One could quite logically conclude by this headline that I am either good at clickbait or that I am generally pissed off about social media.
The fact is that both are true, But it is the latter that I am really going to expound on.
I should also point out up front that one of the reasons I blog primarily on beBee.com is that I have found beBee to be more the exception than the rule on this issue. This, IMHO has to do with a couple of things. 1. beBee is managed by human beings, as opposed to bots or algorithms and 2. Because of beBee’s size, which is small compared to the behemoths like LI, Facebook, and Instagram, the people there are able to keep closer tabs on things and in many cases prevent a lot of crap from polluting their site.
Now onto the rant.
I believe that something very wrong is happening in the world today and that nowhere is that more obvious than in social media.
Here’s what got me on this topic.
This morning while scrolling through Facebook, looking for something for my anti-Trump (#resist), meme series, I came across a sponsored link for, of all things, a company that sells lock picking technology.
Now think about that for a minute, and forget about any of the other bullshit that may be cluttering up your head. Lock picking! Picking fucking locks. Could be my lock. Could be your lock. Could be my car. Could be yours. Could be my house or my shed where the bikes are stashed. Could be anything at least according to the assholes who paid for this link.
The other assholes, the anonymous ones at Facebook who actually allowed this disgusting shit on the site, and had the temerity to think that I would be interested in this crap…well you can’t get at them can you? I mean who the fuck are they? Just some dipshit millennials working for the big machine who wouldn’t know an obscenity if it pissed on them,
So basically what Facebook, which is really the smiley face of social media, is saying is that it’s OK to buy the equipment you need and learn how to pick locks. This is pretty much an open invitation to the class of people we call ‘criminals”, to order this shit and get better at what they do. Yeah, you really do have to be a life-long learner regardless of your career path.
This, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg, and it’s really not so much about obscene products as it is the effect that social media has had on people in general.
The whole idea that we are so dependent on it, for communication, information and affirmation is kind of sad.
A while ago I wrote a piece on attention junkies. At the times I was focused on younger kids, whose dependence on social media for affirmation was turning them into victims, and even causing them, in the worst instances, to take their own lives.
There was an outstanding series that I saw on Netflix called 13 Reasons Why, which explored this phenomenon in great depth and with great intelligence.
A lot of people got up in arms about it, because the 13 reasons in question were basically 13 people who were the cause of a teenage girl’s suicide. IMHO, the up-in-arms types really didn’t want to face the truth, not so much about bullying or self-esteem, but about the way so many of us have become dependent on it, and how the weaker-willed among us all can be seriously emotional and or physically damaged by the environments that places like Facebook and Instagram and SnapChat have created.
This is a very serious problem that almost everyone with access to social media has to, at the very least, acknowledge. Otherwise, they can be sucked into the vortex of it and really get fucked up by it.
The Internet, and social media specifically, prides itself on being, among other things, the last bastion of free speech. You hear that descriptor a lot. And if you have a basic understanding of how it works you can avoid a lot of the pitfalls and potential emotional damage. But the reality is that the vast majority of people do not have this understanding and cannot avoid those pitfalls.
Sadly, a great many predators of all stripes from pedophiles to assholes selling lock picking equipment or dipshit anarchists publishing bomb-making instructions, count on that and create new victims on an ongoing basis.
Since this is a rant, I’m really not offering any specific solutions here. Mainly because nothing I say in that regard would be stuff that hasn’t already been said by countless others.
But what I will say is that people really need to get a lot smarter about how they use social media. The amount of scamming, viciousness, ignorance, hate, and anger out there is off the charts, and it used to be that you could actually limit the amount of it you got exposed to.
But with the need to make money hand over fist and the fact that most prominent social media sites are run by algorithms, which means very little in the way of oversight, all the shit you never wanted to have anything to do with will be showing up on your newsfeed with astounding regularity.
And since there are no cybercops to protect you, you have to be your own neighbourhood watch. You have to think twice about everything. I won’t get into how some monumentally asshole-ish politicians are working diligently to con whole countries into thinking that black is white and down is up, but they are out there, and they want you to be their bitch.
Don’t be anybody’s bitch. Wise up. Think carefully before you believe anything you see on social media. Because there is some nasty shit going on out there, and the last thing you want is for some on it to get stuck on your shoe.