Urban Dictionary describes the term “woke” (as it is now alternatively used) as being aware. As knowing what’s going on in the community. Today I saw a picture and link to an article about Chrissy Teigen’s breasts that got me kinda “woke”. Along with annoyed and angry.
Don’t get me wrong, Chrissy Teigen seems like a cool lady. You know, from the internet. I’m sure she’s a lot more than the (literally MILLIONS of) articles and posts you can find on the internet written about the small bits of her life she chooses to share on social media. I’m pretty confident that she has more depth than what is shown from the various “media” outlets that follow her around like she might start shitting out diamonds and throwing them into the crowd.
But this post isn’t about what some celebrity wore last night, or even about how ridiculous I find it that normal human activities preformed by celebrities are lauded in the media to a point of embarrassment for the current state of our idea of “news”. (Ok it’s a little about that.)
Today I saw an article talking about Teigen’s breastfeeding boobs. Seriously. An article devoted to the sexualization of a new mother’s breastfeeding experience. (I’m not going to link to the article because A. I’m lazy and B. they’re not getting any of the few clicks I perhaps could provide from my humble blog.) I could write about the fact that new Mom’s have a hard enough time finding their comfort spot with breastfeeding without their breasts being analyzed and splashed on the internet but what struck me was this is our news now. We get a lot of it from Facebook and A LOT of it is ridiculous click bait instead of informative articles that actually have some bearing on the health and well being of us and the world. You have to actually search out real issues and weed through countless articles that among other things, reduce us to a race that is concerned with how “fire our brow game is” and “how quick Ms Random Celebrity’s body bounced back after giving birth”. I have seen maybe a couple articles about the recent Shell oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. You know, that one that leaked 90, 000 gallons of oil into the ocean about 100 miles away from a Native American community that relies on the water and land to live.
I don’t write this to say I don’t like to be entertained by the internet. I browse Facebook throughout the day. I even follow celebrities on Instagram.
The problem isn’t that we’re connected to a source of constant news, it’s not that we occasionally like to get a peek into the worlds of people that live life on a scale that we normal folks probably never will. The problem is for a while there I forgot that there were bigger issues going on until someone snapped a picture of Chrissy Teigen’s cleavage and I felt like burning my computer and becoming a recluse because obviously if this is news I don’t want to be a part of society anymore. The problem is that if you search “Chrissy Teigen baby” you’ll get around 18,100,000 results while “Shell oil spill” will glean you about 1,050,000 results. The problem is that like me, there are a lot of people out there that see the news as what is filtered through their Facebook feed unless they actively search it out for themselves. The days of watching the evening news with the family because Dad wouldn’t let you change the channel are mostly over. People buy magazines on their Kindle and newspaper sales are on the decline.
So let this be your reminder to follow your local and national news stations on Facebook. Share articles that have an impact on your life. Share articles that have an impact on someone else’s life. Teach your kids to check out a credible news source once a day before TMZ. Subscribe to a newspaper!
Yes the world can be a scary place. Sure, it’s easier to focus on the fluff. Yeah, it’s true that what you don’t know can’t keep you up at night. Just remember, however, that the solution to the worlds biggest problems may lie within a child that was exposed to actual issues rather than stories that can be consolidated into a hashtag ending with #goals.