What is Quantified Popularity?
Another concern with online social media is how the entire system has been gamified through follows, likes, comments, and shares.
This is what allows for quantified popularity, like keeping score in a video game.
A SYSTEM TO GAUGE POPULARITY
This system is designed to gauge popularity but not in order to help your personal well-being. If you are not secure in your identity outside of digital social, it is going to be a greater obstacle for you.
Big tech doesn’t care about your personal well-being, they care about getting more of your attention on their apps, just as a game designer works hard to keep players engaged in the game. Why?
YOU ARE THE PRODUCT
They are making you and your time a product to be sold to advertisers. This was demonstrated clearly in the Netflix original documentary “The Social Dilemma” and though I’m not personally a fan of Netflix, if your family already has a subscription I would recommend you sit down with your family and watch it.
It is eye-opening when you hear from former employees and designers of these apps, and they don’t hesitate to reveal that the systems they built are designed to make you the product to be sold.
“WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT FACEBOOK?”
I began speaking about social media, starting with MySpace in 2003, and afterwards, Facebook in 2005, during the early days of their introduction into mainstream culture. I sometimes felt like a lone voice of caution. Parents and sometimes a teen would ask “What do you think about Facebook?” I had set up my own profile early on to try and understand it. Even then you were asked when posting “What’s on your mind?”
That’s quite a question to ask when you are about to broadcast to the world what is on your mind. A more important question to ask, is your heart in the right place, is it in alignment with God? The potential problem of amplifying your thoughts on social media platforms is brought to light in the following words of Jesus in Luke 6:43-45
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
THE FRUIT FROM YOUR TREE
What you post is the fruit from your tree, the manifestation of what is really in your heart. If your heart is not governed by God’s Spirit, if it has not been transformed by the gospel, if it has been poisoned by deception and sin, then what you post is going to be bad fruit.
But on the positive side, if your heart is submitted to God, if it is being transformed by His Spirit, and you are full of life through the gospel of Jesus Christ, then your social media posts will reflect a good heart which produces good fruit.
So, your social media posts can be used to inspect your heart, is it in the right place or the wrong place. What is inside is going to make it outside by what you communicate, and these are merely platforms for broadcasting what comes out of your heart. Or as an old saying goes, “What’s in the well comes up in the bucket.”