Now that senseless attacks like what happened in Toronto and Nashville are covered 24×7 by the click-happy media that never lets a good tragedy go to waste, the Twitterati and Instagramites have gotten into the habit of “sending love and healing thoughts” to people they’ve never even met. Sometimes entire cities.

Not to be cynical or make light of weighty events, but this viral phenomenon of well-wishing via smartphone seems more than a little ludicrous and self-serving. It isn’t money or any kind of material support. It isn’t prayer, which somehow ended up on the wrong side of the political divide. So what is it?

Instant gratification? Self-obsession? Grandiosity? Full blown narcissism? Peer pressure? Herd mentality? Magic? The social media version of astral-projection?

How should I know why people do the dopey things they do?

All I know is, if you want to send your love to someone, you let that person know. If you want to wish random people well – or an entire city, for all I care – then do it with your thoughts. The only reason to post it is to make yourself feel good, or to feed whatever other dysfunctional mechanism your brain has taught itself to do.

And here’s a news flash: Nobody affected by tragedy is sitting around reading tweets and posts from strangers. If they are, they have bigger problems than you or anyone else can solve.

If you feel the need to reinforce your own ego, instead of making believe you’re doing good without doing anything at all, why not actually do some good. You know, in a way that might actually benefit those you wish to help. In the real world. Not the magical one.

Image credit: