Everybody and their mom is on something social, which means that they are all also infested with self-promoters looking to make a buck. Whether ads, reposts, “signal boosts,” or desperate pleas to “like” the page of a small struggling business, you get the feeling that you’re the central cog in a money making machine that no one has quite figured out how to run. You are the “Part 2” in the “Part 1: Steal Underpants, Part 2: ???, Part 3: Profit” formula.
Poorly Researched Memes Ahoy!
People like clever things, and things that make them look smart or good or smartly good or goodly smart. Passing on the latest meme does this handsomely, and people like George Takei have built a personal brand out of it. But it also means that you have a constant, firehose-like stream of meme disgorged at you, and much of it is patenly false, misattributed, or easily slain by Snopes. Good luck trying to convince that girl you met at a party once in Phoenix that her rant about mind control flouride in the water is bunk, though!
Preaching to What You Think Is the Choir But Really About Half of Them are Atheists
I have three major social circles on social media: friends from family, friends from high school, and friends from college. They tend to be on the right, far right, and far left respectively, a stew of mutually incompatible political and social viewpoints. And yet they are all, all of them, always, spurting stuff that’s incredibly offensive to any dissenting viewpoint and acting surprised when the few people of another persuasion call them out on it. I’d say it’s the closest thing to genuine political dialogue I see anymore, except it usually gets little beyond the name-calling stage before unfriending is afoot.
Pressure to Like and Comment
“Why didn’t you like my slides of Tijuana?” says your aunt, or your friend, or your friend’s aunt. “Don’t you love me?”
Blazing Speed Plus Weighted Timelines Equals Uh-Oh
“Because you posted them ten minutes ago, Auntie Mae, and my timeline is weighted by an obscure algorithm with 11 secret herbs and spices that thinks it’s more important that I see the 110 cat videos and liked sponsored pages than my own flesh and blood.”