Social media has made us all content zombies. Or even worse: critics.
January 11, 2010
For all its awesomeness, the advent of social media has ruined at least one thing (albeit minor) I used to love: the end-of-the-year list.
There was always something highly addictive about reading my favorite columnist’s top (and especially bottom!) ten choices in music, movies, books and the like. Not anymore. Mostly because I don’t have a favorite newspaper or magazine columnist. And that’s mostly because I don’t have a favorite magazine or newspaper. Not anymore. Now I rip through websites, blogs and magazines like some sort of content zombie. I still get off on lists but not nearly as much as BTI (Before The Internet).
Besides, now I tend to aggregate the results. I look for patterns and tendencies as opposed to details and specifics. I learned this behavior from the web. Take the website Rotten Tomatoes, for example. Here you can peruse countless reviews for any given movie as well as get the cumulative score on its greatness or lacking there of. Big deal you say. Actually it is. Not only has social media diminished the power and value of any one critic it has also made critics out of us all. Reread that last sentence. I’ve emboldened it for you! It is no doubt the most important one in this essay. Thanks to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, WordPress, Blogspot and countless other entities everyone, and I mean everyone, is now a critic. Therefore, I don’t think end-of-the-year lists are all that interesting, unless, of course, one analyses them for patterns and tendencies!
Reflect for a moment…Remember when you actually gave a shit what Roger Ebert thought about a movie? Or Richard Corliss? Or Rolling Stone? Who? What?
Exactly. Which brings me to my final point and it is not a little one: We have all become a focus group. God help us.