“1 Like. 2 Likes. 3 Likes. 4.”
And we watch the numbers rise. Facebook, a spoken word piece by Ben Brindise from Buffalo, NY, is a social commentary on our confusion with numbers as a unit of self-worth measurement. It’s not an excuse, it’s not a solution. This is an analysis of our generation’s obsession with appearances and our refusal to take action.
Laced with humor and carefully constructed choreography, the piece itself is a tenderly crafted selfie, designed to elicit a reaction from audiences. Brindise exposes his own before-and-after photoshopped vulnerability and invites us, his viewers, to do the same.
The poem deviates from the norm in the final stanzas where the poet speaks on the specific disappointments and frustrations that adults nearing 30 experience when engaging exclusively with social media. We forget that, big picture, typing away at a computer screen doesn’t count.
When asked about why he initially wrote the piece, Brindise responded, “You are more than the sum of your likes. You are more than what happened to you, what you’ve documented. And your impact can be more than a smile or a thumbs up. Real world change occurs in the real world on every level from a society to a local community to an individual. No amount of likes or shares can change that.”
There is a difference between making positive change and talking about making positive change. There is a difference between what we say we are and who we actually are. Facebook can be a powerful tool for education but it’s also fast becoming a place for debate with no compromise.
And we’re getting tired of it. We’re tired of rants and reposts and nothing happening. As Ben Brindise so eloquently puts it, “more excuses than solutions got me going insane. What happened to accountability in people my age?”