The sad truth is that the social media landscape has become overpopulated with social media climbers. What started out as a perfectly communal idea, well, rating chicks on college campuses, but beyond that, keeping in touch with friends and making new ones, has turned into a massive mass marketing mess. Sprinkle that with a slew of celebrities spewing nonsense, and what is happening is something I call “visual white noise”. Facebook and Twitter are dissolving into one long ad roll. There is no doubt that CBS-TV is hoping that Ashton Kutcher will suck up to his millions of Twitter followers, to help transition the major casting for Two and a Half Men from Charlie (thank God he has vanished) Sheen to the That 70′s Punk’d dude. When Ashton and Larry King were dueling for the millionth Twitterer, the message was to help the people in Africa and that mosquito netting thing. That quickly, and I mean within one day, turned into Ashton promoting when reruns of That 70′s Show was airing in every television market. From there on all hell broke loose.
Cut to: Now. Every three seconds your phone and/or computer receives a commercial tinged into your reality. Burberry will flash that Carine Roitfeld wore Burberry to the Burberry Brit store opening in Britain or a Kardashian Sister will hawk (tweet, hawk, same thing) some promotional nonsense having been paid 20 grand, thanks to their mother’s scam of the day. Hey, I know that I too am making my meager inroads in the social media landscape, but at least my manifesto has always been to spread the word of truth, justice and Barack Obama. Since people are susceptible, I worry that all this messaging at the hands of so many ill-willed and corporate speaking zealots, might destroy our peace of mind. If we are accosted with an ad per second, how happy can we be in the long run? Will someone invent the DVR for our Twitter account or an app to diffuse the endless nonsense that Facebook seems to be sending out these days? Including negative stories to the media?
Here is a perfect example of how sad social media is becoming. Please watch this bit from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and his commentary on when Newt Gingrich recently announced his run for the Presidency on Twitter. Eek.
What I suggest, now that everyone and their mother has jumped onto the social media bandwidth, I mean bandwagon, is that we all become mindful, if not thoughtful, about how companies and egomaniacs use social media platforms. What would work well is if we limit each account to a restricted number of Tweets per day rather than barraging us with every snack one eats or every pearl one spews or every discount one offers. This will force everyone, every brand, every celebrity to think through what they yammer about so that what they do yammer might actually be (A) interesting or (B) still just yammer, but with limited yammering capability.