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Hashtags are not a license for everyone to be a critic

By Chynna Davis
On November 29, 2012

They say bad news travels faster than good news, and though I believe this to be true, a bunch of people complaining about a television show on social network sites hardly counts as news.
People love to be included, whether if it's in the news, having their voice heard over the radio or even just being included in what to choose for dinner. However, nowadays, more and more people are squirming their way into the news world, and they want to be heard. The use of blog sites, Twitter and Facebook has become vastly popular and even highly valued.
But there's a point where it gets a little ridiculous. That's how I feel about some of these television shows inviting open debate about their shows on these social networks.
There is a hotly popular show on the American Movie Classics (AMC) channel called "The Walking Dead" that is currently in its third season, and I've never seen my Facebook news feed so congested with the same topic since Michael Jackson's death. I don't necessarily have a problem with this. People can talk about whatever they want. But what I don't like is that this show has a Twitter hash-tag that pops up on the screen during the show that encourages people to go on Twitter and basically complain about what they liked or didn't like about the episode.
The fact that this TV show is encouraging this, in my eyes, isn't ethical because it is human nature to talk bad about something rather than talk good about it. Even if there are some positive remarks about the show during the show itself, it usually doesn't contain anything of real importance, just remarks on how much they love the show and they're so scared and blah, blah, blah.
Most of the time, when there is a positive response to an event, there are always other people who just love to criticize that and point out the bad they see in it.
Don't get me wrong, "The Walking Dead" isn't the only show that provides a hash-tag at the bottom corner of its showings, but there are other shows like "Mad Men," "Breaking Bad" and a new show starring Lindsay Lohan called "Liz and Dick" that displays a Twitter hash-tag in the corner of the screen as well.
Comedian Dane Cook tweeted about the show "Liz and Dick", saying, "I just realized Liz & Dick is on. No, I wasn't watching it, but I can literally smell it."
There is an exception for comedians to blatantly criticize the show, because we as a society look to them for comedic relief. When normal people that have no status whatsoever attempt at these one-punch liners on Twitter, it can become really annoying.
Nick Moscato a relatively unknown Twitter user, tweeted, "Just turned on #LizAndDick after the Walking Dead. The walkers have more charisma and screen presence that Lindsay Lohan."
I would laugh, but who are you again?
Everyone is trying so hard to be a comedian nowadays and trying to make their opinion important, but that's just not how the world works. I don't appreciate television shows encouraging this internet phenomenon of group conversation with a bunch of strangers about things that don't matter. Facebook even has a new feature where certain topics will pop up on your news feed under a category of a specific name, almost like a Twitter hash-tag does.
In addition to everyone trying to be a comedian, everyone is making it his or her job to be a critic. A lot of people just watch these shows to criticize it and then make snarky scathing Twitter or Facebook statuses. Again, it's okay if a comedian like Patton Oswalt does it, and he did, because he's a comedian.
The new media feedback trend on social media sites is comedic gold for someone like Oswalt, but everyday people should just stop and get a life.  


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