Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Have you noticed how social media is breeding a new level of social incompetence amongst younger people? If you’re teenagery these days, you’re more likely to engage with the opposite sex through some form of social media and its attendant technology than you are an actual person. Teenage social ineptitude is a common-enough ailment, and has been since Elvis invented the teenager in 1955, but there’s a new strand of it in the world today, and it’s fascinating.

What makes this even more interesting is the personality of the one person who virtually invented social media as a form of human interaction. Mark Zuckerberg is not by any means Mr Geniality, and that in itself accounts for Facebook’s personality: a place for shy geeks to spy on hot chicks without actually having to encounter them in the flesh and be rejected.
Interestingly, the use of Facebook seems to perpetuate social ineptitude, not dispel it. Guys are asking girls out through messaging, girls are using status updates to bitch at other girls, snide teenagery awfulness is IM’d, BBM’d, SMS’d, tweeted and (SO last-year!) MixIt’d. Girls and guys ‘like’ and ‘unlike’ each other and announce their availablitiy, jiltedness or successful coupling online. It’s a digitized storm of hormones, a ‘stormone’ if you will.

This doesn’t exactly bode well for future international relations, much less the propagation of the human race. In-the-flesh meetings are, after all, so boringly one-dimensional after you’ve spent half the night looking at someone’s pictures on their profile. Also, it’s much harder to think of the right thing to say than to type, don’t you think?

So thanks, Mark. The Geeks shall inherit the earth.


  1. you're showing your age... not that that's a problem, we're all influenced by our generation and how things were in "the good old days" when kids played outside.

    i don't think it's all bad though, it's just different (this is a 30 year old speaking - so I'm somewhere between young and old...)

    Anthropology tells us that communities form, make rules, interact and have "society" all over the world in so many different ways we're still trying to understand it after 100 years of studying it. Social media is just the newest way of doing society.

    go check out barrie bramley's site (that's such a teenagery thing to say... eish), he's got a lot to say about how these teenagery social media habits are changing the world we live in - for young and old alike.

    As for the stormone, it's probably not that different to the 'mallone's' of the 90's (raging torrents of hormones hanging round the ster-kinekor/milky lane on any given friday night of any given mall in the country), geeky guys daring their (equally) geeky friend to go ask the pretty girl for her home phone number. It's the same thing, just re-directed and less localised.

    thanks for the post.

  2. Brett
    Great response. Thanks for the heads up on Barrie. I agree with all you say, which is a rare thing to do for a blogger! "Social media is just the newest way of doing society" - exactly. All i'm saying is that social media is self-consciously breeding a new FLAVOUR of society, and one that natural selection possibly wouldn't have allowed to breed if not for technology and its inherent lack of humanity.
    So thanks.
    One more thing: I'm so not a 'good old days' kind of person! All that really matters is now, for me. I don't feel grumpy about social media, merely observing an interesting phenomenon.