In conversations lately, I’ve noticed how much of what I’m hearing sounds eerily familiar to memes and nonsense that I see widely shared on social media. This is especially true when it comes to political and cultural issues. I’ll say one thing, and be retorted with something I saw recently online – often some soundbite that is impossible to disprove in an argument or some emotion-laden appeal.
To put it another way, what do you think is having a greater effect in this year’s Presidential election – political advertising or viral memes?
Then, a friend posted this article from the Chicago Tribune which confirms the suspicion:
Worse, the study finds that these sort of blind peer-to-peer shares are really important in determining what news gets circulated and what just fades off the public radar. So your thoughtless retweets, and those of your friends, are actually shaping our shared political and cultural agendas.
It’s a wild, brave new world. And we’re still figuring it out.