Yesterday, I found a chart about US health care costs that claimed to show that our outrageously high costs don't kick in until age 50 or so, at which point we steadily go crazy at an increasing rate, with no jump at 65; I'm not resharing it here because doubts have been raised since then about the data involved. I showed it to Laura, as relevant to discussions we were having.
What she did then, of course, was to share it on Facebook.
I don't use Facebook except for viewing events and sharing contact information. It's toxic. It eats your life and gives little in return. However, it forces others to follow, which in turns forces others to follow. This is how everyday villains ruin lives. You see, because Facebook is what everyone looks at, because they're addicted and because it's what everyone else looks at, it means that whoever posts to Facebook is the person who found the new hotness. This results in the person scoring Social Points. This, in turn, means that if there is something that has yet to be shared to Facebook, if you tell anyone in any other form, all they will do is go ahead and post it to Facebook. Since that's what's going to happen anyway, if you want the credit, you have to post it there first, which reinforces the problem. The same thing happened with the issue of the letter grades on NYC restaurants; a day later I'm seeing people sharing it on Facebook. The evil genius is that if I share on Facebook first, then they share my link, which means I still get originator credit, whereas if I link here then I don't get the credit.
This, of course, means that all anyone ends up caring about is what the original person wrote because people reshare the link obliterating the discussion and what discussions do exist are in unthreaded unwieldy messes where everyone goes around worrying about how many people will "like" their comment and then going back to check on that and thus wasting their lives even more than usual.
Thus the norms are reinforced, and things get progressively worse and instead of creating nice things we're all posting links to Facebook to fight for social points and status, because if we don't do it than someone else will do it first and the whole point of life after all is to have us all go around liking things because no one should ever say anything negative about anything or anyone ever because that wouldn't score people any social points and even might make someone momentarily feel bad. And That's Terrible.