Day 1 of the 30 Day Writing Challenge!
5 Problems with Social Media
Oh girl, do you really want to get me started on this topic? Alright then…let’s do it.
- Everybody’s got one.
Just like opinions and buttholes, everyone’s got social media. Your mom has it, your grandma has it, your boss has it, your teachers have it, your P.O. officer has it…terrorists have it. And it’s all good if you’re mostly using it to keep up with friends and family, maybe stay up to date with news or do some celebrity stalking lite*; but when you’re using it as your personal reality show there is a problem. Your Facebook status is not a place to air your dirty laundry. I don’t want to know about the conversation you had with your ex or the massive run on sentence that is your rant about “the haters.” You do not have haters.
What in the literal hell you guys? Why does anyone want to spend their time looking for videos or blogs or forums to attack? Anytime you scroll through the comment section on basically anything posted online you will find a troll; a mean-spirited, grammatically inept bully who gets off on causing a ruckus.
I’m a member of a writing group on FB that’s just about sharing techniques and the struggle of writing; just a fun place for writers to connect with other writers, it’s not a big deal at all. One day someone posted a question about how to write a character who was subtly racist. It was a good question and sparked some fascinating conversation, so I kept coming back to the string throughout the day to see what people were saying. Seconds after I posted my comment, a guy shows up screaming about President Obama being a liar. This had NOTHING to do with what we were talking about, but he kept going off on that anyway. A few people called him out; a few people tried to tell him he was off topic, and I did some checking to find out that he wasn’t in our group and had created his account like 3 hours before. He was a dummy troll who apparently just searched the word “racist” on Facebook and came to our comment string to spout off about the President, and I guess start comment war. And for what? Nothing. He got banned from our group, and that was the end of that.
3. The fact that “Social Media Expert” is a real thing.
What started off as a fun way to connect with people and share cat pictures is now a money making industry with real live training seminars and career paths. I’ll admit it; I have something along the lines of “proficient use of Social Media Platforms” in my resume, and I’ve got about 75 pins about “How to Launch a Social Media Campaign” in one of my Pinterest boards.
I get that Social Media is a real player now, but it’s gotten a little out of hand. People get paid to Tweet for other people. You can make money off of featuring certain products in your Instagram pics. Of course, the instant something becomes popular someone else will figure out how to make money off of it, but COME ON. This is the absurd of the absurd. Imagine if Google automatically dumped a penny into your pocket every time you mentioned a restaurant to your friends when y’all are just driving around. Stupid and pointless, but also probably the future. Also, that’s my idea Google. Call me.
4. It facilitates the spread of bull shit.
There are a lot of fake news sites out there. Not like The Onion, which is fake and meant to be a joke and admits to being fake, but there are very legitimate looking websites with a payroll that post bogus news stories and do everything they can to convince the reader that it is actually real. They lie about crimes around the world, they lie about statements politicians have made, they lie about people dying and they lie about miracle cures. The scary part about is how easily people believe what they read. Then they share it, and their friends share it, and it becomes viral, and people get into hot arguments about it and real news outlets propagate it and “it” wasn’t even true in the first place. There are so many of these fake news sites that it’s hard to know what’s real anymore, which is dangerous.
5. Spoilers, spoilers, spoilers!
Because everyone has social media and everyone wants to be heard, people post spoilers about books and movies like their name is Roger Ebert. At least now it’s standard practice to say something before you spoil the plot, but I’ve had so many books and tv series ruined by “friends” saying things like (*DEXTER SPOILER ALERT*) “I can’t believe he killed Rita!!!” Thanks a lot, Joshuary. 3 years of invested TV watching all for nothing.