Within the span of a decade, human behavior has undergone a dramatic paradigm shift relating to end users who crave instant gratification and validation. Unfortunately, individuals pining for constant digital stimulation number in the billions as smart devices have become permanently affixed to the hands. While the subconscious compartment of the mind if not a slave, it is at least a minion to the trillion dollar big tech and telecommunication marketplace.
As individuality has been traded for groupthink, the long-term psychological ramifications of perpetual engagement is rewiring the thought patterns of the brain, especially the minds of the younger generations, which are more susceptible to the influence of electronic external stimuli. The limitations based on a burgeoning addiction to information is a hindrance, and further magnifies the importance of demographics that reached the cusp of attaining critical thinking skills before the explosion of the computer age, in fostering sanity balancing a chaotic world.
The evolution of organically organized electronic groups, which was initially prompted by the dial-up modems and billboards of the 1980’s, has transcended the original concept of uniting like-minded technocrats, morphing into a high magnitude order of specialization. Digital communities from sports to politics, and to the ominous fringe, hosted by the watchful eyes of social networking tracking protocols, are bombarded by a crowded and bustling ecosystem, where pseudo-intellectual plagiarism is rampant and individuality is at a premium. Among this contrived environment of fantasy and subversion sprinkled with just enough truth to make it seem viable to the average user, the perceived hierarchy almost always results in the creation of hive.
With the presence of bureaucracy, factions of humanity under the pretense of interacting with others to celebrate a sports franchise, debate the merits of Amy Schumer’s show, or plan a software hijacking of a pipeline, are oblivious to the pratfalls and submission to organizational dynamics.
As digital eusocial entities echo the growth patterns of biological organisms, with each forthcoming generation comes more stringent guidelines and adherence to the core message. (see F***book’s ambiguous volume of “Terms and Conditions” that would even stymie Supreme Court justices) This phenomenon results in heightened defense mechanisms, as the organization exists for itself, and members of the subsequent social media groups are effectively pawns to the self-preservation of the entire infrastructure.
While communication and interaction is practiced through micro-blogging, on Twitter this equates to a limit on total characters in a post, and the lack of non-verbal nuances or body language can lead to gross misinterpretation, which is simply just another detrimental aspect of attenuated attention spans. Fascinatingly, specified groups passively construct a unique language and ebb and flow of interaction over time, and the interjection of information into the string that does not adhere to understood parameters is met with strict opposition.
For example if one attempts to hold a liberal political candidate accountable in a related thread on a community group, the defense mechanism of the hive is triggered. This involves an immediate, instinctive, and caustic response aimed apparent intruder. Then the swarm begins.
The first wave of the militant security force attempts to ostracize and discredit the offending poster using snarky cliches. If the rogue element opts to retort, the exchange is only escalated and banishment from the group is possible. As big tech owns the majority of interactive media, and conservative content is inherently flagged, the vaporization of a right-leaning end user is already ingrained with the culture of the heavily biased domain. While the marketing teams of Silicon Valley brand social networks as “bastions of free speech”, the publicly traded private conglomerates make the rules, as businesses have the right of refusal of service. Street corner orators need not apply.
This plays directly into the hands of leftist social media groups and is indicative of a nefarious symbiotic partnership with the platform. What it all boils down to is that Twitter is simply a propaganda arm for the Democratic party or worse (Albania, China, North Korea, Belarus), as liberal individuals are incentivized to relinquish their autonomy and conjoin with others to inflict extreme measures on what is perceived to be controversial viewpoints.
Even sports fan groups are routinely intermixed with politics, and the annoying propensity to be too clever. Recently, a string of posts devoted to the repeated disappointing performance of a baseball franchise adopted the term “gloomers” to mock ultra-skeptical individuals, of course the word is a double entendre and pun for the tiresome insult based on the phrase “okay boomer”, a popular burn hurled carelessly in generational warfare. The moral superiority is only surpassed by the blindness to the regular acts of indecency.
The fact that communities derive their own language to describe the world with a customized lens is indicative of the multiple personality disorder that a contemporary smart device owner must suffer from if choosing to remain relevant in the land of 15-second attention spans and toxic tribalism. Within this cultural experiment urban myths of normalized and reasonable topics such as free speech, gun rights and Capitalism are stigmatized as evils, while group members are gifted trophies for stating that the more fatalities and utter destruction from Hurricane Ian, will possibly derail the political career of Ron DeSantis. In two decades the philosophical question will describe the radicalized sanctimony incubated on social networks, “If there exists no fear of painful consequences to despicable posts, what is the limit to destructive discourse?”.
To awaken from the intoxicating dreamland of ruthless consensual reinforcement and recognition is a virtual death sentence either through expulsion or cancellation. The ruling digital brain says so.
While sensible people avoid the hazard of being indoctrinated and assimilated, the large number of active social media account holders numbers in the billions and the trending behaviors and subculture must be monitored as facets of real life gravitate towards the wild wild west of the online.