After each polarizing moment rocks contemporary American culture, social media comes alive with humorous creativity. The extremely creative create memes, Photoshop, write essays (like this one), etc. Those feeling less creative, or with less free time, can demonstrate their comedic skills with a brief status update or snappy comment.
Participation in this online carnival of comedy is not mandatory, but experiencing the comedy is hard to avoid. It varies in regards quality and offensiveness, but sooner or later something will strike every social media user as worth at least a chuckle.
The more rigid your belief, the more of this comedy is available to you. Eventually, participation in these carnival games completes a checklist for you. How you laugh defines who you are. Publicly.
So we spend all our time on our phones. We create, find, and share titilating delight that clearly define who we are and shame those we must never be. Sometimes, we talk about quitting everything because social media is a waste of time. Few of us do, and most of them come back.
It seems logical that we are most pleased when we can joke our way to feeling smarter, happier, and more righteous about who we are. This raucous display of written ego-stroking leaves us ill-equipped to do more than piss and moan between the giggling fits.
Maybe if we stopped laughing we’d turn to the tragic truth that much of life is suffering, and often nothing can be done to make this fair. When something can be done, it involves losing our individual voices for a communal purpose. Who could swallow that without a punchline?
Quick: Somebody make fun of someone else. We can’t let the laughter stop.