Social media. We all use it. And even as I write this, I still have social media accounts - why? Because people will act like I died if I don't have them. The funny thing is these are people that have my home phone number, as well as just about every way to contact me through instant messaging apps in the book, yet somehow if I don't have a social media page, I might as well not exist.
And that's no accident, either. Social Media is the ultimate experiment in control of the masses. It is a way to keep us all dumbed down and keep drain us of our creativity while preaching to us the importance of things that really shouldn't matter. I've had time to take a step back and really look at social media and as I do I wonder if I'm the only one who sees what's going on here. Christmas Eve comes to mind. I went out with my mother to visit relatives and somehow, some way the conversation shifted to my mother and her irritation at another relative because they were arguing about Facebook posts and unfriending.
This became a real life topic of conversation. My first thought is "who gives a shit? It's the Internet." And this is the problem caused by "smart" phones and the Internet going mainstream. I've been online since the 1990s. It used to be you came online to get away from all the assholes you hated in the real world. But then something happened, and we made the Internet readily available to the unwashed masses. And there is some irony in the fact that "smartphones" have only allowed stupid people to use the Internet all day every day and every moment. I dare say, yes, it was better when you couldn't get online until or unless you went home and had nothing else to do.
Think about it. You log onto Facebook and if a new movie is out, it tells you "hey this New Movie is out! Talk about it and tell your friends you are going to see it! Tell people your opinion on this film!" Are we posting on social media or is social media making us post for them? I don't like the concept of being told that I SHOULD make a post about Arbor Day or Game of Thrones or whatever-flavor-of-the-week bullshit is going on. Even if I want to discuss it, I certainly don't like being told. And Facebook has mastered that right down to getting people to change their profile photos to "support" a cause. Yes, please tell me how changing your profile photo makes you a better person. Spoiler alert: It doesn't. You're shit.
The types of arguments people have on Facebook are amazing. You make a joke about Kim Kardashian and your friends who watch "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" immediately get angry with you. You say you don't like a particular band or genre of music and people take it like you shot them in the head. I believe it was my friend JustinDP (Dyslexic Penguin, not "Double Penetration") who said "if you're friends with somebody on Facebook, it is inevitable that they're going to say something you don't like." The problem with that is we get confrontational about it to one another and then do shit like unfriend each other, or act petty or hold grudges over something that in the grand scheme of things is ridiculously dumb. Why do we care? Why do we take it personally? And people do it from everything ranging from political views, religious views, views on sexuality, eating habits, television habits, etc.
None of this shit is even remotely important in the grand scheme of your life. Is it worth losing friends over? Not everybody is supposed to be the same.
I think above and beyond all else is that we've hit the pinnacle of stupidity when the only thing we can really post on Facebook without causing a ruckus are "memes," funny photos with funny captions. Why? Because anything else will "offend someone" to the utmost degree. Don't get me wrong. I love memes. Some are insanely amusing. However, it's also telling that we have to post them more than status updates because everyone is going to get pissed off when we do. When you post a meme you have plausible deniability. "I didn't say it. The person who made the meme did!" While these are somewhat amusing it's sad that it's become a form of communication to a point we might as well just start attaching our text messages to a giant photo of Kermit the Frog drinking tea.
And just when you think it can't get any worse, the digital Internet social media world astonishes us with "viral videos" of women putting on Chewbacca masks and laughing like an idiot about it. The "Chewbacca Mom" video somehow became the most liked/shared video on Facebook and resulted in someone giving her and her entire family about $400,000 in college scholarships. For a video. We reward stupidity and anything that challenges us or makes us think or takes us out of our comfort zone we block/delete/ignore/and carry over the hatred from the Internet into our reality.
We're all being conditioned to believe the best way to entertain ourselves is to watch a fat woman laughing at herself wearing a mask of a character from a franchise that suddenly everyone loves - where were all these Star Wars nerds when I was growing up? My best friend in home room was a Star Wars geek and the same people who waited in line to see Episode VII are the people who looked at him like he had leprosy. Now we're giving fat women almost half a million dollars for wearing the merchandise. What the hell happened to everyone? Why are you so stupid? Why is everyone stupid? I think Chewbacca Mom is going to get an entire article because it's just... so stupid.
Twitter really isn't any better. We're limited to 140 characters or less, which tends to compel people to type like cavemen. We post things for approval - retweets, favorites - instead of friends it's "followers" to give you an inflated sense of self-worth. You know who has followers? Cult leaders. Everyone thinks they're important, and the mob mentality is at a high point on it. We have a list of trends which is their way of saying "TALK ABOUT THIS." And because it's a little more impersonal it's a den of thieves where people are even more confrontational and less trustworthy than on Facebook. It's negative energy, regardless of what side of the fence your view points on and the world's largest "mob mentality/need to fit in" that you'll experience since you were a kid in high school. The media makes ENTIRE ARTICLES analyzing "offensive tweets" - just ask Donald Trump. The man can't post a picture of a plate of food without someone analyzing whether or not "that plate of food is racist." Is this really the world we want to live in? A world where we're trying to fit in and impress a bunch of people who don't really matter in the grand scheme of things?
And promoting your product on these things makes no sense. My buddy The Flyin' Jew (yes that's what we call him), recently said it best: "I don't understand it. You post on Twitter to tell people 'listen to my podcast' then you get on the podcast and tell people 'follow me on Twitter.'" It's a cycle that leads to nothing. Whoring ourselves on social media is pretty much pointless, especially when the platforms are making more numerous ways to ban, block, filter, and mute anything that might possible offend someone (and EVERYTHING EVER SAID is offensive). And that's really what social media boils down to. Whoring yourself. I never whored myself at my creative peak to anyone. I just wrote articles on whatever I felt like discussing. If people enjoyed it, great, good for them. If people hated it, well "that's too fucking bad." Of course now if people hate anything, it must be destroyed - because we take what's said on the Internet way too seriously. If we took our respective lives as seriously as we take Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, maybe we'd all be better off.
Sadly it doesn't just end there. Because we're on our cellphones Facebooking, Tweeting, Snapchatting, and everything else constantly, and because social media has conditioned us to be less tolerant of anyone who doesn't think exactly like we do, most people have become socially retarded. I often get jokingly mocked for "having no social skills," an inside joke between myself, Johnny Landin, and 2 Angry Guys' Jon Eric after an old person got mad that I talked loudly on a shuttle bus from the aiport to the hotel in New Orleans. But the truth of the matter is I'm someone who can strike up a conversation with anyone about virtually anything. I'm great at small talk. If anything I have Expert Level Social Skills. Why? Because I'm capable of putting my phone away and being able to do so. However, most people are socially retarded and they can't look you in the eyes, or form a complete sentence in the real world. Why? They're too busy doing it on social media and then sit on said social media and type "wah, I have anxiety."
You don't have anxiety. You're just a tool who hasn't practiced speaking to people enough to actually know how to deal with people, and you're an idiot who should try harder to do something about that because no matter how much you post on social media, the real world is where you live and you should be able to communicate and interact in it. It would be nice if people tried harder, but in this day and age you can't even seem to date, fuck or breed without the Internet.
We have apps that involve swiping left or right on people, and while I was fortunate enough to meet someone interesting on one of these apps, that's few and far between. We have compartmentalized even dating and sex into interactions done via apps which are linked to your Facebook to "find out about you" to pimp you out to "someone else" and then if you go on a date chances are both of you are looking into your phones and not at each other because we're all socially being conditioned to be unable to interact. I'm sure you've all seen, and some of you have even been on dates where you or the other person (or both) spent the entirety glued to your phone.
Why? That's what you do when you're alone anyway. We're so involved in our cellphones and so disassociated from the people we're talking and texting with (whom we dispose of way too easily these days), that we're just not human. The only good thing about all this social media obsession is that one day Darwinism might wipe the worst of us out - since, as this great article by the New York Post mentioned - social media is LITERALLY killing us because more people are getting into accidents because they can't put their phones down.
But possibly the worst of it, is that we share our opinions and thoughts so much on social media, that we don't actually apply it to anything worth a damn. We give our best thoughts, our best feelings, or best ideas to Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, and exhaust our creative minds for a few comments and retweets and a pat on the back - validation from strangers that says "hey bub, good job." And we wonder why we live in a society where nothing is original and everything gets remade. It's because anything original or smart or poignant you might have in your tiny brains goes to waste on some shitty little website that isn't even OWNED by you. I don't really care if you, the reader, get what I'm saying or not. It's your Matrix to live in. But personally? I think the best idea for me is to continue scaling back from the Internet and utilize my ideas on servers and space I pay for to say what I want, not for a pat on the back or validation from anybody else but because I fucking feel like it. And I don't intend to be a slave to the social media machine any more than I have to be. Stop letting social media define who you are, people, because at the end of the day it's not doing you any favors.