Put on your happy pants and buckle your sunshine seatbelt because this shit is depressing:
In Sanya, China’s Honolulu, a dolphin became stranded on a popular beach on June 16. While waiting for professional rescuers to arrive, many tourists asked the local lifeguards to lift the dolphin out of the water for souvenir photos. The dolphin later died as a result of choking on water.
Ugh. Chinese news site rednet.cn, among others, blamed social media and smartphones for creating a snap-happy Instagram culture wherein we document every sandwich and every sunset (and every inhumane dolphin cuddle). “Even kindergarten children know not to pick flowers,” the site says in disgust, arguing that the immediacy of microblogging encourages people to throw decency out the window.
Others, however, used social media to express their disapproval — #PleaseLetGoOfThatDolphin became the No. 1 trending topic on China’s version of Twitter, Sina Weibo. Still others place the blame not on social networking sites but the dolphin-holders’ personal douchiness. I suggest someone also blame the lifeguards for even listening to the tourists, because WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT.
It’s feasible that some combination of asshattery and social media is to blame; it’s hard to know what really happened. But it hits eerily close to home, making you realize that when something crazy happens, the reaction “OMG, where’s my phone?!” is more second nature than “Uh, cut it out!”
- Did Social Media Over-Sharing Just Kill a Dolphin in China?, Tea Leaf Nation
Get Grist in your inbox