I’ve noticed a really disturbing trend on Facebook recently. Although I’ve seen this lots of times over the years, it seems to be getting worse and worse, and it needs to stop!
Here’s what it is.
Random Facebook post whenever someone is within any proximity to a violent act:
“Oh my God! (X) happened and I was only (Y distance) away!”
“Oh my God! (X) just happened at (Y) location! I was just there yesterday at the same time!!
How do these posts make any kind of sense? This person is nothing but a tragedy hijacker. They were not in danger, they are simply trying to get attention.
Here are some examples of actual posts I’ve recently seen:
“I was on a layover at Fort Lauderdale Airport just an hour before the shooting happened!”
You were on a layover. In a secure and protected area. The shooting happened in baggage claim, in a different terminal. Let’s also keep in mind, you were on a plane at the time of the shooting, not actually at the airport. You were like 400 miles away! You’re commandeering someone else’s tragedy. Stop it.
“I was in the parking lot of the Alderwood Mall when that clerk got stabbed!! So scary!!”
No. Not scary. You were hundreds of yards away and the assault suspect was after one person in particular. You had hundreds of people and hundreds of cars, and walls and doors and everything else between you and the violence. Unless the knife wielder was on a killing spree and could move at the speed of Flash Lightning, you were not in danger. You’re an attention whore. Stop it.
Even worse than these posters are the people who write the following replies:
“Thank God you’re ok!”
“Oh wow, so glad you’re safe!”
“That’s so scary! Praying for your safety!”
What’s wrong with you? You’re doing nothing but pandering to the attention hijacker. They were not in danger, it was not scary for them, and they sure don’t need your prayers. What they need is an intervention. They’re attempting to make someone else’s bad day their own. You encourage this atrocious behavior by pretending this person was in danger and you’re so thankful they’re safe.
And, the worst of the worst? This guy:
“Are you okay??”
No, idiot. They’re bleeding out but decided to take the time to update their Facebook status instead of applying pressure to the wound.
So why does this bother me so much? I don’t really know. All I know is that the people who do this are usually drama queens looking for a safe space where they can discuss their feelings.
I have to go think about my good fortune. I recently visited Auschwitz where 1.5 million people were murdered just 70 years before I got there. So scary, but thank God I made it out okay and just barely missed the genocide!