Rosetta and Kim, two beautiful and influential women. Sounds about right doesn’t it?
Except for the fact that one of them is actually a space mission named after a hunk of volcanic rock found near the Egyptian town of Rosetta in 1799, and the other is an insta-star with a questionably gigantic derriere.
The publishing of Kim Kardashian’s full-frontal and back nudity in the winter 2014 edition of Paper magazine overlapped with the historic landing of European robot probe Philae on Comet 67P.
When the Rosetta mission was approved as part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) first long-term science program, Kardashian was at the tender age of 13, far before her sex tape and selfie days.
Philae, a robotic lander, made a giant step for human civilization and scientific research. Kardashian got lubed up, showed off her butt-balancing skills, posing for the camera, all with a smile on her face. It doesn’t seem like they deserve equal attention.
The Philae lander’s journey took 10 years to travel 6.4 billion km to reach the comet.
To clarify, a manmade object, landed on a four billion-year-old comet, hurtling 18 km per second through space, but #CometLanding seem to be outshone by Kim Kardashian, #BreakTheInternet and #FixTheInternet (a backlash hashtag).
The comet landing brings us one step closer to understanding the origin and evolution of the solar system; 67P is literally the remnants of a giant prehistoric cloud that gave birth to the sun and all the planets in our solar system. Kim Kardashian’s attempt to break the Internet brings us one step closer to figuring out if she’s made of plastic or not.
Understandably, pictures of Kardashian’s tanned, supple and expertly oiled butt popping up on Google are more eye-catching than grayscale images of a space rock.
But can’t we see past that?
Judging by social media, more people are interested in Kimmy’s behind (and all the swirling questions that surround it), than ESA’s accomplishments. According to TIME magazine, in the context of viral media content, “breaking the Internet” means creating one story to dominate social media at the cost of actual news.
This goal seems counterproductive for our society. The Internet is the world’s greatest tool to learn and spread information, yet it is purposely plugged up by titillation.
And for what? Whether it’s money or for sheer popularity, it’s a disturbing trend.
On Tuesday Nov. 11, Kim tweeted “and they say I didn’t have a talent…try balancing a champagne glass on your ass LOL.” Admittedly, quite a feat. But to become a bigger deal (in the eyes of the Internet) than the accomplishments of the Rosetta mission is just plain wrong.
Eighty-nine per cent of Internet users aged 18 to 29 use social networking sites, according to a 2014 Pew research project. That’s the age of people who are set to inherit the problems left by the previous generation.
They need weapons by their side. Weapons of knowledge, awareness and critical thinking. Not a generation of souls bogged down by racy images that induce useless conversation, that burrow inside impressionable minds creating an extremely self-conscious and uninformed civilization.