One of the best things about Tony Soprano was that you knew he was psychopathic, but you liked him anyway. Each time, you thought he’d behave better; naturally, he never did. He was consistently disappointing you, but he remained addictive. It makes me think of Facebook.
- There are a hang of a lot of moderate people who hold themselves back in these debates. This skews the results. People believe they have more support and / or criticism than they really have because most people just don’t want to get involved. They stand back. In some ways it resembles the famous bystander effect in psychology.
- I think that people tend to be less aggressive to each other face-to-face, because body language (a raised eyebrow, a slight smile) both diffuses tension and moderates what you say next in social situations, at least some of the time. In other words, it’s better to go and have a drink with people who have different views to your own than engage with them on social media.
- Social media makes itself feel like the whole world when actually you have just self-selected into that little piece of the world. Often an echo chamber is created, where you think certain people have a lot more power / support than they really have. They are merely surrounded by people who repeat their sentiments. If you follow different people, you create a different world. (Parts of this last thought come from my friend Ryan.) *
Seeing as though I’m discussing dangerous things, like Facebook mobs, I thought I would also try to bring the topic closer to home by thinking of dangerous things I’ve done. (Because it’s my blog, I don’t need to worry about logical transitions).
I’ve put them in ascending order of danger:
- I’ve smoked a giant joint in Dahab with somebody who had supposedly descended from Egyptian aristocracy. He rolled the joint from newspaper. It gave me a terrible headache.
- I’ve engaged in a sexual activity under Rondebosch bridge in the middle of the night. (Not recently.)
- I’ve swum in a hotel swimming pool in Malaysia during a lightning storm. It was exhilarating.
- I’ve got engaged after seeing someone in person for five days. (We did write letters before that.)
- I’ve had two children. I know it doesn’t seem that having children is dangerous, but the genetic lottery means it’s entirely unpredictable. The child is not, as one would think, an equal blend of the parents. Some tartar rapist ancestor genes (always been my mother’s theory about how I got my red hair from my Russian ancestors) or a genius musical gene can get mixed into the DNA milkshake. Anything can happen.
* For further social media theories, check out the famous Lazarus Lemon Meringue Pie vs Oral Sex Facebook ‘easy like’ principle .