We all look at the social media websites and apps as the spearhead of technology, allowing human beings to communicate as they never did before. Families keep their ties, friends exchange memories, ideas and photos, people each other. So what’s wrong with it? This article is not trying to spoil the party but just to highlight an angle very often disregarded – we spend a lot of time on social media. It consumes a significant amount of time from our lives. Together humanity is making an enormous effort to create the largest ever base of content. A lot of effort is invested into making it interesting, entertaining and liked by our contacts. Isn’t this unbelievable effort a complete waste of time? For the vast majority of humanity, the very simple answer is YES. The average person on Facebook and other social media platforms spends a significant amount of time of his life, and the rewards he gets are far too similar to the worthless gifts given to native tribe leaders while enslaving their citizens.
This modern form of slavery has created giant companies who are sometimes more powerful than states, an industry of thousands of B’s created and maintained by a huge crowd of unpaid workers. The word slavery carries a heavy cultural, historic and ethnic burden, In the new smiling kingdom of likes and tweets it seems almost inappropriate but what is the definition of slavery? if not the exploitation of human work that is not properly rewarded. The interest you find while signing in to Facebook four times a day, is created by yourself, you submit these photos, posts and videos and your friends do the same. you each spend a lot of time trying to entertain, trying to be funny or insightful. What do you get for this effort? useless like clicks! As funny and strange as this may sound, these useless clicks are the modern manifestation of social appreciation which we’re all programmed to to seek as social beings. So this manipulation of human nature has caused the majority of western society to willingly enslave itself to this new fake idol – the “like” button.
For the very few who belong to the companies that created these systems the answer is definitely NO, it is not a waste of time, it is an effort well spent that created one of the most profitable sources of revenue, in fact thousands billions of dollars. The combined effort created a new kind of entertainment for humanity and a stunning source of income for the very few “slave-owners”.
There are a few select celebrities and popular page owners that can (and in fact most of them do) profit from the count of “likes” on their pages. If you are a person who has 2 million likes or 500,000 followers on your twitter account, many parties will willingly pay you to get mentioned. The true nature of the “boss” can be observed in these cases where someone dedicates their lives to create an interesting page with thousands likes, but if the site management hears about any kind of money making, the page will get banned and closed. Countless times of hard labor goes to waste simply because the slave-owners will not allow anyone else to make profit on the back of their slaves.
So? Should we all drop down our new smartphone addiction and forget about social media? Well, even if we should this is not likely to happen, but the time when people will realize that they were captured and enslaved for the benefit of someone else, will come. This unjust situation can not last forever. My personal estimation is that other competing social media systems will offer significant rewards to their dedicated content creators and eventually the giants will have to adopt similar policies or watch their user base deteriorate.
Proper disclosure, Eli Mashiah, the writer of this article is the owner of SHADOW.COM a website that heavily relies on user generated content. I too wanted to do the same for myself, until I have come to realise what an unjust conduct of business it is. Currently my site is not generating any revenue as we build up our user base, and so technically I can be excused. Still the purpose of my website is to be able to generate revenue someday and so I have decided upfront that all revenue created by this effort will be shared with the content creators in a fair manner. Even before we will make any revenue, we will allocate a significant percentage of our marketing budget to reward our users for their efforts.