Vox populi! Pardon my Latin, but now thanks to the Internet, we really do have a way to let the people’s voice be heard. If you and your friends just start clicking, liking, or tweeting your favorite stories or articles found online, you will be able to become major “influencers” of public opinion. And to think all you really need to do is have the right technology, point and click. Now why did I have to go to college and get a degree?
One of the most recent examples of this Internet phenomenon is all the buzz about “Cecil the lion,” who was unfortunately (accidentally?) killed by an American dentist who was on a hunting safari in Africa. I guess you can only drill just so many teeth before you get the urge to go for something bigger than just killing cavities. But the real story here seems to be how we are becoming more focused on stories that go viral at the expense of being substantive. If you search for “Cecil the lion” on Google News, you will now easily get over 3.2 million results. As one media analyst recently stated, the economics of producing original content and its value is being diminished.
So will Cecil’s death raise our awareness of how endangered life on the African plains has become? Somehow I am afraid that the real tragedy of his death is that he became an overnight Internet sensation. The people have spoken. Now let’s click on something else.