Nerd fact about me: When I was younger, I used to waste way too much time on MMORPGs (massively multi-player online role playing game) like Guild Wars.
Looking back, I understand what attracted me to them: the rudimentary elements of an early social network while working towards specific and measurable goals.
My favorite offline role playing game, Pokemon, involved many of the same elements.
One of Pokemon’s
greatest innovations over time was a developing and increasingly convenient multiplayer experience across more than one console: initially via USB-like link connector cables, eventually through wireless connections between devices
Basically, video games laid the foundation for addictive social media experiences.
In 2019, my social media addiction is keeping up with Facebook groups where everyone participates while in character — and the results are absolutely wild.
But that’s not the craziest group I retreat to when I get caught in an endless scroll.
Group members share sarcastic pro-Kim Jong Un memes that are funny on a surface level. They become deeply disturbing and surreal when you consider that people in this totalitarian country aren’t allowed access to the Internet.
The vast majority of this group’s members are in on the farce that is enthusiasm for life in North Korea, but sometimes I wonder if certain people aren’t joking…
At any rate, it’s never boring.
That is, we’re talking about some food that looks incredibly delectable… and also creations that are truly disgusting. But steer clear of this online retreat if you can’t handle truly vulgar language.
People leave nasty comments for shock value but it’s not personal — just a good ‘ole roasting (like r/roastme on Reddit
). In both situations, the roast-ee opts in with an understanding of what will happen next.
So… is participation in character-driven Facebook groups a total waste of time?
I don’t think so. At least, not completely.
Participating in these types of Facebook groups teaches people the principles of character development. The powerful nature of storytelling doesn’t change fundamentally over time, or across advertising mediums, so developing this part of your brain can prove useful across many situations.
Yes, I’m totally trying to justify all the time I spend reading and responding to random conversations on the Internet.
Over to you:
What Facebook groups or other online communities help you to escape from reality? I want to hear about them.
Until next time,