The Danger of Big Groups

One of my persistent fantasies is that this social media phenomenon will continue to grow and expand and become more sophisticated until it is, in fact, a group mind, a sort of hybrid artificial intelligence, a combination of the best minds of all mankind with the speed of computers, a superintelligence which can figure out the answers to all of mankind’s problems.
Of course, there are a couple of problems with that, as anyone who has ever used social media for more than 5 minutes is well aware.

Through Facebook, I’ve become involved in a few different groups. Some art, some poetry, some Bernie Sanders.  The past few days, it’s reached sort of a critical mass.  I open up my hotmail, and where I usually see between 10 and 20 new  messages once or twice a day, now I see 150-200 3 or 4 times a day.  Mostly it’s the Bernie or Bust group, but also the  Artists trying to make a living group.

Both groups have thousands of  members and, it seems, nobody in either group reads anybody else’s responses.  Because it they did, they’d see that somebody else had already said the thing they just have to say.  Original thought is the exception.  I guess that’s why they call it original thought.

The only way to avoid the flood of messages would be to not respond to any of the posts from those groups and, in that case, why bother belonging at all?
I’m still working through it.  One effect of this political season is I’m learning a bit more about how to use  social media.  I still have a long way to go.  And social media is still evolving.


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