Faking faking
December 19, 2018 1:25 PM   Subscribe

"But transitioning from an average Instagram or YouTube user to a professional “influencer”—that is, someone who leverages a social-media following to influence others and make money—is not easy. After archiving old photos, redefining your aesthetic, and growing your follower base to at least the quadruple digits, you’ll want to approach brands. But the hardest deal to land is your first, several influencers say; companies want to see your promotional abilities and past campaign work. So many have adopted a new strategy: Fake it until you make it."
posted by clawsoon (67 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
When you first see a blue carbonated beverage, you might thing "Weird!" "Gross!" but the CRAZIEST thing happened to me the other day when I was at the Soda Store and it MIGHT just Change. Your. Life...
posted by gwint at 1:39 PM on December 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


Utterly horrifying if actually true, but I've seen so much Atlantic coverage recently that's about as representative and the NYT Style section that I'm doubtful about the "everyone in high school either is or seriously wants to be an influencer" bit. This does not seem to map onto the experience of Actual High School Students in my environment.

"Influencer".
posted by Frowner at 1:40 PM on December 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


It’s street cred—the more sponsors you have, the more credibility you have.

Unless the times have passed me by, I'm not sure that's how "street cred" works.
posted by NoMich at 1:43 PM on December 19, 2018 [45 favorites]


I wish I could be delighted to read an article about fifteen year olds making little Potemkin ad campaigns for bemused luxury brands, but social media makes everything sordid and sad.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:45 PM on December 19, 2018 [39 favorites]


This sounds absolutely awful. I admit that, on occasion, I've thought it would be cool to be an "influencer," since it seems like you just get to post crap on social media all day. But it also means monetizing your entire life, creating a "personal brand" and generally turning yourself into a product. To do all of that without even being paid for it, because you hope you might eventually get paid? I can't imagine having the energy to even bother.
posted by asnider at 1:48 PM on December 19, 2018 [12 favorites]


I've never seen anything like this in my 8 years of being Officially Sponsored by MetaFilter.
posted by straight at 1:58 PM on December 19, 2018 [13 favorites]


This reads to me like doing ads on spec, which is not a business model that can succeed.

Then later
“I don’t think people know they’re screwing each other over,” said CJ OperAmericano, a 22-year-old TikTok star. She has watched rates plummet as the industry becomes more saturated, and she recently lost out on a brand campaign to someone who offered to do it for a tenth of the price. People now treat brand deals “like a verification badge,” she said.
The bottom falling out of the market when folks are willing to do it for free? Sounds like entry-level positions everywhere...
posted by Xoder at 2:07 PM on December 19, 2018 [14 favorites]


Getting sucked into viewing vapid 'lifestyle' content because some algorhythm recommended it to you is bad enough, getting sucked into trying to become a vapid 'lifestyle' content creator is even worse, IMO.

I don't know how common the trend discussed in the article is, but as a high school teacher I sometimes think that teens might know, but don't FEEL on a visceral level the power law distribution behind everything popular on the internet. Or maybe they feel it, but are following their long-shot dreams as teens do.

The worst thing about this is the 'ad speak' that's copied from other ads that might not have even been real ads. You know the feeling you get, when you are reading the writing of someone you suspect only reads ad? Yeah.
posted by subdee at 2:08 PM on December 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


I've seen so much Atlantic coverage recently that's about as representative and the NYT Style section that I'm doubtful about the "everyone in high school either is or seriously wants to be an influencer" bit.
Taylor Lorenz also had another article in The Atlantic earlier this month about how teenagers are setting up private Instagram accounts for events, and leveraging Instagram's privacy and sharing controls to hype (and sometimes fake) their parties. ie. if you're invited to be a follower, that means you're invited to the event and get to see images with the location/address/rules/etc. as well as being a group album for attendees of the event.

It's marginally more fascinating since it's a novel adaptation of both the privacy settings and use of the visual format that's a bit beyond the original intent of Instagram. But also at least she's upfront about describing how most of the phenomenon is limited to cliques of LA teens and some bandwagon joiners in other cities.
posted by bl1nk at 2:12 PM on December 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


A decade ago, shilling products to your fans may have been seen as selling out. Now it’s a sign of success.
Clearly we need to make America great again.
posted by Obscure Reference at 2:35 PM on December 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I read this story about a scam "how to grow your influencer brand" course, which is I think related.
posted by jeather at 2:43 PM on December 19, 2018


This makes me think of the men I see biking past me on the trail with their jerseys covered in logos. Sir, I suspect you are not actually a sponsored rider.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:45 PM on December 19, 2018 [9 favorites]


I hate everything about this article and, as a result, I don't believe it because I know that the Atlantic is sowing outrage to reap clicks.
posted by 256 at 2:46 PM on December 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


Burn it all down, Gritty.
posted by corb at 2:47 PM on December 19, 2018 [25 favorites]


That said, I have a friend who does this shit for a living and we were at the beach once and about to take a picture and she was like "everyone hold it, I need to put on a necklace" because she was getting paid several grand to post insta photos of her wearing this specific necklace and she thought this group photo would be a good one....
posted by 256 at 2:49 PM on December 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


I just don’t understand why anyone follows these people. What are you getting from viewing a bunch of photos of someone being paid to sell you something. If I suspected anyone I followed was being paid to market to me, I’d unfollow them. Clearly I’m a old because I just don’t get it.
posted by greermahoney at 2:53 PM on December 19, 2018 [21 favorites]


I had a friend in high school who was a sponsored snowboarder. Like he did cool enough tricks that Fox or whoever would toss him a jacket, figuring he'd do something cool wearing their jacket, then other people would buy the jacket to be associated with people who do cool tricks. Seemed reasonable to me.

I guess this is sort of connected except that snowboarding is a difficult and rewarding skill that my friend cultivated over years for its own sake, and didn't actually make any money from aside from his seasonal gig teaching.

My initial impulse is to suggest that these kids don't cultivate any skills, just try to sort of... be cool in the world? Like a professional poseur who's on 24/7? That sounds like pathological misery.

But from another angle it seems like being a marketing hobbiest - learning how to sell things and measure outreach, track audience response and adapt to it. Figure out the ROI of investing in products to try and connect your brand to them as part of a pitch for a sponsorship in return. I think that's kind of interesting and maybe fun. I can see how you could get involved in the community of people doing it and look at the tactics they're using to manufacture interest and play into that yourself - put your own spin on it. It reminds me a little bit of the dummy stock trading I did in high school, only it's a brand you're trying to grow instead of a stock portfolio, in a huge organic environment that responds to you. It's not easy, and in the right industry, those skills may come to serve them pretty well in their professional life. Better than snowboard tricks would, anyway. I donno.

Now the fact that the brand is YOU and is tied to your identity and life in public forever is a huge problem. I'm just saying I kind of see how it's interesting.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 2:59 PM on December 19, 2018 [20 favorites]


I hate to see kids stuck on such a materialistic track so young. I hope they grow out of it.
posted by M-x shell at 3:25 PM on December 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


People were expected to brand themselves in the recent past, but the expectation was that you'd go for an organizational brand. You'd be a Boy Scout, or a Nice Catholic Girl.

Like the branding that today's kids are being drawn into, the older forms of branding also involved working hard to master the correct combinations of repression and expression.

Past self-branding was monolithic, from a catechism. Today's self-branding is mosaic; you have to stitch together pieces of existing corporate brands.
posted by clawsoon at 4:00 PM on December 19, 2018 [15 favorites]


"I'm doubtful about the "everyone in high school either is or seriously wants to be an influencer" bit."
My partner, who teaches at a small suburban Australian high school, tells me it's not unusual for 100% of kids in her classes to be wannabe social media stars. And she teaches English & History…

She's also silently across enough of their social media accounts to know that about 30% of them are already getting enough clicks & followers to make decent pocket money or get freebies thrown at them.
posted by Pinback at 4:02 PM on December 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


The new YouTube series, Champaign ILL, offers a comedic take on this professional influencer phenomenon.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:04 PM on December 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Though it may seem like a useful tactic when you’re starting out, more established influencers worry that fake sponcon is creating a race to the bottom. Because brands can piggyback off of waves of unpaid influencer promoters, some have ceased paying influencers completely, or now pay rates far below what they previously spent.

Have we reached peak end-stage capitalism yet?
posted by rpfields at 4:31 PM on December 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


Every day I'm so glad I'm old.
posted by aspersioncast at 4:31 PM on December 19, 2018 [23 favorites]


Sad but true and also very frightening:
Olavo de Carvalho is a quack with no formal education or peer approval.
A former astrologer, who proudly says he "escaped school" before fourth grade and never returned.
His YouTube Chanel has half a million subscribers and his videos get 15 million viewers.
A self proclaimed philosopher he is an influencer.
He is the guru behind the Bolsonaro incoming extreme right wing government in Brazil and is directly responsible for the appointment of two ministers Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araujo, and Education, Ricardo Velez Rodriguez.
posted by adamvasco at 4:37 PM on December 19, 2018 [10 favorites]


Why am I living in a William Gibson novel?
posted by SPrintF at 4:39 PM on December 19, 2018 [22 favorites]


Because the future is getting evenly distributed
posted by The Whelk at 4:41 PM on December 19, 2018 [9 favorites]


Would be nice if the money was too.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:41 PM on December 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


I got my start in influencing with just a million-follower loan from my dad
posted by XMLicious at 4:46 PM on December 19, 2018 [14 favorites]


Ungh. Meanwhile, while people build up to becoming a Real Influencer or whatever, I have to see their spam on the various hashtags I follow on Instagram. Dammit, I follow #occult for spooky stuff, old books, and weird art, not for New Age poem memes and cleavage beneath smokey eyes.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:55 PM on December 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


the more sponsors you have, the more credibility you have.
That's not street cred... it's interstate highway cred.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:58 PM on December 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


The realities of being an Instagram influencer

(It's a video in a business magazine but if you're really wanting to be an influencer, go video)
posted by sammyo at 5:01 PM on December 19, 2018


Everyone died and this is Hell.
posted by acb at 5:06 PM on December 19, 2018 [18 favorites]


“If someone who is 20 years old watching YouTube or Instagram sees these people traveling with brands, promoting brands, I don’t see why they wouldn’t do everything they could to get in on that.”

What young American does not long to travel with brands
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:07 PM on December 19, 2018 [14 favorites]


Russel Brand or Stewart Brand? While I'd be quite interested in a conversation with either of them I am not sure about traveling. I'd want to get to know them first.
posted by deadwax at 5:10 PM on December 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


But then I'm not young or American.
posted by deadwax at 5:15 PM on December 19, 2018 [1 favorite]



Everyone died and this is Hell

Oh, THIS is the Bad Place!!
posted by emjaybee at 5:19 PM on December 19, 2018 [12 favorites]




This does not seem to map onto the experience of Actual High School Students in my environment.

It definitely maps to some of the young people I know, though they'd rather be a YouTube star than Insta Influencer. I'm sure that the more image and fashion teenagers would swoon to be considered popular enough to promote goods for pay.

One of the ways to achieve fame and fortune in my online circles at that age was to make ANSI ads for BBSes and Warez groups and post them on prominent sites and networks.
posted by Candleman at 5:31 PM on December 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


I have an in-law who is an influencer. She is converting her earnings into real estate and product business as rapidly as she can on the belief that this "market" will collapse or consolidate like every internet advertising market before it.

She'll be fine.
posted by turbowombat at 5:35 PM on December 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


I am afraid to admit it, but I'm having a few beers and totally just google image searched
for cleavage beneath smokey eyes.

On the plus side, I've received all the make-up tips I didn't know I needed.
posted by skinnydipp at 5:49 PM on December 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


When I was a kid we all wanted to be rock (grunge at my age) stars, is this just a more accessible aspiration for fame?
posted by deadwax at 5:54 PM on December 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


THIS is the Bad Place!!
...but it's the Best Possible Bad Place.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:54 PM on December 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


This makes me want to make fake ads for terrible products and put them in my feed.
posted by mecran01 at 5:57 PM on December 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


This makes me want to make fake ads for terrible products and put them in my feed.d

I would like to take this opportunity to strongly ... nay, strongly encourage you to do exactly this.

...

Please?
posted by aramaic at 5:59 PM on December 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


I used to work in Games PR and one of the most amusing things to me was the Youtubers everyone trusted as not being "paid shills" like the game journo sites were all about monetization and had formal price sheets for things like "just mentioning your game" versus "Actually saying it was good" versus "Actually playing it once" versus "Playing it a lot."
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:03 PM on December 19, 2018 [20 favorites]


Shameless plug for this kinda thing: the novel 'Kens' by Raziel Reid.
posted by ovvl at 6:15 PM on December 19, 2018


Hell is being famous without being paid.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:41 PM on December 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


My favorite Instagram account is @insta_repeat which documents the relentless remaking of images over and over by these influencers and wanna-be influencers. Lots of pictures of the back of people's heads, often with expensive hats on.
posted by octothorpe at 6:45 PM on December 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


Anytime people laugh at my jokes when I am out somewhere I now say "WOW! That really blew up. Check out my soundcloud". If anybody listens to me more than 5 minutes I tell them to click the subscribe button.

Yet I have no real life followers.
posted by srboisvert at 8:05 PM on December 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


We've gone from people disguising ads to look like regular life to people making regular life look like ads.

That being said, I do do the whole "tag the Insta accounts of the brands you're using" thing on occasion, because who knows what it can lead. So far the most I've gotten is that a food box company answered my question on what this one weird produce is (pistachios still in the pink covering!!) but ~*~maybe someday~*~

Hilariously I got added to an influencer list by a major PR company here because I was on the cover of a queer magazine recently, but all that's gotten me is a lot of press releases. Fame does not lead to fortune.
posted by divabat at 8:44 PM on December 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


But from another angle it seems like being a marketing hobbiest...

Yeah now that you say that... in my head I was analogizing this to wearing clothes with the logo of the clothing manufacturer on it, which I've always thought was weird.

But really, it's more like making your own clothes from scratch and putting a clothing manufacturer's logo on them. Still weird but developing an accompanying skill, and in the case of social media marketing a skill that's more valuable in 2018 than making your own clothes.

Brandon Micheal Hall (who I must admit I'd never heard of before, a young actor) was interviewed on the Late Show the other day and made an interesting comment: that in the productions he's been involved in older actors frequently get tips on managing their social media presence from younger actors, because for the younger actors it's basically a mandatory part of the profession now and they're usually the ones with greater acumen and sophistication.
posted by XMLicious at 10:10 PM on December 19, 2018


And can we just reference "The Girl Who Was Plugged In", James Tiptree Jr (pseud), as the best directory on this.

"Neuromancer" gets the corporatisation, but "The Girl ..." gets the socialisation.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 10:42 PM on December 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


"No no mom, it wasn't peer pressure, [generic name]'s an influencer!"
posted by aspersioncast at 5:00 AM on December 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


I was analogizing this to wearing clothes with the logo of the clothing manufacturer on it, which I've always thought was weird.
Me too! There are very few things with a visible logo that I'll put on my body.

Come to think of it when I was a wee crotchety thing I'd often declare that if I were to walk around wearing someone's ad I'd expect to get paid. I suppose it must have occurred to me that someday people would literally be striving to do just that - I read that Tiptree story, dammit.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:05 AM on December 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


I admit I'm jealous of the beauty bloggers who get swag bags of makeup because that stuff's wildly overpriced but it is enraging to see the "swatching" on their forearm and the photo is badly lit and not color-balanced. I mean, look at it, her skin has a green tint. Kinda defeats the purpose.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:39 AM on December 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


One of the weirder bits of Allen Iverson's piece in the player's tribune was where he talked about his tribute to Michael Jordan where he removed the Nike swoosh from a pair of Air Jordans so he could wear them in Jordan's presence despite being a 100% reebok man. Kind of like the difficulties the men's olympic basketball dream team had with their team sponsorship deals conflicting with their individual sponsorships and seeming like they were some kind of fealty.
posted by srboisvert at 6:32 AM on December 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I dunno, seeing this conversation on Metafilter kinda reminds me of a friend I had back in the day, who was adamant about switching channels the moment any TV show cut to ads so he didn't have to watch the corporate messaging. He'd always switch to MTV to watch whatever music video was on instead, when someone mentioned that music videos too were in fact advertising for the band's albums, he couldn't deny it, but said it was advertising he could live with.

Given the amount of posts dedicated to Disney/Marvel movies, music and other "artistic" corporate products here and occasional posts seeking best brands on AskMefi and Metatalk, I think it might be that teens just recognize that brand promotion is pretty much a given for/in social interaction so they may as well try and get something out of it in return. As so many of the people I used to follow on social media were constantly promoting whatever project they were working on or their kids were involved with, shifting that to corporate promotion doesn't seem all that different to me. It more seems to be just letting go of the idea that people can live in capitalism without "selling out" and that "cool" in that old sense was as much a pose as wanting to be an "influencer".

My take is that the cult of celebrity is an abomination, but there's no denying people want it.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:47 AM on December 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


Why am I living in a William Gibson novel?

Well, it’s either that or a Margaret Atwood novel. Those seem to be our two options at the moment.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:02 AM on December 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


I loved the quote at the end of the article, "Trying to get sponsored is your way out of this rat race."

Bad news kids, the reward for "making it" is a more difficult rat race full of bigger, meaner rats.
posted by peeedro at 9:48 AM on December 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


Given the amount of posts dedicated to Disney/Marvel movies, music and other "artistic" corporate products here and occasional posts seeking best brands on AskMefi and Metatalk, I think it might be that teens just recognize that brand promotion is pretty much a given for/in social interaction so they may as well try and get something out of it in return.

But what's actually going on is intensifying enclosure/value extraction - we move from a world of mere consumption, which I do at my leisure, to the colonization of my leisure by poorly compensated or uncompensated production of value. That's not to cheerlead for mass media or consumption, but it's definitely an intensification. I don't just go see a movie, giving Marvel my dollars in an uncomplicated way in exchange for a relatively clear-cut experience; instead I create living tableaux during my free time so that I might possibly get some money or products, or enough fame that I can leverage it into money and products from elsewhere.

Human life isn't a series of discrete moments and ruptures, so obviously there are continuities between relatively non-marketized internet hobby communities and "marketing is my hobby" instagrams, and between pre-internet hobbyists and the now. And yet we're still talking about a shift, in my lifetime, from "build your personal brand" being some kind of joke about yuppie commercialism in the eighties to being something that literally everyone does as a matter of course.

We're talking about a shift between lives lived largely unphotographed and substantially in private to lives narrated for a commercial audience through constant photography. We're talking about a shift from "most of your life is spent off-stage and what you do 'off-stage' is private" (so to speak) to "being always on stage is normal, and in fact marketizing formerly 'off-stage' moments and spaces is the first thing you do when you encounter them". It's a tremendous intensification of the work of consuming, and the expansion of this work into every aspect of daily life. It's a tremendous change in interiority - in the past, when we performed for the Big Other, the Big Other wasn't physically real. Now, the Big Other is real and it can get us fired or make us millionaires or sent a SWAT team to our doors.

As with everything else, there's upsides. Like, I consume more effectively than I did ten years ago! I have really, really great shoes! I have access to a far greater array of products that meet my needs far more precisely than those I had access to in, say, 2000. If I have doubts about how to use those products or which ones might give me the most enjoyment, I have the world ready to answer.

And that's not even a fake upside. I remember very clearly when I was a kid wishing that I had a magic book which could tell me any kind of story I wanted and which I could carry with me so that I could read any story I wanted any time. And now it is so easy to read any book I like online that on one occasion when I was feeling especially lazy, I actually downloaded a free copy of a book that I owned in paper solely so that I would not have to get out of bed and hunt for it.

But I am not at all times sure that it's worth it, given that a lot of the time I feel that we're just little flesh cogs that exist only to move money around.
posted by Frowner at 10:08 AM on December 20, 2018 [13 favorites]


And yet we're still talking about a shift, in my lifetime, from "build your personal brand" being some kind of joke about yuppie commercialism in the eighties to being something that literally everyone does as a matter of course.

Oh, there's no question about it being a major change beyond just comfort with advertising and corporatization of life. Kids today grow up in a social media landscape where friends and acquaintances are given concrete number in their feeds, measuring their popularity in a direct way. They get feedback in numbered likes and retweets and have their lives marked by a sense of communication as public performance in ways that older generations didn't have. Even intimacy is communal in ways that simply wouldn't have been possible until recently, which makes the further step in to "influencer" a much shorter one than it could have been conceived of in the pre-social media era.

People today grow up "connected" to celebrities by linking directly to their pages and communicating "with them" in at least in semi-equal fashion, reading what they write and responding as if in dialogue. The entry to celebrity as well is now more open to personal initiative than ever. Anyone, in theory, can develop followers, share their interests, real or feigned, and become "liked" and perhaps get paid for doing so. Given how little of young people's lives are now private in the old sense, abandoning what remains of that privacy for full embrace of the new media world maybe isn't all that surprising regardless of where it leads or what cautions one might like to provide.
posted by gusottertrout at 10:46 AM on December 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


How do you react to people using their personal relationship to you as an acquaintance or friend to pitch you a pyramid scheme multi-level marketing opportunity, though? I mean that person could become a triple diamond level mover and shaker go-getter some day. All that crap is similarly pitched as participation in the brave new modern world where everyone can be an entrepreneur and savvy business-person.

Is a theocracy just a difference in degree of individual members of society expressing their faith in their lives? And would the economic and legal structures of feudalism be just fine if it were all exactly reproduced and described in modern terms of personal choices and contracts and brand loyalty?

This phenomenon, which Frowner is describing very aptly as every moment of one's life being transformed into a performance for the Big Other, reminds me more than anything of the way many people in China, when interviewed by both domestic and foreign reporters, pepper their speech with exhortations and praise for the government and nation and the government's projects and objectives and principles articulated in propaganda. The surgical refinement of control over that behavior and other aspects of everyone's life through the social credit system is particularly terrifying.

Except this is socializing people from birth to do that sort of thing willingly and of their own accord because it's just what people do and even beyond that is an aspect of establishing one's own individuality and identity. Another thing I'm recalling is an interview with a North Korean woman who said that no North Korean citizen would criticize a member of the Kim family because Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and Kim Jong-un are essentially facets of their own personality, and why would you criticize yourself?
posted by XMLicious at 1:12 PM on December 20, 2018 [3 favorites]


XMLicious: because Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, and Kim Jong-un are essentially facets of their own personality, and why would you criticize yourself?

Did North Korea miss the Maoist-Leninist memo about self-criticism?
posted by clawsoon at 3:15 PM on December 20, 2018


Yeah, that was my reaction too. I wondered if perhaps there's some translation issue between “to criticize” and “to insult”, or if maybe there's no longer a clear delineation between those concepts in North Korean parlance.
posted by XMLicious at 3:37 PM on December 20, 2018


How do you react to people using their personal relationship to you as an acquaintance or friend to pitch you a pyramid scheme multi-level marketing opportunity, though?

Oh, don't get me wrong, I don't like the changes social media has brought about myself, but I had the luxury of growing up before it existed. Whether "multi-level marketing" or relentless self promotion for one's own products it's all freaking annoying. Social media is like an endless fundraising drive mixed with memes. There isn't much in the way of conversation in any old sense of personal interaction, where talks were addressed one to one and didn't have to carry a performative message for the audience at large. Everything becomes simplified, essentialized to root ideals without room for nuance or complexity that is too readily misunderstood or used as opportunity for someone else to insert their own "purer" viewpoint.

The "rules" of social interaction, or the expected manners are shifting/have shifted to fit the machine driven mass audience form. People post thing for response, whether genuine or otherwise, and the desire for "closeness" to the person posting helps drive the responses even when there is no real interest in the specific thing being pitched. It's a lot of empty formalism that people invested in social media seem to understand. Business is business, brand is brand, it doesn't mean anything more. Interactive media is the neighborhood kids grow up in now. They are likely to know more about the "maps" of virtual worlds than those of their physical neighborhoods. I can't say whether their real world relationships or their virtual ones are the more defining, which more defines the other, but it sure seems like the two are at least becoming close to par. That's just the world they've been given, the one designed for them by people interested in their own profits, so I can't blame young people for trying to adapt to that world even it is anathema to me.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:11 PM on December 20, 2018


Maybe primate copulatory vocalizations will one day be yoked to serve corporate purposes and people will recite commercial jingles while they have sex. And our old-fashioned ad-free sexytimes will seem strange to them, the way Medieval European nobles having had an audience to witness the consummation of marriage is weird to us.
posted by XMLicious at 12:23 AM on December 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Wait, y'all aren't already doing that?

[hums a doublemint commercial, but somehow sexily]
posted by aspersioncast at 10:04 PM on December 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


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