We now live in a world where any mistake you make could be vilified on social media. Just picked up the diesel handle at the gas pump by mistake? That’s going up on Twitter. Tried to walk into the exit doors at Trader Joe’s? Could be Instagrammable.
While I’m not one to take a political angle for something like this, I do wonder why we care so much that President Joe Biden doesn’t know how to read a teleprompter. No matter what flavor of politics you subscribe to, it seems odd that we love to mock people so often.
Recently, Biden read a speech and he mistakenly said “end of quote, repeat the line” which was intended to be a prompt for him to repeat something he said earlier.
Here’s one mocking tweet with a video that shows the gaffe:
Here’s another sarcastic tweet:
It’s funny, but does it mean the entire world order is now going to crumble?
Is he a total clown hiding in a three-piece suit?
Not at all.
I’ve used a teleprompter before, and it’s not always easy to keep up. If you pause or skip over a section, you can quickly get befuddled, and there’s no way to tell someone to stop scrolling.
I’m not defending him. Like I said, I can see how it looks ridiculous.
What I’m wondering about most is why we jump on social media so quickly about things like this. We are constantly debating the merits of our public performance, and everyone is in public now. The worst part? There’s always an angle. If there’s a statement, or a gaffe, or a tweet, or any other public discourse of any kind, social media has made it possible to “expose” things we don’t like or don’t agree with.
Essentially, social media has become a condensed form of clickbait to allow us to trumpet our cause in microscopic doses.
It reminds me of how cable news channels started saying “breaking news” so often that just about every piece of news was “breaking” in the end. Eventually, we started tuning out all of the news. (CNN recently announced they won’t do this as often, thank goodness.)
I’m currently reading a book about Watergate and, let’s be honest, this is nothing new. Every minor development in the scandal became fodder for news outlets at the time. What’s changed is that we are now all reporting these incidents to each other. It’s all noise. To keep up on every scandal or minor development, you’d have to stay on social media all day long.
And that’s exactly what we do, and that’s exactly what the social media companies want.
That raises the question about who the real clowns are.