One of the most irritating things about social media is the endless stream of little motivational posters or memes as they are known that always manage to end up on your newsfeed.
These things come at you 24/7/365 and there are literally zillions of them out there at any given time.
They don’t, for the most part seem to be sponsored by anyone in particular and I suppose that, like most everything in social media, they are constantly being forwarded by people who are probably well-intentioned and who may have gotten them from some other well-intentioned people and so on.
But whenever I see these things on any of the social media sites I hang out on, I invariably find myself asking the same couple of questions over and over again
1. Are there people out there who actually think that a lot of the people they know need motivation in the form of some cliched mini poster?
2. What exactly did this poster actually do for them in terms of motivation?
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to the diss the milk of human kindness that’s obviously flowing here. I think people really should look out for each other and help each other, without any selfish expectation, whenever the situation arises.
In fact, I offer people the opportunity to do that at the end of every one of my posts, and over the past few years a number of people have taken me up on that. I give them my considered opinion on whatever is challenging them. Sometimes it’s worth a lot, other times not so much. But it’s there for them.
Also in fact, I too have created a series of what you could call motivational posters myself. So I’m not really opposed to the concept. But in all honestly, I only create these memes based on insights derived from actual situations I have encountered.
So that’s quite a leap from the “Hang In There Kitty” style motivational posters that are so ubiquitous in social media, like this fluffy little zinger. (left)
It manages to also inject a little much needed narcissism into the process. It’s almost like a word-based selfie.
There are also the posters that are signed by arguably famous people.
Take this one, for example. It’s allegedly a quote from rapper LL Cool J and as well intentioned as it is, it manages to actually say pretty much nothing.
It probably does some kind of very minor reinforcement of the LL Cool J brand and maybe that’s all it was designed to do.
Sure, everybody should probably take this advice when adversity strikes.
But honestly when adversity really does strike, I really doubt that anyone is going to be thinking…now what was that LL Cool J advice? No, they’re probably going to be freaking out, like normal people would.
The Internet in general and social media in particular is powered by content. But it’s now been going on for more than a decade, and a few years ago, it started to reflect the reality of what I call the 80/20 Differential, which is this case, states that pretty much 80% of everything that shows up in any given social media environment is crap.
Go to any social media site you’re on and you will see that pretty much 80% of your time or even more will be spent simply scrolling past crap. It’s the same for just about everybody, because the reality is what it is.
The paradox is that we are as good at generating crap as we are at identifying it without really stopping to examine it.
As a result, there is a law of inverse proportions at work here, in that the greater the total amount of so called ‘motivational memes that are circulating in social media, the less motivational value each meme has.
Because familiarity, in addition to breeding contempt, also breeds apathy.
Whenever I write something critical of some aspect of social media, I always get a couple of people defending it and a whole lot of people agreeing.
But in actuality it’s one of those problems that is so widespread that there really is no solution. It’s estimated that anywhere from 2.5 – 3 billion people use one or more social media sites. With numbers like that, cleaning up the crap is quite literally an impossibility.
So in a way, this post is kind of like the LL Cool J meme, in that it managed, hopefully in an entertaining way, to say very little.
If I was in a conspiratorial mood, I might attribute this glut of useless and pointless stuff to the demagogues of the New World Order, as a key element of their campaign to dumb down the human race.
But that’s another post for another time.
I’ll leave you will a final meme. Hopefully it will rock your world, unless of course, your world doesn’t need any actual rocking.
Please note I have tried my best to make this as fluffy as I can, because, well there’s so much fluff to compete with.
I am a communications professional. Through my own core skills as a strategist, writer & art director and with the help of a select group of insanely talented associates, I work with primarily B to B clients, large and small to create hard working communications in whatever sector of the marketing universe their strategy dictates the need to travel through. I am also a mentor, blog post editor and a pretty decent photographer.
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