Remembrance marred by social media storms
A lot has changed in a century, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the art of Chinese whispers.
If anything, Facebook has only improved the mob mentality of taking an event and blowing it entirely out of proportion.
People are quick to cry fake news over stories that may challenge their beliefs, but somehow a post on Facebook from a neighbour you’ve never seen carries far more weight.
Of course, community Facebook groups are for the most part good. This week’s edition mentions Hawkhurst residents who were rightfully outraged when their local poppies were covered by advertisements.
Outcry led to action, and the village was able to pay its respects with the rest of the country by having its poppies on show. But on the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, some chose to voice their own complaints, rather than reflect on the sacrifices of others.
Our story regarding the George and the Dragon Pub goes to show how outrage can postpone critical thinking. Hours after honouring a century since the end of the ‘war to end all wars’, some were already feuding over wild rumour and speculation. With all the facts now on the table, one would hope the frenzy is over and some may have learnt a lesson. Perhaps they would have learned to focus on what is truly important. Sunday was a remarkable event, one of the few occasions where a country felt united in silent reflection.
Working demands or personal choice may see a difference in how we reflect, but no one should ignore or undermine the importance of this poignant milestone.