Perhaps you already heard, but if you’re a Star Wars fan I want to break it to you softly: just because you believe in the ultimate defense system, neither the DoD or the American Government will be building a “Death Star”.
Crushing, right? In response to a petition, a representative from the White House responded recently by siting these as the top three:
“The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?”
This is NOT a joke. While the full response to the petition filed on the White House’s “We the People” petition website may seem humorous, the truth is the White House has said it will respond to all petitions that garner more than 25,000 virtual signatures. If you ask me it is quite sad that they even had to respond to such a silly petition, but such is life when we have a world full of activists who partake in activism behind the safety of a computer.
I recently attended the New Media Expo Conference in Las Vegas with Military.com. As someone who loves to write on my blog and use other methods of social media (new media) to communicate, this was a great conference. The power that comes with being able to report and share opinions with the click of a button is incredible. And in many case the use of the internet to promote one’s beliefs and ideals is great. We have recently seen how impactful social media can be with the pressure that has been put on the Fort Bragg’s Spouse Club. We see social/new media used to help fight crime and find missing people. We see it used for many reasons that are just and good. But what happens when social/new media goes awry?
Do you remember KONY2012? KONY2012 was a “movement” that lasted all of one week. It was mainly a movement that involved appealing to the youth of our nation to stand up and be heard about their disdain for a man who has killed countless people. While the purpose of the movement was great, as was the method because it went viral many times over, it was literally a flash in the pan. Millions of people jumped on the bandwagon and then, just as quickly, jumped off. Sure it may have pressured the US Gov’t to become a bit more involved in the manhunt for this ruthless killer, but a year later Joseph Kony is still out there.
This year’s Presidential election saw a lot of hate speech spewed across the internet. Friends and family who may not know exactly where their “Facebook friends” political/spiritual/moral beliefs lie found out exactly what their “friends” thought. I would venture to guess that this past political season saw the most “unfriending” than any time before.
The current situation with gun control is also taking the internet by storm. We are seeing people post pictures and their opinions to try to sway their “friends”. Sure some just want others to know where they stand, but I think from the looks of things, most are trying to convince others to think like they do.
There isn’t a shortage for things that social/new media can be used for. Sadly however to push political/spiritual/moral agenda’s seems the new in thing to do. But how well does it work? Does a petition for a “Death Star” really need to be addressed? Does a petition for a state to secede from the Union really have any ground to stand on? What about a petition for President Obama to address the use and to authorize servicemembers the ability to put their hands in their pockets?
So what say you readers? Where do you stand on the use of social/new media being used by “activists?” Do we need more interaction or more internet? Are you able to find the irony in me using social/new media to share this?