Hey Fiends! “Good Moaning, Fiends”, isn’t the title of my new book in the Horror Genre. It is about fiends, yes. And also about the moanings that are generated every day. Whether the moaning is good or terrible or merely bad, is best left to you to feel.
I thought about this for another 10.46723 seconds and have now decided that, since this is about a phenomenon so prevalent, so pervasive, so evil, so full of well-meaning righteousness as to be completely lacking in any self-awareness or, indeed, any awareness at all, it definitely has strong elements of horror.
Allow me, if you will, and I will expound, explain, expand, explore, express, and expose.
Expectorate! Now that’s a word I remember from the distant past!
Let’s consider the space within which this …. thing exists, indeed survives and flourishes, viz. Social Media.
What social media was, I think, meant to do, was bring together people from all around the world.
Being an ex-techie, I can tell you that the techies who dreamed it up had, and continue to have, no understanding of usage. They simply looked at features, without regard to how the average user would actually use them.
(Spoiler Alert: those guys in their t-shirts, roll-neck sweaters and other cool uniforms still don’t know – or care. They’re just turned on by the glorious thing they created. They count their success in number of users, not in the manner in which those users use their creation, or, as we know, care about what they use it for. I’m going to reserve this rant about techies, process designers, their executives, especially the marketing and advertising types for a future date! You can exhale now!)
I was thinking of the “social” bit of social media; the thing that was supposed to allow people with common interests, backgrounds, attitudes together into groups of “like-minded people”. Let’s narrow our discussion down to Facebook and Whatsapp, the two most ubiquitous platforms.
Aha, you say! You know where the “Good Moaning, Fiends” came from!
If you have ever been in a group on either of those platforms, you know the deluge of “Good Moaning, Fiends” that comes flooding through the interweb onto your device as you sit on the toilet seat of a morning, checking for new content.
Let me break it you. There’s very little new, fresh, or original content. People are so intent on being there, so consumed with the fear of not being with it, that they hit share/forward/retweet without a second thought. I talked about another aspect of this need for immediacy here.
It’s either forwarded jokes, memes(!!), which can be funny, I have to admit, the first time of the 50 times you see it in the next couple of hours, or it is “Good Moaning, Fiends” in a lovely flowery poster, in a lovely flowery font, all overpowering gold or nauseating pink, or starry black grounds.
Groups of “like-minded people” without a common link in their past are exactly that, in that they create echo chambers for hate, bigotry to flourish. No forward momentum can be achieved as the group wallows in their collective pit of lost privilege.
When groups are based off old school and college, even jobs, you quickly realize that these groups are not “like-minded” at all. A particular feature of school groups is the inability to leave their past lives as Grade 7 or Grade 8 students experiencing the first hormonal imbalances. I shall draw a polite veil over what goes on.
No! I stand firm! I will not disclose.
If not jokes, then it is the kind most guaranteed to raise my hackles and cause me to wipe my butt, flush violently and go get a coffee.
I detest those wise sayings!
I detest, hate and absolutely abhor those quotes meant to make you a better person. I think, my ship has sailed and cannot be made into a better person.
Actually, it tried to sail, keeled over and sank without a trace almost immediately after launch. So, yes, I’m not going to get into a sunny disposition and beam beatifically through the day, as the world goes through one man-made disaster after another, based off the readings of pithy sayings.
As an aside, these homilies are usually quotes from dead people, who being long dead, are unable to get up and complain about their quotes being so used.
The fact is, these sayings are NOT meant to make the reader a better person. They are to make the sender feel good, feel like they’re being useful, being good, because they have this lurking feeling of inadequacy.
And, I got news for them: I, and presumably, everyone else, except megalomaniacs and psychopaths, have feelings of inadequacy – sending this nonsense out everyday ain’t gonna earn you respect, love and caring. (Actually, it’s been a while since I looked it up, but aren’t megalomania and psychopathy the results of extreme feelings of inadequacy? Psychologists: let me know, please!!)
And, they also come in hateful “fancy” fonts and colours.
This feature was, likely, when it first appeared on the product backlog, greeted with hossanas and a collected a whoopin’ and a hollerin’ as the best idea, the thing that would make the product fly and soar with the eagles on high.
Alas, this is a case of the feature taking wings, indeed, soaring high and above the call of duty to inflict untold sufferings upon mankind.
I do not mean this lightheardedly. Forwards are, in my opinion, the leading cause of misery, as they enable the spread of malice, of misinformation, of deliberate disinformation, of propaganda, of evil, and rotten medical advice. Forwards are the leading cause of the chaos our world today seems to be in on a constant basis. “BREAKING: <insert propganda>” followed by people arguing, fighting and getting into a frenzy over it. Forwards bring out the worst instincts in humans as all the latent hate, bigotry, prejudice and bias is enabled. Forwards are the reason that social media has such a poor reputation. Rightly so.
Forwards also allow people to forward those homilies, so that’s another strike against them.
I do believe you could reduce the amount of hate, bigotry, propaganda by approximately 72.25341% by removing this feature.
This figure was derived by a study conducted by a leading institute, or someone who, you may feel, needs to be institutionalized, over seveeral seconds, and it appears on the internet, so you have no choice but to believe it!
No more retweets, no more forwards, no more shares = no more propaganda, hate, bigotry. They’ll have to do it the old-fashioned way by taking over the newspapers, tv and radio station…. ah crap! What am I saying!!??
They’ve already done that, haven’t they?
Social media was supposed to be a good idea. It likely was.
It can enable creativity, originality, provide unknown creators, such as myself, a forum for their original work. And it does, to quite an extent.
Remember, however, that it was likely conceived by a group of socially awkward young men as a way to share their reviews of the women around them. Those guys have become billionaires, using us as the products they sell to marketing departments around the world. Like I said earlier, I’m not going to get into that side of the discussion, about how lazy and moronic marketing departments are in their use of their dollars for ad spends….. clamor for it!! If I see enough demand for that I may take it up.
All I can request, humbly, because, you cannot have a request that is not humble, apparently, if I am to believe the stuff I see on social media, I forgot what I was trying to say, as my brain clogged up with humility…
Kill the forwards, the shares and the retweets. Reclaim humanity.
For right now, we’re the school kids being turned into sausages in that Pink Floyd video down below.
PLEASE: Apply some basic common sense and stop to THINK! For yourself!! Social media is anti-social, but only if we stop thinking!
Because “we don’t need no thought control”. Or at least, I do.