Your Outrage is Costing You.
Updated: May 19
And I'm going to discuss what you can do to prevent that.
We all see opinions on the internet that make us go absolutely insane. Whether it's a celebrity, a nobody who wants to be a celebrity, a radio host, a regular person, your friend's grandmother, etc. Whatever. It comes out, it goes viral, you hear about it and become angry, so you share these feelings with us - your friends - on the internet. But strangely enough, even those you despise this person, and you think other people should despise them too, they just seem to become more and more popular.
For those of us who are fans of professional wrestling, Jim Cornette is no stranger. For those of you who may not be fans of pro wrasslin', Jim Cornette is an infamous "character" and actual person - a blurred line between fact and fiction. Jim Cornette the person has been responsible for multiple backstage roles in several different wrestling organizations. He's been a booker, an agent, a promoter, etc. In other words, he's worked in numerous positions responsible for piecing a show together and choosing the talent who works on those programs. Jim Cornette "the character" has been a commentator, a manager, and has been involved in multiple in-ring spots over the course of his career.
Due to the nature of professional wrestling and the rise of social media, many performers find themselves kind of stuck in this middle ground between real and dare I say it, "fake". When you read an interview, is the performer "in character"? When a wrestler tweets something, is it the "character" tweeting, or the real person behind it? This particular grey area poses a laundry list of questions, questions that nobody really has the answer to, questions that nobody really wants to answer at all. Afterall in 2020, the curtain has been pulled back farther than ever, and many try to hang onto the idea that when you are a wrestler, you are that character 24/7. Think of it like method acting.
Some individuals have found this blurred line to be beneficial to them. In my first case here, Jim Cornette. The beauty of Jim Cornette is that he gets to go on TV, on Twitter, or any other of his platforms and pretty much say whatever he feels. And if you are no stranger to Jim Cornette, you're very much aware of the vulgar and dated rants that he's infamous for. Jim Cornette has made racist jokes on TV, he's berated fast food workers, he's tweeted about how certain performers should kill themselves, and most recently went on a very strange rant questioning a female professional wrestler's choice to become a mother.
The caveat? Well, is it Jim Cornette "the character" saying these incredibly fucking dimwitted spews of hatred, or is it the "real" Jim Cornette? That's the unfortunate beauty of this blurred line, and his followers that worship the ground he walks on. Is he just trying to "keep the business alive", or is he using this character to spew his own personal feelings knowing he can always hide behind the character itself? Truthfully, I don't think Jim really gives a shit either way. There is one thing that Jim does care about though.
Which brings me back to the headline of this article. Your outrage is costing you. It's costing you time, it's costing you credibility, and most importantly, it defeats your entire protest to begin with.
People like Jim Cornette - and by people like Jim Cornette I'm specifically referring to "personalities" - thrive on relevancy. They prey on clicks, likes, shares, retweets, upvotes, reposts (you get the idea). When something comes out that a group of people deem appalling, what's their immediate response? What's YOUR immediate response? If you're anything like me, usually that response is going on my preferred social media platform to rant about it. That rant then reaches thousands of other people, provoking college thesis-length debates that more often than not, go nowhere (and are certainly no where near the quality of an actual college thesis). What you've most likely done isn't persuade people. Just about the only thing you've done is give this more attention than it deserves, let me explain. Does anyone remember the "Cash Me Outside" girl?
Of course you do, you use the internet. Now, besides my own personal feelings on that fucking bafoon Dr Phil, let me explain how you turned this girl into a superstar.
In September 2016, this girl was on the forever-cringeworthy Dr Phil. She was loud, obnoxious and rude. Kind of like our current leader, Donald Trump. She famously threatened the crowd with her "Cash me outside, how bow dah?" Most of us saw this video on social media, usually following a post about how terrible, unlikable and obnoxious she is. About what a failure her mother was, etc. You get it, it's the usual cycle.
See something ridiculously bad -> Feel some type of way about it -> Post about how bad it is on the internet.
But here is the issue. Most of us KNOW about her because of the internet. We don't watch Dr Phil, because Dr Phil is terrible. We know about the existence of this girl because of the internet. Because of your outrage. Because you felt so strongly, you were compelled to give her free advertising on your valuable social media space.
Now I'm not saying she wouldn't have rocketed to stardom had you decided not to talk about her on social media. The "viral" business is an interesting one, one that is fairly unpredictable. Of course you can spend years studying how to produce a viral video but at the end of the day, some things catch on and some don't. Oh and we LOVE trainwrecks, we really do.
Your protest of these viral videos, these personalities, the Jim Cornettes to the Cash Me Outside girl, to the radio personalities like Alex Jones or Ben Shapiro, are inadvertently giving them exactly what they want.
YOU are making these people relevant. YOU are giving them the clicks, the retweets, the ATTENTION that they are so desperately looking for. If you TRULY feel like Jim Cornette's comments are repulsive and you want to really hit him where it hurts, then stop talking about him. If you hate these flash in the pan celebrities that become famous because of their impossibly obnoxious personalities, then stop sharing clips from Dr Phil. If you think someone's opinion is trash, stop talking about it. Stop sharing it. Stop discussing how much you hate it, or how much you dislike them. Stop even thinking about them. Just pretend they don't exist. When you share something on social media, it's potential reach is insane. Just look at this data from unionmetrics.com showing how a particular tweet went viral:
This is the power of posting on social media. And even if this image is referencing Twitter, it's enough to grasp the idea that posting something on social media can have a massive reach. So if you DON'T want someone or something to get attention, perhaps it's best to ignore it completely and go about your day. That's how you protest personalities in our current world, where social media is so prominent in our everyday lives. They want clicks. They want viral fame. They want relevancy. And I promise you, your lack of attention to them will hurt them FAR GREATER than reposting their content bundled with your feelings about it. Even if those feelings are negative. What's the age old saying?
"Any publicity is good publicity"
And just to clarify some things, I am not saying protesting is bad. I'm not saying people shouldn't be called out for their shit. I'm not saying you should just sit by and let things be instead of being vocal about the things you're passionate about. But save that energy for the REAL issues in the world. Not these desperate attention seekers. These whores of publicity.
So the next time someone decides to do or say something that REALLY doesn't resonate with you positively at all, try and think before you act on your emotions alone. Because you may be contributing to the very thing you sought out to not do. In the case of these unfavorable personalities, sometimes the best protest is doing absolutely nothing at all. And you can argue that this article is the exact opposite of the advice in my proposition, but the joke's on you, because nobody is going to read this.
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