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Group Pride

Elvis was sick. Marilyn was sick. Dorothy was sick. Adolf was very very sick. They all became heroes in their times. [1]

How reliable was the Oracle at Delphi? Did anyone maintain statistics about the reliability (and / or the validity) of this technology? Oh, wait a second — modern scientific methods had not been invented yet, right?

Billions of fans of Jesus Christ can’t be wrong, can they? The Crusades were neat, right and salutary, right?

Belonging to some group is an important part of being human beings — it may even be an important part of life in general (see also the homepage of http://Wants.Blog 😉 ). Yet is it not at least somewhat questionable if the reason for doing something, thinking something, believing something is nothing more than “because other people do that, think that, believe that …” (or whatever)?

This past week I set up an email account with an autoresponder for a support group I co-lead, and when I told the other leader about this “new and improved” technology (which automatically would reply with date, time & location of the next support-group meeting), my co-leader replied with doubt: “I don’t think that’s practical”. My co-leader prefers “using Whatsapp” … because everyone (besides a few, like me 😉 ) uses Whatsapp (I actually say that people don’t really use Whatsapp as much as Whatsapp uses them — LOL).

Whether it’s Whatsapp or Google or Tiktok or whatever, these strings are meaningless: they tell you nothing. They will sell you down the river at the drop of a hat (as long as they can make quick buck while doing so — see also “The Social Construction of Publishing“). This is not “by the way“… — no: selling you down the river is their entire business model.

Perhaps there is a sort of queer secondary pride, which users (aka addicts) of these brands get off on. Here is my speculative thought: Could it be that people feel worthless, and therefore they are not only willing but even happy to be successfully sold down the river? It seems like a sort of validation of their own worth to be categorized as something (i.e. put into some more-or-less arbitrary “marketing category” [2]) rather than being simply nothing.

[1] Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy (aka Judy Garland) and Adolf Hiltler
[2] in case you are somewhat clueless about what such “marketing categories” refer to, they are “prejudices” like “male”, “female”, “young”, “old”, “sick”, “left”, “right” and so on (including, “of course“, things like “race”) — advertisers are very discriminating (pun intended)

By New Media Works

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