That a message from Barack Obama against racism and hate has beaten the record for the most liked tweet on Twitter is as trivial as it is comforting. More than 2.7 million people clicked on the symbol that users of this social network use to distinguish the content that they agree with and that deserves their support. In this case, the strong current of sympathy was not behind something frivolous, but the wise words of Nelson Mandela, reproduced by the former president of the United States.
Not bad when a supremacist attack has just occurred in a city in the United States (Charlottesville, Virginia), and the country is in the middle of a great political controversy due to the biased reaction of the current president, Donald Trump, who, unlike his predecessor, has not shown any sensitivity toward those who suffer the hatred of others due to their race, religion or class.
Obama’s tweet only ranked fifth among retweet rankings, with 1.12 million retweets. That is far from the ranking of the message that tops this list, a message that gathered 3.65 million retweets and that was written by a young Carter Wilkerson, who challenged a fast food chain to give him a year of free chicken nuggets if he achieved 18 million retweets. And that’s it.
With these examples, Twitter, together with social media offers us its two indivisible faces. On one side, a vehicle of noble ideas, containing strong social content, mobilizing consciences. On the other side, pure trivial entertainment, with an infantile touch so typical of postmodern societies.
Ideas and Jokes
Doom-laden positions do not fit within the phenomenon of social media because here we are all integrated. No one can deny the extraordinary strength and efficiency of Twitter to spread ideas. It’s another thing as to whether such ideas invite reflection and open debate or whether they are simply jokes that only help to lead to more entertaining lives.