6.07.2015

Smell that? It's Irony

Disclaimer: This post is bound to be fraught with irony, and has the potential to contain serious doses of hypocrisy. Well above those of the Christian Moral Majority. 

Here's the thing. Well, wait. Let me back up.

There's this thing.

Rather than call out one that has ingratiated itself so much in to our lives, that it's hardly noticeable, I'll call them by their collective name....Social Media.

Social Media is big business. Major companies hire people, teams of people, just to scour social media to address any possible complaints against their company. Once seen as revolutionary, a web address for a company on a commercial is a thing of the past. Now it's simply a universal icon for one of the major three (four if you count YouTube) social media outlets.

Yes. They are fun (are they?). But let me in on a little secret. They are free to use because you are giving Big Business more information that you could imagine.  This is the kind of information that commands top dollar.  

Don't believe me? Look at the timeline of one of the big three, Twitter, on their Wikepedia page. I'm not going to post it here, because I want you to invest a minute of your own time. On that page, you will find Twitter's founder explaining how they came up with the name Twitter. In short, it was chosen because the definition of a twitter was, 'a short burst of inconsequential information,' 

Which seems rather fitting, I'd say.

Inconsequential until you consider the fact that Twitter has partnered with IBM to essentially datamine the service for information that will be useful to business.

Forget government conspiracy...that kind of shit should scare the fuck out of you.

Who runs our government? If you're being honest with yourself, you can't really say 'elected officials.' Money runs our government. And the money comes from Big Business.

Worried about what the NSA is finding on your cell phone? Fuck that. You should really be more concerned with that slightly crazy fuck on your friend's list that tags you in their anti-government, anti-america Mel Gibson looks sane by comparison bullshit rants.

Again. I see the irony in this. I see the hypocrisy in even posting this. I mean, I did post a disclaimer.

But it hit me. I had a really great weekend. I hung out with friends. I got a new car.

And for the last 30 minutes before sitting down to pen this, I was staring at a 4.5 inch screen, scrolling up and down. And hitting 'refresh' to see what had changed in the last 20 seconds since I scrolled.

Just now, after writing about checking the feed I found myself picking up my phone  to see what new insanity might have gone in to my news feed whilst I was sitting here trying to do something creative. WTF?!?!?!

It's fucking crazy.

But it's a part of our lives. Like television. At first it was a luxury for a few. Then it became democratized. And now nearly every household in America has at least one television. I try not to watch too much TV. I have a few shows that I follow through Hulu +. Less commercials. Because that's really what it is.

The ads are forcing fear down our throats. And it's more fear than the news.

You see, the secret is this.  If you tap in to what makes a society afraid, they will willingly give up freedoms to make that fear go away.

Afraid of being fat? We'll tell you what to eat on Weight Watchers..or Jenny Craig...or NutriSystems...or whatever. Spend your money. We'll tell you what you need.

Afraid of the neighbors judging you? Buy this cleaner or that cleaner.

Afraid of your children having shitty memories of their childhoods? Take them to Disney.

Sure...it's an exaggeration. That's the point.  I have to make it seem so absurd so as to actually prompt you to think about the reality of the situation.

The reality is....Social Media is not social.
It's connected.  But it's not social.

Hmm. I stand corrected. Maybe it is, in a textbook definition social.

Perhaps I'll pick this back up later. This bears some time to rethink. Perhaps the dangers that I sense about 'social media' would best be conveyed in fictional form.

Damn.

I hate it when a good rant dies too soon.

-AT

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