Neither a company nor a media; it’s just a “Lek”

Social media, as we all ambitiously call it today, is obviously neither social nor a medium.

If it were “social” in nature, there would be a lot of inhibition controlling the behavior of those who use it, because a society is nothing but a force that inhibits individual expressions. Simply put, we can and can enjoy using abusive language or getting violent; we will not when we are visible to society.

But the “social” media we use is meant to become uninhibited, and for some reason we will need to realize before it overwhelms human society.

Social media is also not media because media is about communication whereas social media is about something completely different because users don’t post on social media to communicate, they post to position themselves .

The most appropriate, albeit a bit sexist, word for what we call social media is “Lek”.

The word “Lek” is used by ethologists for a phenomenon commonly observed in social animals and birds (like us). It is an arena generally used by the males of a social species to display their sexual superiority in order to gain the right to mate over the female(s) of a region.

The evolution of the “Lek” phenomenon is obviously to help the replication process by reducing information gaps at lower energy cost.

Since most species are busy surviving, males and females don’t really have time to assess the genetic quality of mates. Lek is a simple but very effective idea that reduces the energy cost of finding the most suitable mate. This is normally an open space where the males come to show off their fine feathers or singing and even fighting powers, depending on which characteristic the given species has bitten as a symbol of genetic superiority.

In short, it is like a market where all sellers (men) come to the same place and offer their wares to buyers (women), so that buyers can make a comparative evaluation and therefore the choice of genes being “bought” by females is more informed (and therefore better for the future overall survival of the species).

We may not like to be brutally Freudian like this in the case of humans (mainly because we are uncomfortable with the truth), but social media as it exists today is almost a ” Lek” where one has the ability to display his wares for any replication is of interest; whether it’s sexual or an idea.

As the lek works well for many social species, I don’t consider it a phenomenon. As the males and females of our species are becoming busier day by day for the classic courtship behavior, this can serve as a very important platform for human procreation; but, there is another quality of a lek that we must recognize if we are to use it as our primary platform for human connection.

A Lek is not a society.

There is NO communication between two users in a Lek. Each user of a Lek is only there to display his superiority.
With this concept in mind, it becomes easy to evaluate social media where humans compete for attention by displaying their wares. But, there is another dimension added to the lek when it comes to humans.

A bird of paradise or sage grouse uses a lek to display a very specific and limited genetic trait that the species has recognized as symbolic expression of better genes and that is what females value. Since it’s mostly about something as simple as song length/variation or feather brightness, lekking in the animal/bird kingdom doesn’t deal with what we humans face, i.e. fabricate false signals.

In humans, we have some basic phenotypic expressions that we used for sexual evaluation, but where we are today, our biological heritage is broken.

Today, the human race is going through free-for-all lekking, and so the first point that must be earned by each of us is to attract attention.

This desperate need to be visible on a huge lek with a billion competitors to get attention, the idea of ​​communication is the last thing on a user’s mind. It’s a situation where everything is permitted, so we are now a billion of us applying on the lek of a social network.

As there are more and more people every day, we all face the challenge of surpassing the swarming billion, and as sex, violence, and other very basic ideas about the animal brain work best in such a situation, the social media that we are now evolving is becoming more and more animal in the themes that animate it.

If we look around social media today, evidence of this “deterioration” is easy to see.

Actors/actresses have millions of followers while men of science would rarely manage to exceed a few thousand as the former use extremely basic merchandise for their posture while what the latter have to offer is hardly anything but the everyone’s animal brain. of us is disturbed.

As social media is here to stay and grows more powerful every night, wishing for a change in the way it will evolve is just wishful thinking; but there is a simple trick you can use to avoid being manipulated.

The best way to judge a post is to see how many views it has and how many followers the poster has. The plus of either is a clear indicator that the post is pushing an old button and the poster tends to prefer the more basic themes.

If you skip reading and allow yourself to be swayed by such messages, you will be able to escape the quickly closing trap.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


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