Polly Gonn, MIT class of 2012, recently updated her Facebook profile picture to one of her favorite mathematics symbols: less than.
In doing so, she unwittingly unleashed a firestorm of heated comments, opinions, and questions the likes of which has not been seen since Rebecca Black’s “Friday” was posted on Youtube.
“I honestly had no idea what I had done,” Polly admitted to reporters. “I wasn’t trying to make a statement, I finally solved a formula that I’d been working on for a month and so I decided to post something to celebrate.”
Apparently, Ms. Gonn had been cooped up in her apartment and has not gone online for quite some time. So she was unaware that over the last few weeks, the Supreme Court has been analyzing and hearing arguments from two cases regarding same-sex marriage.
She was also unaware of the fact that, after they began their proceedings, the Human Rights Campaign posted the equal sign on their website and encouraged everyone else with a Facebook page to do the same.
It quickly caught on. And although millions of people didn’t do anything, 2.7 million people changed their profiles in one day. The numbers have shown that young people below age 30 are generally the ones who have changed their profile pic whereas 35 and above tend to lean towards a more traditional view of marriage.
And Facebook, better for some and worse for others, has become extremely political as of late and Ms. Polly feels unequal to the task, so to speak.
“I understand why people are putting up the equal sign,” Ms. Gonn continued. “I just don’t see why they gotta hate on poor Mr. Alligator so much.”