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It is all shit. Everywhere you go it will be shit, just a different flavor. That is what I have taken away from life.

Social media is simply white-washing shit experiences and pretending they are gold. Life is not always positive, otherwise you are fooling yourself.

I am not cynical. I am just a realist. We need to drop this total farce of a behavior and stop conning each other if we hope to rise above it.

Life is hard. Social media pretends like life is not hard, mind-fucking everyone. Social media is garbage.


"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

   -- George Bernard Shaw

> I am not cynical. I am just a realist.

I agree with your broad premise about social media frequently being a poor representation of day to day life. The it's all shit part probably implies you're at least somewhat cynical. It's clearly not all shit, plenty of it certainly is. People frequently live different quality of lives vs their peers in fact; some people live amazing lives, some people live horrible lives. In a developed country, by far the largest distribution is likely to be a mixture of good and blah, with some occasional amazing and some bad thrown in.

> We need to drop this total farce of a behavior and stop conning each other if we hope to rise above it.

That behavior has always existed, it will always exist, so long as humanity does. Nothing can change it short of altering humanity through technology (and then we're something else), forced evolution (which we have begun, first pitch of the first inning; but it will probably take hundreds of years before we very substantially alter what we are; and we may make these things even worse, sharper). It's hard wired signaling and competition built into human nature, all the way down to the most fundamental aspects of what we are, including the pursuit of reproduction. Social media is nothing more than an aggressive, in your face, projected expression of it. It's the expression of many of the driving forces of human nature, amped up: sex, lust, attraction, status, materialism, greed, competition, envy, jealousy, pride, fear, validation, anger, inspiration, with some awww kittens & puppies thrown in. And that's also why people are drawn to it so intensely, it's a drug rush.

You missed an important checkmark on realism: 'we' can't rise above these things, humanity is these things. That's the actual reality. And it isn't going away, people will be complaining about all of this stuff in exactly the same way 20 or 30 years from now, except this will all seem tame compared to what will occur in the future: it will get worse yet.

I'm sure you probably know why Coca-Cola is called Coca-Cola. If you don't - cocaine. It was one of the key ingredients in coke's initial product. A less well known example is Vin Mariani. A French wine that was made with a mixture of 6 milligrams of cocaine per ounce of wine endorsed by numerous historical figures including Thomas Edison and Ulysses S. Grant. Edison claimed it helped him stay awake. Oh indeed Mr. Edison.

The reason this is relevant is because the dates for these things start in the mid 1800s. Vin Mariani was made in the 1860s, Coca-Cola was inspired by Vin Mariani and came a decade or two later. Suffice to say the coke craze spread pretty quickly. And it's not like this was coke-lite or anything like that. It was genuine cocaine, same as we have today. And you had similar mental and physical consequences atop raging addiction.

It wouldn't be banned until 1914 and even that was due more to racism than concern for its effects. The New York Times ran a story in 1914 decrying "negro cocaine fiends" [1] which is what finally started the push to it getting banned. The only reason it took so long is because people were addicted and tried to ignore or set aside the negative consequences of it all, or even deny they existed. And that was pretty easy to do - Edison and Grant don't exactly rank near the top of your list of famous druggies. Nonetheless, the consequences were real and widespread.

The point here is that if you go back to the times before 1914, it'd be easy to imagine a future full of an ever larger chunk of the population degenerating under the influence of an ever increasing number of cocaine driven products. And in fact it would have seemed odd to predict anything else. Because when you're predicting the future you never predict 90 degree turns, because they sound absurd. Yet it's paradoxical because one of the few things you can guarantee about the future is that there will be countless more of these 90 degree turns.

[1 raw text] - http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/History/Negro_cocaine_fi...

[1 New York Times paywalled version] - https://www.nytimes.com/1914/02/08/archives/negro-cocaine-fi...

Fantastic, thoughtful post. I knew nothing of Vin Mariani!

Yeah and before that damn social media it was the cell phone, and the god danged TV, and that freakin radio accelerated the downfall of society, but it's really the telegram that ruined everything I tell you!

What absurd and ridiculous claims. Go speak to someone who has receieved life-saving healthcare in the developing world because of social media. Talk to someone who found their spouse through social media. Talk to someone who left their home country to travel across the world for a better life and only in the last 5 years have they been able to easily reconnect with their loved ones back home.

What an utterly, comically backwards take on the matter. It simply takes 5 seconds of not assuming you are the center of the universe to realize that that social media has provided value to the world.

Social Media also got Trump elected, someone who has radically changed the most powerful and rich country in the world for the worse and potentially started a trend towards a breakdown of Western Liberalism and an increasing fragility in idea of a democracy being the best option for future growth and prosperity. Social Media is responsible for the rise in nationalism and the crisis in the UK over immigration and Brexit and the associated violence and racist attacks and abuse.

Social Media is responsible for the massive viral spread of people believing in conspiracy theories, antivaxxers, flat-earthers, anti climate-changers, etc. so social media is responsible (indirectly) for people dying due to not being vaccinated.

Social Media is responsible for the escalation in political rhetoric and the gradual ratcheting of tensions in America and the development of the "alt right" and also indirectly responsible for the increase in mass shootings in America due to the propaganda and "fake news" spread on Facebook and Twitter.

Well said. It's a completely new way of allowing the garbage of society to get together and become a disgusting mass with way more power than they should have. Comparing it to the satanic panic is, I think, being incredibly disingenuous.

What the fuck? How many people have died because electricity was "invented"? (hint: death from anything that uses, or was produced by electricity, outpaces all other deaths, period)

Or cars? Modern computing, yes the one you're criticizing technology on right now, exists in large part because of IBM, who quite literally brought cutting-edge technology to mass genocide during the Holocaust.

But social media is the villain here? What an absurd take.

One would argue the subject is more specific. Not "Social Media", but specific companies that decided to play fast and loose with dangers that have been known for decades.

Surely propaganda existed long before Social Media.

> Go speak to someone who has receieved life-saving healthcare in the developing world because of social media.

Sounds like an unfair situation to me: the one with the most likes on Facebook gets the best healthcare?

> Talk to someone who left their home country to travel across the world for a better life and only in the last 5 years have they been able to easily reconnect with their loved ones back home.

As in: just look at their holiday pictures but never really talk?

You have a toxic mindset. Change that.


There's one of a million case studies.

I consider social media a place where you learn about other people. In the example you linked to, social media (in this case Facebook) is used more in a way to gather information. That is fine, but that was already possible in the days before we had social media, e g. through forums. While I applaud the particular use case, I don't consider this a strong argument in favor of social media.

It sounds like you've gerrymandered the definition of "social media" to exclude most of its positive qualities, leaving only the negative impacts, to be honest.

And there are hundreds of case studies like the one I linked to, and sure, it was "possible" in the days of internet forums the same way it was "possible" to send text messages in 1995.

Found the Facebook employee

Great contribution.

Am I wrong?

That seems like a very cynical interpretation.

You're buying into the stereotypical myth that social media is always like this, a glamourised facade. My social media feed is anything but positive. People are very real about their problems.

Just the other day I read an article that being open about your issues is the new hotness on social media. I would even say it's the other way around now. People fake problems in order to get followers.

Did you miss the huge, huge parts of social media where people connect over their problems?

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