Besides the dangers of social media used as a friction-less conduit for propaganda, social media users encounter other emotional roadblocks:
- “61% of the participants felt worse after finding out someone “unfriended” them, and 59% were upset after someone posted a negative or critical comment on their profile
- 57% said after going on social media they’ve felt that someone they follow has a better life than they do
- 59% felt sad after seeing photos from a party they didn’t attend posted on social media and 45% were unhappy after seeing photos from a friend’s happy holiday outing
- 58% were angered by a photo a friend posted of them online that they didn’t want made public
- 54% felt upset when no one liked or commented on a photo they posted
- 42% were jealous when they saw a friend had more likes or comments than they did on a status update
- Just 31% of people aren’t bothered by the number of likes they receive on a post
- 24% of men said they worry that if they get few like, their friends will think that they are unpopular, compared to one-in-six (17%) women
- To get more likes, 32% of men said they’d post something funny about a friend, compared to 21% of women”
The above items have nothing to do with the propaganda aspects of social media, but with other psychological issues.
Last night, I logged into Facebook for the first time in two weeks. A quick review saw many posts from FB friends advocating political positions.
FB is sort of an emotional outlet for angry people, who want to vent, plus the arrogant who believe it is their duty to tell everyone else how to think. There is a difference, of course, between telling others what they should think, versus informing others with information and encouraging them to think for themselves. Regardless, both positions are marketing or propagandizing messages to their targets.
And much of it discourages thinking – emotion laden propaganda posters, for example. are designed for a fast System 1 gut level response, to be Liked and Shared without thinking.
Our FB news time lines start to show us much screaming and shouting. Few of those posting these items are interested in serious discussion of the issues. Many delete opposing viewpoints and discourage or shut down dissent.
As I’ve cut down on my social media usage, I have documented amazing health benefits. I have more time for other activities that give real enjoyment. But with cutting down on social media, I also have less material for this web site! I am considering whether I’ve accomplished what I set out to do, which was to understand the social media propaganda phenomena. I created this web site – originally private and not visible to the public – to record my notes.