Warning signs of social media brainwashing

Hey, so guess what. No end of the world as we know it over the weekend.


I’ve studied cults in the past and it’s likely that the believers who were predicting rapture are patting themselves on the back today for saving the earth. That’s right, lack of apocalypse for a cult believer doesn’t mean utter failure – they’re brainwashed to believe things beyond natural cause and effect.

Kind of reminds me of how fervently people once believed in the power of social media. And speaking of brainwashing, it’s been a while since I studied cults, so I turned to a bonafide expert for a refresher: Dr. Phil. He’s got some advice on mind control warning signs that I’ll adapt here.

Warning Signs of a Social Media Brainwashing: 

  1. Obsessive. Extreme obsessiveness regarding social media resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration (e.g. statistical significance, return on investment, business strategy).
  2. Dependency: Dependency upon social media gurus for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought, a seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without involving someone with an 80+ Klout score. 
  3. Agrees with group. Any Empire Avenue valuation can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful. 
  4. Loss of spontaneity. A dramatic loss of spontaneity, e.g. eating at the same restaurant multiple times a week to maintain a Foursquare mayorship. 
  5. Isolation. Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in plowing their Farmville gardens. 

If you have seen these in a colleague, seek professional help immediately.

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