The Social Numbers Game


If someone wants to be “the best” at social media, then they might just go ahead and be the worst kind of person possible, just for the sake of views and followers, turning themselves into a human train wreck that people can’t look away from for whatever reason. Some strange human behavior attracts people to the worst events and having those metrics measured can translate into what someone might interpret as a success. Such a thing will create a facsimile of a life where if something didn’t generate a lot of viewers, it wasn’t “worth it” and they’ll have to figure out some crazy comeback move to get into the headlines, even if it involves mass murder or a wide array of sex crimes.

If someone treats socialization as a numbers game, as social media networks encourage, anyone with a desperate mindset for attention will cling to it and do anything it takes to get on top, even copying the worst behaviors of those already at the top. It’s all because controversy generates traffic, even to where the companies effectively defend against any threats to a big moneymaker being taken down. Even if someone gets kicked off of one platform, there are others very open to the idea of having such an infamous figure hosted on their platform, and they will aggressively promote them to anyone who shows up to the site.

With as many reasons to use adblock as there are, one is so you don’t generate ad traffic for certain sites, even if the ads themselves aren’t exactly dangerous. If it wasn’t a megacorp selling suffering, one could be inclined to turn off the adblock in that case. However, that’s still site traffic. Alternatives are needed, especially stable ones where possible. If you want to avoid the whole YouTube side of things, you can still make Google host a bunch of videos, but up to some storage limit on their service. There’s also a bunch of direct YouTube alternatives that may even look like a classic version of YouTube, or at least have a similar structure, but I swear there’s somehow more problems showing up on those at times, even more so than the mainstream site, typically people with conspiracy theories so outright insane or biased against any group of people, just because they themselves are a hateful and spiteful sort.

When it comes to alternatives for social media sites about posting text and such, I don’t think the solution is to use another social media site that’s not that one. I don’t really see the point of Mastodon, the social media site that’s also somehow not one site maybe because blockchain or something, I don’t even know. If I must go about posting text posts, and I still seem to have the need to do so, I’ll just have a place about posting text posts, like whatever it is I’m doing now, while staying away from all those other social media sites. The same goes for posting up art and so on, with sites that serve as examples for hosting art tending to have issues with keeping a consistent terms of service or site layout. My whole philosophy about having a personal website instead of just having a bunch of templated social media pages under the control of some company over how it looks and changing it every few months against anyone’s wishes still holds here. I think people should have the choice of where to put GIFs and how many to put and not always have to have them compressed to a weird video format that messes up the GIF itself.

There are a couple things, though. I do have a Blogger account and a Twitch account. I haven’t yet gotten rid of those, for a few reasons. While I could copy all of those Blogger posts over to the site, I just haven’t. Maybe something will push me to do so, but having a specific “review blog” for now is I guess how it’ll be, for whatever I choose to review. Maybe another type or set of reviews will end up on the site later on so I have better control over the layout. Then there’s Twitch. Let’s say that setting up a functional server capable of receiving and sending video streams is a bit tricky to do, as well as in tandem with a chat server, one with security measures to avoid impersonation and whatever other problems befall servers. It would be an interesting project, and it would be a way to stream certain content that might not quite fit within a corporate terms of service, though I’d only want to use that power for good, or at least not hosting highly illegal or unmodified copyrighted content. Sure, there are other streaming sites that might be more open to things, but it may take some digging and there may also be a terrible atmosphere over the thing from how it might host people worse than a typical social media numbers addict who treats people purely as numbers. I do like the idea of a challenge, though.

Of course, being sort of “off the grid” as far as it goes with social media can mean that someone won’t get as many views on your stuff. However, I don’t really care about the quantity of views as long as it can be viewed, anyone can go look at it provided I’m not banned in certain countries by default or by specifics if that somehow happened. And sure, websites do have hit counters, and might track where those views are coming from, but I hardly ever look into that. I’ve considered sticking a hit counter on the site in line with old site structure, but decided against that, as I feel like it’s a slippery slope that may have led to the follower counts of today. I’d much rather play the long game where people interested in whatever I do can stick around and find worth in my possibly worthless ramblings, instead of aiming for the top ASAP. Even if I don’t have comment sections on the site, mainly because I don’t know how much I’d trust those frameworks anyway, I do have an email mentioned as a contact. Of course it’s formatted to try to deter bots, but hopefully not sentient beings who are willing to manually type an address for once.