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Stop Posting Photos of Empty Store Shelves

Jule Kim Seattle Headshot Photographer

Please stop sharing photos and videos of empty stores and crazy shoppers.

To everyone who has behaved mostly normally during this time: thank you, thank you for not fanning the flames with further hysterical herd behavior.

If everyone just shopped like they normally do things would be fine. Many stores have already stated that people aren’t buying out of need, but rather panic overstocking.

Be Responsible on Your Social Media

People have been pointing the finger at the media and news outlets for inciting panic (which I don’t even believe is the case, but there are always people in denial). But no one is really talking about how our own use of social media is just as big a factor.

One Vice article interviewed random strangers who flat out admit that they’re buying all this stuff simply because that’s what they see other people doing on social media. Much of the panic behavior is rippling out from people posting or re-posting photos on social media that is disheartening, scary, or just plain attention-getting.

If your content isn’t actually helpful advice, then don’t post — get off the internet. None of us need to see yet more pictures of empty store shelves, or videos of people running in stores and generally acting not like their best selves.

It’s NOT a contest to see who can share the most shocking images or videos.

The Kind of Thing You Should Post

Instead of ranting that your store is all out of everything (no surprise), do post on:

  • where you found something, or whether a store will be restocked soon
  • links on applying for financial support in your own state
  • updates in the news on financial relief, and tax breaks
  • images or stories of people doing the right thing
  • what to do if you do end up sick
  • ask for help if you need it

Don’t recycle the same posts online just because you “can’t believe something” and you then want everyone else you know to see.

Maybe you share or forward some crazy post…ok, and then what? People will say, geez that sucks, or damn, that guy is an asshole.

Ok, and? Did your post actually help solve any problems for anyone else? No? Maybe you’re just venting?

Do it elsewhere.

Fear and Anxiety are Contagious

Think about the constant barrage of bad news we’re already hearing. We’re living under an ever-present cloud of uncertainty and fear. We don’t need additional stuff piled on to make us react even more irrationally.

Try to see the good side of things. Instead of seeing it as the government is “taking our rights” by shutting down dining in at restaurants and bars, look at the fact that you can still order from a lot of your favorite restaurants for takeout. Hell, you’d be doing those businesses a favor by continuing to support them during this time.

A lot of us are already anxious given that we lost our jobs or that we might have to shut down our businesses. We should be worried about staying healthy, remaining positive, and helping to protect our elderly.

Racing to the store to fight over the last pack of tp shouldn’t even be in the same picture with these things.

So please, think about what you’re about to post and for what purpose.

Jule Kim

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