Wisdom from the Talking Heads for Social Media Whiners

by , Oct 9, 2012, 1:11 PM
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While social media has the potential to transform everything from art to activism to advertising, some people seem to think it was invented chiefly as a platform to inform everyone they know, and lots of people they don’t, of everything that is wrong in their lives and the world at large. I don’t know why they do it -- maybe they derive pleasure from superficial expressions of sympathy, maybe they don’t realize how tedious and pointless it is, maybe they just can’t stop themselves -- but there’s no question that chronic complainers are a veritable plague on social media. Of course the basic phenomenon is nothing new, and David Byrne said this better than I ever could, so without further ado, here are the lyrics to “No Compassion” by the Talking Heads:

 

No Compassion

 

In a world
where people have problems
In this world
where decisions are a way of life
Other people’s problems they overwhelm my mind
They say compassion is a virtue, but I don’t have the time

So many people... have their problems
I'm not interested... in their problems
I guess I’ve... experienced some problems
But now I’ve... made some decisions
Takes a lot of time to push away the nonsense
Take my compassion... Push it as far as it goes
My interest level’s dropping, my interest level is dropping
I've heard all I want to, I don’t want to hear any more

What are you, in love with your problems?
I think you take it... a little too far
It’s... not so cool to have so many problems
But don’t expect me to explain your indecisions
Go... talk to your analyst, isn’t that what they’re paid for
You walk, you talk... You still function like you used to
It’s not a question... Of your personality or style
Be a little more selfish, it might do you some good

In a world where people have problems
In this world where decisions are a way of life
Other people’s problems, they overwhelm my mind
They say compassion is a virtue, but I don't have the time
(Here we go again)

1 comment on "Wisdom from the Talking Heads for Social Media Whiners".

  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston
    commented on: October 9, 2012 at 3:20 p.m.
    To paraphrase Clay Shirky, there is no information overload, but a filter failure. So if you are besieged by complainers, uncheck the Show in My Newsfeed selection on Facebook. They will still be your friend but you won't have to listen.

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