Social media netizens! We subscribe to a lot. We have followed Jennifer Aniston on Instagram just cuz. Have seen a therapist online. Made a Facebook group or two. Got five likes on Twitter and now will only speak in Twitterature. Have made some videos for Tik Tok. Been to a blogger meet. Started a blog. We have all done at least some form of social media stuff just cuz.
Social media trends are contagious. They spread fast and make everyone so sick of them that some wise person has to start a new trend to get rid of the old one. It’s a revolving door. It’s the Krebs cycle.
I’m an old social media user. And when I say old, I mean as old as Zuckerberg exactly. I have witnessed Facebook taking birth, Orkut dissolving, Instagram becoming all the rage, Snap Chat remaining relevant, Tik Tok getting banned in some countries and Twitter becoming the thinking man’s medium of being social. I’ve seen it all and I was a grown up when it was all happening but not so grown that my memory could be questioned and so my recollection remains strong.
I’m not one to say if the trends are good but I know when something isn’t for me. That I can say without any backlash. I stay away from certain topics and trends and would advise some people to do that too.
Unfortunately the worth of the typed word is so little compared to the inked word that people type and people read without any accountability. There is sometimes little cognitive exchange. Sometimes there isn’t even a premise to a whole blog. You might find this blog without premise too. In a sea of bitter blogs about fake trends and false information on social media, this blog registers the same angst. It talks of the same occurrence of a non-occurrence.
Because the worth of the word has been reduced by the writer, it has been more hurtful. Because the reader has become more sophisticated with time and has chosen to move away, the writer has become persistent and largely, annoying . This didn’t have to happen this way. We could have both learned from each other but because most learning happens from reading, writers are at a huge disadvantage here.
I’ll point out a few things that if I didn’t see in the future from every internet writer, I wouldn’t miss them.
1. Talking about depression and comparing various phases of adjustment disorder to clinical depression:
Depression has always been a very taboo subject to talk about. Now we are talking about it because an entire generation has been suffocated to the point where they are openly admitting to mental illness and mental health disorders. There are many accounts of depression on the internet. Some of these are soul-shattering.
However because of the inherent trend of living on extremes we went from a complete disregard for mental health to everyone becoming an expert on writing about it. Some of these writings are almost medical in their connotation and their recommendations. They’re superfluous accounts of empathy for the population that faces mental health issues, how the writer accepts them, how the writer advocates for them and how the writer overcame their own depression through conservative measures. Some smart people can and some dumb people can’t see how this amplifies the stigma. How this further tells psychiatric patients of their inherent and sometimes genetic inability to change the way their mind and brain work. Sometimes I wish I saw a post from a person who has battled clinical depression and the responses were the same writings that people write as their own posts, just as a form of solidarity. I wish the post didn’t offset a barrage of posts about depression from the readers. Sometimes I wish there was some respect for a medical diagnosis. I just hope no other disease ever became a stigma because social media will make that a spectacle also.
2. Challenging science in the name of politics:
Science had zero to do with politics until this pandemic. But somehow this pandemic and the upcoming elections have become tied to each other. Masks have become a conspiracy. Plaquenil has become the savior. Science is what bleach does to bacteria in the kitchen. A physician’s plea to mask and distance has been chalked up to some so far undiscovered ulterior motive. Social media plays a huge role here. Even by making memes that mock science, we take part in anti-science rhetorics. This doesn’t help. Many influencers won’t mask. They won’t stop attending parties. This is all posted with tons of pomp on social media. This feeds into the culture of “every man for himself”.
I do it too and totally as a social media trend that has a truly addictive quality to it. Documenting life has become something that people want to be known for. Some life accounts are interesting, others not.
Do I think people are so interested in me that they’d watch me do nothing and maintain their interest? Actually I’m that vain to think that. And part of the reason why I think like that is because people do have that type of interest in my non-existent interesting life.
LifeCasting is good. But it’s not everyone’s jam. It can become very easily mundane and repetitive. It can also subtly allude to an influencer trying too hard. LifeCasting doesn’t have to be mandatory but some people make this their entire blog and presence on social media.
So these are some. You can add more and I’m sure you have tons more. I have too but some of them I engage in too and so my argument is weak and shallow.