Ten years ago, scrolling through Facebook, a Facebook friend would post a video and say:
"If this doesn't make you cry you aren't human."
"This will make your day."
Or just …
And you'd be compelled to watch. The "free hugs" guy. The flash mob dance at Grand Central. The little kid wise beyond her years. The heart-warming Father's Day video, by Procter & Gamble.
Now we coldly scroll past such entreaties, because we've been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.
You're not going to stop and watch something that your friends and family urging are urging you to watch because it moved them to tears.
Because you don't have time for a cry at the moment.
Because you've already cried at a dogs-greeting-returning-veterans videos before.
Because you're not in the fucking mood to cry.
Or because the person who posted the video cries at card tricks and supermarket openings.
So you scroll on, in search of something you do feel like dealing with. Like a post about how climate change is going to lead to global war, and ultimately total human extinction.
Neil Postman warned of Amusing Ourselves to Death.
I'm going to write a book about social media: All Cried Out.