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Do these gates look familiar? They’re the entrance to a popular store you’ve see in almost every suburban shopping mall, just a bit different in this particular outlet.
Destinations have changed. The proliferation of global brands make this difference ironically apparent, making foreign cities both comfortingly familiar and unfortunately similar. Almost everywhere you go, you can have a Coke or Starbucks coffee, buy an Apple product, or get outfitted in Nike gear. Whether this is good or bad depends on your personal preferences.
“In countries where protests against globalization were common a decade ago, American retailers are being welcomed by screaming fans and their credit cards.”
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:
Obsessive. Extreme obsessiveness regarding social media resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration (e.g. statistical significance, return on investment, business strategy).
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.
Agrees with group. Any Empire Avenue valuation can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.
Loss of spontaneity. A dramatic loss of spontaneity, e.g. eating at the same restaurant multiple times a week to maintain a Foursquare mayorship.
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.