Based on my brief understanding of demographics, the odds are that most of you reading this are selfish, narcissistic millennials. Millennials being the most offensive term of the bunch if TV news outlets and old people are to be believed. I don’t think we are more self-centered than the last generation. I simply believe that we have more access to reach the world than ever before, and if that hadn’t happened with this particular group of young people, the narcissistic claim would have stuck to any previous or future generation. With that being said, there are things I see on social media that would make me retract that claim.
Facebook- The Gettysburg Address Opener Syndrome
The name is a work in progress. Go on Facebook after any tragedy or political debate and you’re bound to find someone with an opinion, but this person has the clarity and succinctness of any product’s Terms Of Service. They write a wall of text, of which its substance is lacking, but they’ll step back thinking they just penned the Declaration of Independence. If you are unaware of why I call it The Gettysburg Address Opener… It’s because the guy who went before Abraham Lincoln, addressing Gettysburg, gave a several hour speech that amounted to nothing. He was then followed by Lincoln, who gave probably the most famous speech in American history next to MLK’s I Have A Dream. I think these long-poster types stem from the middle school rule of papers and oral speeches in that longer is absolutely better. Fortunately for us other sites have a character limit so people can’t go overboard. R-right?
Twitter–The Jack Kerouac
Long-posters, either frightened by the concept of word limits or believe their thoughts are not bound by them, will resort to posting multiple tweets in stream-of-conscious form, believing they are some kind of modern Allan Ginsberg. These people, not poets but more like the type of person who sees people as solely ears, blast the social-sphere with mundane tweets that are followed by a fury of micro-mundanity; a Matryoshka doll of boring.
Instagram–The Self-Liker or The Double-Tap Narcissus
To channel my inner Seinfeld, What’s the deal with people liking their own uploads on Instagram? You posted the picture. You obviously like it. I mean come on! In a world where likes=views people will resort to the most drastic of measures. By liking their own photo, these people hope that, by there being just one extra number next to that tiny blue heart that will prompt other people to unflinchingly like it as well. I’ll get into why this probably is at the bottom (and since I don’t know how to use footnotes, just acknowledge this as a form of clickbait.)
Snapchat– The Snapchat Epic Story
When you take a photo or video through Snapchat, you have two options. Option one is to send it to a select group of people, where it disappears after a few seconds. The second option is to upload it to “My Story” where one can view your picture or video for 24 hours until it automatically deletes itself. These stories are max 10 seconds and most people only post one, but there’s always one person willing to create the Snapchat Epic Story. The SES is when someone takes a pic or video and uploads it to their story, and they repeat this until Snapchat is a dead form of media. Some stories have gone into the seven minute range (I counted.) and the posts are about as interesting as The Jack Kerouac mentioned above. These Snapchat stories are filled with the tiring dullness of human existence day in and day out. So I guess if you want some philosophical value you can view them this way.
Why Does This Happen?
Trigger Warning: Incredibly broad generalizations.
I think it happens because we perceive our lives as more interesting than they actually are. We think we’re smarter, more interesting, and more popular. We write long, rambling posts because we don’t know how to structure essays like well-practiced journalists. We like our own pics because numbers don’t lie. My average like count on Instagram is 5. When I upload the same pic to Facebook I average around 12. I would be lying if I said the higher number didn’t make me feel better. Attention feels good and it’s only human to want it, even if our means of obtaining it is overall vapid. I got 4 retweets on a tweet I made last week and felt like a celebrity. But if you’re not already popular, you just throw what you got and hope something sticks.
While this blog prompts me to continuously write, I also write in the hopes that I will be viewed and that maybe someday I could even make money of writing. I would posit that the people mentioned above, whether intentionally or unconsciously, have an understanding that you can earn money through social media if enough people can see you. Social media is a constant form of marketing, whether or not you’re hoping to cash in. What’s insane about it all is, you don’t really have to do much. The most recent forced meme (besides Papaw) to enter pop culture is Damn Daniel, where a kid follows his friend Daniel and remarks about the white Vans he always wears. They both got free Vans and were even on Ellen, where they talked as if they wrote Dark Side Of The Moon.
In summation, like and share this blog post to all of your friends, make them unanimously like it, and I will give a shout out to all of you when I end up on Ellen. Thanks!