We are illustrating the top 5 strangest things we are guilty of doing on social media. What better way to explain than with memes.
Social media can be a wonderful tool for connecting and sharing: you can stay in touch with friends in distant places and get lost in inspiration while salivating over sped-up cooking videos. But with every good, comes the not-so-good, so let’s get into it:
1. Alone Together
It’s commonplace to be seated at a restaurant and see an entire table not eating, but rather taking pictures of their food. It looks like it’s taking them an awkwardly long amount of time to get the right shot, and you say to yourself, “Aren’t your kale and brussel sprouts getting cold?”
Before you start judging, what you should be asking yourself is, “Do I enjoy my life more when I document it?”
The answer is probably yes. According to studies, sharing a post to social media triggers your brain to release dopamine; think of it as a virtual hug. Humans are naturally social creatures; we just have new tools of interacting and expressing that social need. Getting likes and comments taps into our basic tribal instinct, searching for social acceptance and belonging.
2. Fake News is Real News on Facebook
You may remember in the most recent presidential election that Facebook was cluttered, even bottlenecked with viral articles and buzz-worthy articles talking about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and Bill Clinton’s alleged sex tape.
What you probably didn’t know is that many of those articles with hundreds of thousands of shares were actually being created and shared from Macedonia. Macedonia? The former Yugoslav Republic? Yes. The expert Facebook marketing teams based there, many of whom are teenagers, cracked the code on what people would be willing to share. In this case, the Macedonians were publishing salacious and click-bait articles aimed at appealing to Trump supporters. They had no regard for actual credibility of the “news” stories, but it shined a light on something much scarier.
Facebook’s algorithm is the source for the widespread mania behind fake news. Bobby Goodlatte, former product designer at Facebook said:
“Sadly, News Feed optimizes for engagement. As we’ve learned in this election, bullsh*t is highly engaging.”
Fake news articles were getting shared more virally than legitimate sources like CNN and Reuters! Facebook was forced to speak on this topic and recognize this problem. As of March 19, 2017, Facebook deployed a new tool that uses a “third party fact-checker” in order to recognize and stop fake news from being proliferated. For once, Go Facebook!
3. Don’t Forget the Popcorn, It’s Gonna be a Good Show
For as long as the internet has been around, so have internet trolls. Something about the anonymity of the internet and not being in the same room as someone has created monsters out of each and every one of us!
Just take a look at a comment thread underneath a Kardashian Instagram post and you will find out that there are some really messed up people out there. Instagram recently took a major step to shutting down online chatter and internet bullying in 2016 by adding the option to “disable comments” on posts.
Freedom of speech is taken with a grain of salt on social media, but when have we taken it too far? To play devil’s advocate, social media allows us to exchange ideas and share perspectives that would be near impossible prior to its existence. Platforms like Facebook give us a chance to voice our opinions and hear what’s really on people’s minds. Gotta keep your pulse on the cultural zeitgeist, ya’ll.
4. Selfies: If Everybody Hates Them, Why Do They Get So Many Likes?
What explains society’s simultaneous intoxication and disdain for selfies? In 2013, the holy grail of the English language, Oxford Dictionary, awarded “Selfie” as the ‘Word of the Year.’
Some say it all started as soon as the first iPhone came out with the front-facing camera, but whatever your theory may be, you know history was forever changed. With apps like Snapchat, users are able to create virtual reality renderings of their face and share it out to their followers. It’s a virtual treasure trove for selfie addicts with its endless supply of filters changing daily. Fortunately, because people can only stand seeing your face with animated dog ears and a tongue for so long.
Some studies have gone as far to say that selfies are linked to narcissism and even psychopathy. Keep reading to find out if you have either of these traits!
People who edited photos of themselves before posting to social media had traces of narcissism, which is likely rooted in insecurity. While people who liked posting photos of themselves immediately on social media had impulsive personalities linked to psychopathy, aka or a lack of empathy and impulsive behavior. Truth of the matter is, people will still love you, even if they hate your stupid selfies.
5. My Last Google+ Update was in 2012
If you’re still using Google+ as a personal social media outlet, *high five*, you are one of the lone survivors! But seriously, with time being so precious these days, consider shifting your attention to any other platform other than Google+.
If you are guilty of any or all of these, you are not alone. Like everything in life, moderation is the pillar of wisdom for social media. So keep sharing fake news, taking selfies, and trolling. Just, please, no more food pics.
Alanna Drasin is the Social Media and Content Designer at Haneke Design. An LA-native, she spent her college years in Boston freezing her butt off. She got her chops working for a luxury eyewear company in New York City before moving to Tampa for the sunshine and to pursue a career in marketing.