The Relevance of Potato Salad

Of course it is an insidious and self-destructive habit to look at the number of likes, and shares on your posts, because it’s only going to make you feel bad. It’s like looking, long and pointedly, into the mirror, looking for your flaws. It’s like getting out the scales to see who got the bigger piece of pie. No possible good can come from it.
Nonetheless, I do it. I suspect most people do it. After all, that’s why that feature is there.
I have noticed that most of my posts get no more than a handful of likes, and the poetry posts are generally liked by the same group of 5 or 6 people. The political posts will vary a bit depending on where I post them, but if one gets more than a handful of comments, it’s probably because the comment thread veered off-topic at some point and is careening, out of control, down a rocky slope.
On the other hand, I made a two word comment on a post about the proper ingredients for a potato salad, which led to more actual debate than most of my political posts do, and then I looked at the overall number of comments on the post. It was 169 thousand and change.
This might be what’s wrong with our society, this might be what’s right with our society, I’m not sure, but it’s a phenomenon that precedes the internet. You can get 40 or 50,000 people to a concert or a sporting event, where you have to spend a lot of money to get in, but it’s hard to draw more than a hundred to a political rally, or a demonstration on a topic of importance to our society, which is absolutely free.
With wildfires consuming all of our forests, from Australia to the Amazon, with fires breaking out in the middle of the ocean, with rivers flooding their banks and destroying communities which have lived peacefully along their banks for millenia, with mountains of ice breaking off and falling into the oceans, most people would rather talk about potato salad.

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