Benjamin Brindise: That’s How We Judge Each Other Now

Give us 2 minutes to blow your mind about how we judge ourselves, each other, and our impact on society.

That’s How We Judge Each Other Now,
That’s How We Judge Each Other Now

“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?”

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Sam Ferrante is a poet, editor, facilitator, and writer born on Long Island, college-fed in Western New York and Paris, and then poetically raised in Buffalo, NY; Ireland; and Australia. A former member of the Pure Ink Poetry team in Buffalo and a regular competitor in Dublin's Slam Sunday, Sam was a Co-Creative Producer at Melbourne-based Slamalamadingdong in addition to serving on the Melbourne Spoken Word Committee. Sam has been published in Ghost City Press, Blowing Raspberries, and The Dirty Thirty Anthology and has been featured at The Owl & Cat Session, La Mama Poetica, Girls on Key, and White Night 2016 among others. Her debut book of poetry, Pick Me Up, got rave reviews from her Mom. She is currently the Editor of CrowdInk.