How Social Media Enhanced Collective Stupidity
Allow me a paragraph or two to tell my story in order to set the scene before you administer your attention span countdown. My story is my own and personal, but it is also reflective of thousands of writers in particular, communicators at large, and is revelatory of our own collective stories the last few years as well.
I always wanted to be a writer. After I finished my first book, The Complete Patriot's Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism, I realized how much I wanted to learn about how to share my writing. As a neophyte I thought I had finished by completing a book when of course I was only then starting. After fumbling around the internet with few connections I found some allies who supported my writing in numerous ways, some supported article ideas occasionally and some regularly.
Opednews.com and Wakeup-world https://wakeup-world.com/category/contributing-writers/ethan-indigo-smith/ help writers enhance their voice to reach people all across the world. When I first began writing with the website there were near 1 million people on their main social media platform actively following their articles, now there are 4 million followers on FB, but way less interaction...
At that time I had fewer books in total, fewer followers in total and was certainly way less known as an author someone might be interested than I am now, if I am. And yet when wakeup-world shared one of my articles I would sell dozens of books that day and numerous in the days that followed. And because I was so little known, in the days that followed sometimes as little as zero books was typical.
Social media made my dream of being a writer a reality or least a realistic idea to reach for. It was actually more or less directly after wakeup-world was given an award for the most popular alternative news source in Australia when the social media constriction began.
During this period alternative news was hijacked overall and mixed in with political ardency often of one side or another, but mostly simply in ardency. The redundant misinformation belittled alternative news in total just as it was gaining legitimacy along with the mainstream rather than a whole other segment of information society. My feeling s during this was that entities were eliminating the voice of alternative and mainly progressive media institutions, but the message put forth was that rigid right wing misinformation to the point of ridiculousness was being contained.
I went from selling dozens of books when I released an article to selling none. It was about at this time that the main social media platform enhanced the algorithym profiles to find the information and the advertising that best suited you and your interests. Most articles disappeared from my feed, pictures and short videos took over.
This was years after Facebook for instance removed the option to scroll through most recent posts and most popular. So not only have alternative news sources been mitigated and articles been relegated but your feed has now been infiltrated by corporations with snazzy pictures and videos posing as contemporaries spouting the benefits of some snake oil idea or product.
This has led to more of what social media giants had said they were trying to eliminate. Of course your whole network is a echo chamber but more importantly it has become an echo chamber of utter bullshit stories -in pictures. The pictures include some speculation of a conspiracy tangent and literally dumb down the collective discussion to the point people have to ask really, really stupid questions so as to clear the scene before even investigating it.
Here are a couple examples, one from a couple years ago and another from recently.
This picture of is of shoes lost during a shooting in Dayton, Ohio. A meme which was made popular was that because there was this many shoes it was obviously a false flag operation. Anyone who has ever been in a panicked crowd might imagine how easily shoes might come off as people take flight.
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