Revealed for the first time: Why social media spread like wildfire
I recently read something interesting, about how when researchers want to raise the stress levels of mice, they isolate them. They put them into a cage all alone.
I don’t assume an evergreen direct correlation with humans to mice, but I think it’s safe to say there’s at least SOME correlation in this particular situation.
Socialization is important — very important.
In fact, nothing puts your “creeper” meter on high alert, faster than hanging around someone who’s behavior is even “slightly” socially deviant, right?
And I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed an increasing amount of social deviance, and I believe some of it is attributable to social media.
Here’s what I mean.
I look at facebook, and I see people saying things on these accounts, they’d never in one-million years, say in person.
Or at least, that’s what I’m hoping.
See, although people are now “socializing” a lot more – through social media…
You do NOT learn how to improve your social behavior from this kind of socializing.
When you’re interacting with someone in person, you get instant feedback on what you’re doing. And from this feedback, you’re able to make adjustments in your behavior and in your social interaction. This leads to higher-quality, more acceptable behavior.
I guess it’s called “personal growth,” but to me, it’s just part of maturing — an important part.
And this is where “social media” falls dramatically short.
Because while there’s MUCH more socializing going on — almost infinitely more, in fact — but when you’re missing the immediate feedback component… there’s virtually ZERO social growth and development going on.
From a “social” standpoint, it’s actually very misleading what’s going on, isn’t it?
It’s no different than playing video games.
You can be the world champion in NBA or Madden… but this isn’t going to help you even a “smidgen,” when you get on the court and start ballin’ — or on the gridiron.
I’m wondering if you’re seeing similar behavior out there?
See, the real reason why social media is so popular, is because people just want to be heard. Most people feel like no one’s listening to them — or at least, that not ENOUGH people are listening to them.
They feel ignored by their spouse… their parents don’t understand where they’re coming from… and their boss certainly doesn’t give a shit, either.
So they go online… on facebook, twitter, and so on. They talk about things like how the price of postage is ridiculous… why their husband always forgets to buy sirloin instead of chuck… how come it always snows whenever they decide to take a day off… how cute kittens are… and how much pain they’re in after a root canal.
And you know what?
There’s always someone else out there who also wants to be heard, and who’s also very preoccupied with things like the weather, the personal quirks of their mother… Vitamin C, cats, dogs, sheet metal, and the price of tea in China.
And this person is happy to respond to the first person. They eagerly validate the inane rantings of one another, even if it’s a little socially off — which inspires MORE social weirdness, and so on…
I mean, seriously – if you were on line at the bank and someone blurted out, “We’re having chicken for dinner tonight!” – what would happen?
Probably a few people would snicker and roll their eyes… others would take a step or two away… and moms would tuck their kids into their laps, right?
But what happens ONLINE when someone screams out “We’re having chicken for dinner tonight!”
Come on, you know exactly what happens: three other idiots say, “Me too!” Two more start talking about how they prepare chicken… and someone else talks about how the Food Channel ran a special program about chicken last month and I think you can find some of it on YouTube.
Scary, but true, isn’t it?
From my perspective, I have a hard time with this.
Maybe I’m showing my age, but who has time for things like this?
Call me unsociable, but I don’t care what you’re having for dinner tonight, tomorrow, or next week.
If you’re happy with life, that’s great.
But honestly, whether you eat Quaker oatmeal for breakfast, or leftover pizza… I really don’t care.
And I presume you don’t care what I’m shoving down my gullet, either.
Where’s all this headed?
I don’t know.
But I expect there to be more apparent, more widening gaps between people, based on social skills — or lack of social skills.
And I think performance and expectations will be adjusted downward, as well.
So now maybe you get a 25 year-old kid coming into a job who’s still acting like they’re 15 — and this is normal.
By the time I’m an old fart, though, no one will even know what 25 year-olds acted like back in 1988, so the standards will have re-adjusted themselves.
Meaning, no one will notice the lack of maturity anymore – because this will now be the norm.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT one of those people who categorically assume things are getting worse, and “Oh my God,” how will the world survive without intelligent creatures like me roaming around.
Not by a long-shot.
This is more a question I have, than an opinion.
Before that time however… there will probably become new cultural categories of these socially-stunted people, raised by the Internet. Categories you never heard of, just the same way at one time, no one knew what “hippies,” “yuppies,” and “soccer moms” were.
What’s your take on this, I’m curious? Post your comments and thoughts here on my blog.
Have a great weekend.
Now go sell something, Craig Garber
P.S. I’m NOT having chicken for dinner tonight. And I hope you’re not, either :-)
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