Last week, one giant step was taken for mankind.
For the last 10 years, Rosetta spacecraft has roamed the solar system, following a comet headed toward the sun. And last week, Rosetta’s probe, Philae, landed on the comet.
That may not seem like a big deal to you, but think about it for a second.
A machine in space landed on a frozen comet only two and half miles wide, hurtling through the galaxy, 317 million miles from earth.
The spacecraft bounced across the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as its harpoons worked to secure it to the rocky, icy terrain.
This incredible feat of human space exploration to the edges of the universe was overshadowed by none other than a celebrity’s backside. Right around the time of Philae’s landing, the world stood gawking at Kim Kardashian’s attempt to “break the internet.”
Sites like Twitter were buzzing with commentary on the Kardashian’s newest claim to fame, while cometary talk of Philae was reduced to the trending hashtag #WeCanLandOnACometButWeCant [fill in the blank here]. What started as a conversation about society’s progress and great achievements ended with people saying things like “#WeCanLandOnACometButWeCant get Canada to realize their bacon is really ham.”
The news industry continues to be shaped by social media, and more and more people are turning to Twitter for their current event briefings than ever before. And while major achievements in history are talked about via Twitter, important things are watered down and silly things are magnified and given center stage.
One Twitter user said “#WeCanLandOnACometButWeCant take back the decision to give the power of global communication to the kind of people who make hashtag jokes.”
Another comment “#WeCanLandOnACometButWeCant stop making stupid people famous.”
Sometimes amidst the collection of generally poorly thought out tweets, we stumble upon combinations of words that make us stop and think about what is really worth talking about.
We landed a spacecraft on a comet, but we are still here on earth scrolling past tweet after tweet about Kim Kardashian. There are important conversations not being had, real news happening, and incredible accomplishments in history looked over and made light of by an Internet that really might be broken.