A lot of good has come from the technological advances of the digital age we currently live in, but with the good comes the bad. On radio this morning, Glenn discussed two stories that reflect the worst of what social media and the Internet has to offer. Are we living in a world that no longer enjoys ‘real’ experiences? What are the implications of such a society?
On Wednesday, the front page of the New York Post featured what many are now calling the ‘worst selfie of all time’. The photo features an unidentified woman taking a picture in front of the Brooklyn Bridge. The caveat: A man is standing on the railing of the bridge about to commit suicide behind her.
“There's a guy up on the bridge in New York and he's about to commit suicide and this girl's down at the bottom of the bridge and she's taking a selfie of herself with him in the background,” Glenn said. “Like, ‘Look I'm here with a guy who's about to kill himself.’”
The Post captured the whole incident and approached the woman about her identity in motive. She refused to respond, which perhaps demonstrates she is somewhat remorseful for her inappropriate behavior.
“She might have been feeling ashamed at that point,” Pat mused. “You should be ashamed.”
“I think she was,” Glenn agreed. “But I mean that's what we are now. Instead of saying, ‘Hey, everybody, let's say a prayer for that guy,’ we all pull out our cellphones and just take pictures and videos of everything. Why?”
The other story involves the tragic passing of Fast and Furious actor Paul Walker passed over the weekend. While many fans flocked to social media to express their sadness and offer condolences to Walker’s family and friends, not everyone was so respectful.
“You know they set up the makeshift memorial and one of his co-stars showed up… [and was] obviously distraught. I mean he's crying. He's grieving – a real friend grieving for a… real friend being lost,” Stu explained. “And it was just weird to see everyone surrounding there at the memorial just with their cameras up filming him grieving. It's just weird.”
This incident followed the insensitive tweet sent out by Jezebel news editor Erin Gloria Ryan in the immediate aftermath of Walker’s passing, in which she wished Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker had died instead.
Even more egregious, a writer for the online magazine Modern Women Digest, Adora Bull, has reportedly been taken into “police protection” and is on “suicide watch” after the Internet exploded with anger over her post entitled “The Top 5 Reasons I’m Glad Paul Walker is Dead.”
“What does that even mean? What did that guy do to her,” Glenn asked disgusted. “It is just people are not people anymore. We can't be that way. We just can't be that way… Change your ways. Help us stay the course.”
Glenn went on to describe how even his own encounters with fans have changed due to technology.
“We were talking about this earlier today. When I meet people, so many times people will be looking at their screen of their phone instead of looking at me,” Glenn explained. “They will be coming and approaching me with their phone out, and they are looking at me through the screen and they can't even find my hand to shake my hand because they want to get that [picture].”
“It's like you're watching it on TV as you're doing it. What are we doing,” he asked. “It's just this weird thing we're going through right now that I hope goes away, so we start to have real experiences again.”