Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The season for tearjerkers?

Recently, everywhere I go online I find various tearjerker stories: a baby talking to his mother from inside her womb, a little boy who can't afford to buy a doll... In the end, we find out that the baby was getting aborted, and the boy was buying the doll for his little sister so "mommy could give it to her when she goes to heaven...." Each story is aimed at a particular issue: abortion and loss/poverty/giving in these two instances, "daily miracles" of love and forgiveness, and treasuring friends over possessions. The list of topics can go on, and on, and on. At the end of each story, as if to add guilt to tears, the post asks "to re-post if it touched your heart or do nothing if it did not."
I guess my heart is just untouchable, because I never re-post these stories. For one, I do not believe in chain letters, and that's what these stories basically are. The people that posted these did not write them, they just hit "re-post" (or "share") and made it "theirs" for the day. And while hitting "Share" shows them to be sensitive and understanding, what does it do for anyone - except overload internet?
That was "for one"... For "two" (sounds too weird), over the years I have come to recognize all the stories that get posted. It seems several stories - always the same - go out every year around September - beginning of October, they reach their peak around Thanksgiving and slow down right after Christmas. The story about the little boy with the doll was seen by me every year for the past ten years. My once-sensitive heart was aching the first time I read it, but eventually sympathy gave way to cold recognition of a gimmick.

Which is what it is... A gimmick, an advertisement of sympathy and compassion - online, for everyone to see. Instead of doing something real - hit "Like" and "Share" in your corner of virtual space. That's just...

This says it all. 

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