Crying has become a bit of a social meme if you ask me—a verbal emoticon :'(. It all started with the World Wide Web, and let’s be honest, the sum total of all that amazing technology: Facebook (okay and Google). The natural evolution of all this immediate and 24/7 connectedness is the “News Feed,” which may include actual news from actual news organizations; local and international if you click on things just right.
More and more often, news actors post “news stories” on social media sites and there’s one in particular in my local area which I won’t name, that routinely includes headlines with editorial directives such as, “Grab a Tissue This Story is a Real Heart Wrencher!!!” And, “See if you Can Keep from Crying Over This Sad Story!!” And, perhaps the quintessential example of the degradation of journalism in America: “This Story Is So Sad!!” Crying is the foregone conclusion here. Reading the story is optional and I’m guessing most people don’t. Comment after comment on these stories reveals a veritable flood of emotion by way of sobbing and crying, “OMG! I’m so sad!!”
In addition to verbal emoticons and thanks again to the constantly evolving language of internet-speak, social media chatterers also have millions of memes available to share feelings of inspiration, political disdain, and yes, everybody’s favorite: sadness :(. My personal favorite, which invariably produces a crescendo of tears and heartbreak, are actual photos of sad images which are conveniently taken out of context to…you guessed it, make people cry. If I’ve read it once, I’ve read it a million times, “OMG I’m crying!!” posted after an obviously Photoshopped picture of a baby with feet growing out of its ear, or a dog with no head or torso, but thanks to the generous work of an unsung hero who built a robotic head and other essential organs for the pup it continues to survive, and just look at that neato remote-controlled dolly where the front half of the animal remains cutely stationary while the back legs run and frolic in delight, “That’s so precious!! I cried the whole time I was reading it!!” Continue reading