Becky Heavner, MLA Blog

Sequencers

A few days ago, an Algerian middle-distance runner was reinstated after being disqualified from the London Olympics for allegedly not trying hard enough in the 800-meter heats. It appeared to the public the runner didn’t run as hard as he could and interrupted the sequence of expectation. This athlete came to the Olympics and was slated to do well. People like to see effort and good competition, especially in the Olympics. This runner was expected to run a certain way. He was temporarily held accountable for the outcome of his performance. It turns out that he was favoring an injury and was only capable of running less than his best.

It seems to me that there is an expectation for social media to perform a certain way. People contribute content to social media and then expect it to behave a certain way. On some level as humans we feel when we speak, people should listen. We put out. We give and give and give. Humans need to be heard. And then, we want something worthy back. When that something doesn’t live up to our expectations, we are repulsed. We feel distanced from it. Social media brings us close and pushes us away.