The Loudest Voice Always Wins
Somehow, in one week we reached the brink of a nuclear crisis with North Korea, continued on down the path of Russian interference in our election, and experienced open displays of Nazism and violence in Charlottesville.
Things are going to get worse before they get better.
The most important thing to remember in the chaos is in an advertiser-funded, algorithmically-driven world, the loudest voice always wins.
The loudest voice. The angriest person. The craziest statement. The prettiest sunset. The most beautiful hamburger. The cutest puppy.
The most extreme version of whatever you’re looking at.
The calculation is incredibly simple: The longer you spend on social media, the more ads you can be shown, and the more money the platform will make. To keep you scrolling, the content has to evoke emotion. The more you watch, react, and comment, the more that content shows up in your friend’s feeds.
To some degree, we all kind of know how it works. But that doesn’t change our behavior.
We still share that article that reinforces our viewpoint without adding any context or thought, knowing it won’t change anyone’s mind or spark any reasonable discussion. It just makes us feel good.
We still let ourselves get furious about injustices in faraway places— but only when they fit into the narrative we want, or support “our team”.
We still hear about another violent act and instantly wonder about the color of the assailant’s skin.
We still add words like “scandal” or “corrupt” to our Google searches to make sure we find ‘evidence’ supporting what we already believe.
We always look forward to the next outrage in this reality show that has become life.
We keep swiping, scrolling, and getting angrier.
If it feels like the world is falling apart, the scary part is that it very well might be. In an environment where the loudest voice always wins, we ended up with the President, who, well…kind of makes perfect sense.