Look, Click, Laugh: Social Media Entertainment
Picture credits: www.hongkongseocompany.com / www.pandacompany.com
When I told my friend I was having a social-media-free evening, they said ‘well that sounds unfun’. Which got me wondering what actually makes social media fun. Because personally, I don’t find it fun as such. Even though it’s not as such, I completely failed at my social evening. It’s addicting, really. I’m not going to go on about why it’s addicting, because that’s information you could find easily on Google. But if you look at it from the outside, some of the things on social media actually are unfun, and it does make you wonder why we as a world enjoy them so much.
Let’s start with clickbait. I’m a victim, you’re a victim. Some sites are decent, and have some things that are kind of worth the few seconds you skim through them. Some sites are just like mimick-tabloids with their ‘shock’ titles and poor-quality content. Because I don’t think, if social media wasn’t so addicting, we’d pick up titles such as ‘Macklemore Owns A Picture Of Justin Bieber Balancing A Pancake On His Penis’ off a newsstand. Maybe the Beliebers would, but I’d hope the rest of us have common sense. Yet pages that post stuff like this have respectable amounts of popularity. Why? Is it because we are so used to relying on social media, we’ll click on anything remotely exciting it throws at us?
Equally, I don’t think half the memes that exist on the Internet would be as popular if someone had just doodled them on paper and showed them to people. Let’s take Pepe. If you took social media out of the equation, Pepe wouldn’t be funny. A creepy frog who’s the embodiment of self-loath would not have caught on in a newspaper strip. But the humour on social media is a different world of weirdness, where the most outrageous and offensive things become acceptable. We visually see everyone else liking these things (literally 👍) because other people like them, and so we like them. That becomes the norm, even if really the jokes or the memes have awful messages behind them.
So moral of the story: don’t go on social media.
As if that’s going to happen. But I don’t know, next time you find yourself clicking an article absent-mindedly or chuckling at the meme/video/God-knows after you see it has thousands of likes, do try and have a think as to whether you actually would be so easily entertained in real life. Because chances are, it’s just that social media addiction talking.