Welcome to Social Media; Welcome to Ego-Enhancement…

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Like Me, Baby…

Social media is the hippest coolest thing since hot bread, of course, leading many of us to wish and hope that this is the signal and symbol of our entry into a new economy of sharing and creativity. This is our generation, right? Nothing could be more welcome, right? There’s only one problem: it’s all b*llsh*t. This round of capitalism may be even worse than what came before, if that’s possible, the postures of Amazon, Air BnB and others well-known at this point.

What isn’t so often discussed is the individual’s role in all of this. Anybody who’s ever played the game called ‘FaceBook’, of course, should be familiar with the grade-school level of bullying and boasting that goes on there, under the guise of social media, but it’s even worse elsewhere. On FB, at least, you can always ‘unfriend’ someone or at least ‘block’ them from cluttering up your time-line and news-feed with their incessant insipid nonsense.

It gets worse. I mean: I tend to feel more sorrow for die-hard FaceBookers than anger. There are obviously some lonely people there, not just the run-of-the-mill frustrados flustrados like myself, who realize its massive potential and wish they could accomplish more there, before realizing that this is the social media equivalent of People magazine, not National Geographic or even less likely—something intellectual.

Elsewhere the ‘trolls’ really dig in, on any online forum, and especially YouTube or such, that are not limited to friends, identity verifications or restrictions on content, so they seem to exist to deny, and prey not pray, on people’s best intentions, all logic and good feeling pretty much left lying in the dust, and the planet no better off in the process. Foul language is the order of the day, unsoftened by asterisks, ellipses and happy faces :-), even when the goal is intellectual enlightenment (f*cking science, anyone?)…

The loss of politeness in the modern world is indeed the true shame, a crying shame, that issues can’t be discussed in polite discourse, without resort to name-calling and disrespect for one’s ancestors and other assorted cultural progenitors. Ego rules in the social media world, a world in which one’s popularity is measured directly in ‘likes’, ‘follows’ and ‘shares’, on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere, no need for publishers, record companies, or… political parties.  Yeah.  Now we’re getting somewhere…

 

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