Thursday, January 24, 2013

The decline of the World Wide Web

I can't decide which group is worse, the people who created fake memorial pages after Sandy Hook, the conspiracy theorists who have started bullying the families of the victims, or the greedy opportunists who have used this event to push their political agendas.

As low as it is to use the deaths of these children to promote your shitty rap career or pet conspiracy theory that the government is coming to take Grandpa's shotguns, I find it equally disgusting to see the images of a grieving sister with the command to "like and share if you want to ban guns", or one of the many other variations of this.

More and more, I'm convinced a majority of people on social media are easily manipulated. For every event, there's dozens of pages that pop up to push a product and/or agenda. Collecting "likes" on Facebook and followers on Twitter, these are the new currency of social media. The more you have, the more money you can make. Collect enough of these, create a "news aggregating" website with various advertising that you share links from while constantly telling people to "like and share if" and you can make a tidy little sum.

Create a fake outrage, a contrived attack, and rally up your fans. Bad press is better than no press at all. Peace doesn't sell but you can make some coin off your own mistakes, if you spin it just right. It seems that in this age of new media, everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame, 1 million likes and a shot at a reality show.

People crave attention and money, no matter how they get it or who they have to manipulate. This isn't just on social media, it's in politics and it's the people who cover politics. We're addicted to bad information and toxic personalities, not the actual issues. Whether it is is MSNBC or Fox, or any of their independently owned copycats, it seems to be a continual ping pong of reporting on what someone from the other side said. It's just reporters reporting on reporters in a mutual money making scheme.

For example, I couldn't give a shit what Limbaugh or Coulter said on Hannity last night. If I'm watching The Rachel Maddow Show and the subject comes up, I switch back to hockey. If someone posts a meme mocking Limbaugh, unless it is really clever
and original, I'm not going to "like" or share it.

The internet was originally a promising place for people to share information and ideas. The World Wide Web could have made us all equal, now it has made some more equal than others. It could have allowed a farmer in Kenya to connect with a farmer in America to compare irrigation techniques, but now we just have people playing Farmville.


  1. There is more to the internet than Facebook. Just saying ...