Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Sociopathic Media

I know that in my last post I told you not to expect posts on a regular basis. I did not say there wouldn't be a new post today.

Today I'm talking about social media and the perceptions of people online.

Social media started as a way for people to stay connected with friends and family. These communities were then infiltrated by companies seeking word-of-mouth advertising. This gave rise to the social media 'gurus' who turned the whole social media landscape into a popularity contest. It's gone from, "What's new with you?" to "Buy my stuff!" It's turned into more sociopathic media than anything social.

Let's not forget the blatant invasions of privacy taking place either. Facebook has even admitted trying to manipulate the emotions of the masses. Now they are under investigation because of this. Why does your time line keep going back to 'top stories'? Why won't Facebook let you post pictures or change your privacy settings? Because Facebook is screwing with you. That's also why they make it nigh unto impossible to actually delete your Facebook account. How does Facebook keep coming up with advertising targeted to your interests? They track what you 'like' online. This goes beyond just what you do on Facebook. They dig through your cookies and cache. Pretty soon you'll be jolted out of bed at night by the din of Facebook and Google going through your trash cans.

Human Resources departments can share some of the blame. Hiring someone with a higher Klout score (who's the most popular / who's the trendiest / who's the prettiest) than someone who can actually do the job is sheer idiocy. Ever stop to think that maybe these social butterflies will be too busy chatting and posting to actually do their job? 

You can't always judge a person's abilities or personality by how they behave online. People are always bolder when they can stand behind a wall. Take me, as an example. I'd hate for clients to think I'm going to show up to the studio with a bad attitude. 

Clients find me punctual, polite, and professional. (Check out my website for some testimonials. If you're paying me for my time then I can be as happy or bland as you want. I spent too many years in radio not courting controversy to slip up now.) Unless there's a delay on the subway. Look, if you want to off yourself at least have the common decency to either do it at home or throw yourself under a truck. That way the trains run on time and you add some excitement to the street. You might even get on the news and be famous. Not to mention the bonus of ticking off the status symbol steering idiots on the roads. 

I'm kidding, of course. No one should take their own life. We have cars and processed food that do that for us. (Although the signs on the wall of the subway stations that say, "Thinking of suicide? There is help." always make me keep looking behind me to make sure someone isn't going to 'help' me onto the tracks. - there's something for the editors in the audience to gape at) 

Maybe I crossed a line there. And came dangerously close to the third rail. But before you get on your high horse and condemn me, know this: I suffer from depression. It's an inherited trait from my father. 

Yes, depression is real. It's an obsessive compulsive disorder that goes on inside certain people's heads. Often it manifests by over thinking a situation where the thought processes keep coming up with only the negative. It is a downward mental spiral that a person can only break free of by changing their thought processes. Many times this self-flagellation is brought on by the repeated mental bashing delivered by outside forces. Screw them. They are not you. They aren't living your life and have no right to tell you how should look, act, or feel. It has been said that depression is anger turned inwards. That's one of the reasons I started this blog. If I'm railing against something else, I'm not beating myself up.

Some people find medication helps. Others use meditation or music or exercise. The only thing that works for me is a good dose of comedy. If you are depressed, stop thinking. You are pounding yourself with the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Your brain keeps feeding you the same negative answers. Shut it down by concentrating on something pleasant.

And tell Facebook and Klout to get stuffed.

But be sure to follow me on Twitter: @StevenMittler :)


  1. So true! Too many sites give you the option to join but not the option to leave. It's like prison!

    1. Yes, just like a prison where you are goaded into looking as pretty as possible so the guards can have their way with you.

  2. I currently have that problem where FB refuses to allow me to change my privacy settings. It keeps saying it's changed the settings, but it's still set on the old settings - very annoying!

    Love the 'there is help' part - creepy, if you think of it that way!

    1. Thanks for your comment Vanessa. I'm not surprised you continue to have issues with FB. They just can't help messing with people.

      It is a suicide prevention hotline, but I think they could've come up with a better line to let people know they want to prevent suicide, not assist it.


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