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Humans will one day go extinct. This I would bet on. And according to a very popular trending Twitter hashtag, #ReasonsHumansWillGoExtinct, the reason will be anything from the completely predictable (nuclear war, runaway climate change) to the overly obvious (President Trump) to the far out (After the great cat takeover…).

Whatever the reason or the reasoning, the endless scroll is as hard to turn away from as any captivating disaster movie or slow motion car crash scene. We could meet our final fate due to aliens, the Kardashians, Obamacare, Muslims, or hatred of Muslims depending on who's tweet you land on. At this exceptionally divisive and fraught moment in history—where everything from the health of our planet to the freedom of our societies to the cloth of our cultures seems to be in a state of uncertainty—this Twitter hashtag offers a window into the frustrations often lurking just beneath the surface. Outside that window is a an endless stream of tragic-comic human psyche unfolding in 144 characters or less.

A sampling:

https://twitter.com/PatsiMcG/status/717340314495819780

I am not really sure what to take away from this, it's depressing on several levels: The fact that it is happening at all, the fact that many of the reasons are actually existentially disconcerting, the fact that people seem to enjoy meeting hatred with hatred. But it's also somehow comforting, like when you read a depressing book or watch a depressing movie and feel relieved to know that other people are just as aware of the complexity and often shittiness of the world we live in (at least I find comfort in that sort of thing, and other people must too based on the popularity of the topic).

But one of humankind's most integral qualities is perseverance and optimism, even in the face of what seems like certain failure. The ability to meet challenges bigger than ourselves, like climate change or space travel, is a big part of what sets us apart from the rest of life on Earth. With this in mind, I propose the hashtag #ReasonsHumansWillLiveOnForever. I look forward to seeing what we can come up with, though I am more curious than optimistic.