Twitter Users Fight Over Norway and Amy Winehouse

Can’t we all just get along?

Almost as quickly as the Twitterverse reacted to Amy Winehouse’s death on Saturday, it began reacting to the reactions. Almost instantly, people took to social media to demand the public stop caring about the notoriously troubled pop star and start caring about more important world events.

Less than two hours after her death, a Facebook user created the group “Sorry Amy Winehouse, my thoughts are with the people of Norway.” Within hours, more than 500 users had “liked” it. “Amy Winehouse has died a rich rock star with no self control or will power. 11 million starving to death Somali’s send their condolences,” said one Twitter user.

While the Internet is full of people who I don’t understand, I find this particular brand of crazy to be more troubling than, say, the people who join groups to swap Perfect Strangers fan fiction, because they minimize our humanity.

Compassion is not a one-time-only emotion. Like intellect and free will, it’s something that separates us from the animals. Just as we can feel both tired and hungry after a long day at work, humans are capable of being sad about Amy Winehouse, being horrified by the Norwegian attacks, and feeling sorry for a neighbor’s colicky baby—all at the same time.

To polarize people’s emotions and pit one tragedy against another is just the kind of thing that promotes even more hate on the Internet and ultimately, in the world. Now, where’s the Facebook group about that for me to join?