post meme after meme about discrimination and be up in arms.  He would demand action to correct this cosmically important wrong. It would consume his social media presence.

If someone that had no interest in ever joining the military complained that they aren't allowed in now because of the reinstatement of a policy that impacts quite literally 0.00000001% of all applicants, my friend would lose his mind about how horrible this is.

He would claim many things that end in ‘ism’ or ‘ist’ or ‘phobia’ and threaten to burn down the government and be ok with people joking about assassinating the president.

But if 200 soldiers were denied medical treatment for injuries suffered due to war he would have no opinion.  Or if 40 men were killed in combat protecting his right to free speech, he would not utter a whisper.  Or if ten men took their own lives because of untreated stress based on the ravages of war, he wouldn't even notice it.

If 142 Believers of the Jedi faith were viscously attacked in a shopping mall by a light saber wielding Pastafarian hell bent on destroying the Jedi and screaming Pastafarian attack phrases before he began his rampage, my friend would be silent. He would find it a non event if nothing else.

He would see this as taking a side against the good Pastafarians as opposed to simply condemning violence in the name of religion.  He would refuse to accept any level of common sense over his need to pander. 

With no balance in things like this, it is pandering, and this type of thing has been an epidemic since 2008 in both the broadcast and printed news and social media. 

The reason being is all of a sudden so many people feel empowered when they cater to the 0.0000001% of society as though their support matters, or they are overcoming this incredibly oppressive and institutionally supported holding of people down, even when it doesn't exist. 

It isn't true. And it isn't real.   It makes people feel good and has no impact what-so-ever.

Part of this reason is outrage, even statistically irrelevant outrage is popular.  It makes people feel good and there is no accountability because it won't ever have any real impact in the world.  If you simply claim everyone should be special, you can never go wrong is the ultimate message.

And therein lies the rub.

We could use that energy for a percentage of the population that is truly in need or distress or is actually being discriminated against, but if they aren't screaming they are victimized or they aren't the social media flavor of the day, no one cares.

It's kind of sad to see our society continue to pander to those that cry wolf repeatedly over people truly in need, but these things go in cycles and this one simply hasn't played out enough.