Of the Icebox

Words about stuff and sometimes things

The Unified Theory of Social Media Platform Life-Cycles — August 28, 2019

The Unified Theory of Social Media Platform Life-Cycles

As you should all know, I’m not a social media trend-setter. While I’ve worked in marketing for years and managed many corporate social media accounts and strategies, I’ve never really been interested or invested in any social media platform for my own personal purposes. I recently opened a Twitter account against my better judgment and even that feels like too much work (or too close to work, as the case might be).

What you might not know is that while I’m not a social media trend-setter, I am a social media trend-spotter. I see patterns and analyze social media data like no body’s business. I’ve done it professionally for years. And through my years of painstaking labor, I’ve birthed something for your enjoyment. (You’re welcome & I’m sorry for the birthing metaphor. At least I didn’t make you eat the placenta.)

Kardashian jokes aside, I’d like to present to you The Unified Theory of Social Media Platform Life-Cycles (hereafter, colloquially known as, TUTOS MPLC).

I was inspired to post this after watching a documentary on Hulu called Jawline. (Hulu=consolation prize for living in the US during the Trump era.) It’s about young people trying to become social media stars and it made me feel simultaneously old and worried for today’s youth despite being only 29 myself.

The thing that didn’t surprise me at all about Jawline was that the kids documented were popular on social media sites that I’d never heard of, and that these sites were being used as a measure of their success. Anyone heard of YouNow? Cause the young people in your life probably have. And you’ll probably have an account in 5 years. Why? It’s all in the unified theory. So without further ado, I present to you…

TUTOS MPLC

If you’re a kid/teen then TUTOS MPLC will be intuitive to you. You just don’t yet have the verbal reasoning skills to express it. Allow me to help.

But first, for those of you that are not verbal learners (how the heck did you end up on my blog?), a visual aide to help you along.

TUTOS MPLC visual aide.

TUTOS MPLC written theory.

TUTOS MPLC dictates that a social media platform is born when, first, the kids ‘discover’ it. Then companies/brands sign up for accounts trying to market to kids and prove their continued relevance. The only reason companies discover these sites before parents is because social media marketing teams are run almost exclusively by millennials and millennial marketers can sniff out a teen trend like they’re Edward Cullen in a biology lab. Please pause for Twilight tribute.

And, for a split second, kids and millennials and marketing vampires are all hanging out in a hip and edgy ‘cool kids’ club that no ones parents are monitoring. This was Instagram 8 years ago.

But then some parent started asking where you, the kid, have been spending all your time because you haven’t been posting on Facebook lately even though your phone is permanently glued to your palm. You send out an emergency alert to all your friends, warning them that the ‘rents are sniffing around and reminding everyone to shut their big, beautiful, invisaligned mouths but there’s always that one kid that snitches, usually a mama’s-boy named Chuck, and suddenly all the parents flock to the site to see what you and 200,000 of your vampiric friends have been up to.

Then one of the parents writes some investigative piece of ‘journalism’ about where the youth of today have been spending all of their time and it ends up in The Atlantic and a spin-off of that article is adapted for a story on 60 Minutes and a spin-off of that story becomes an integral plot element in a true crime documentary.

The next thing you know, Grandma and Grandpa are calling up your parents, asking if they’ve heard about this dangerous, new social media site or app or whatever that kids are into. Your grandparents are genuinely concerned because they heard that kids are being sexploited and pressured into all kinds of peer activities.

Your parents make some sarcastic joke about how paranoid your grandparents are because everyone has an account on this platform, even them, and for a split second, your parents feel cooler than their parents again. But then your Grandpa pulls a fast one on your mom and calls you up to ask you to help him and Grandma set up an account. And there you are, Chuck, fucking us all again.

At the exact same time that your Grandparents are opening an account, campaign managers from politicians offices across the country are watching reruns of 60 minutes and realizing there are millions of voters now frequenting this one website and there are almost no politicians currently using it because they’re all still on Twitter. It’s their opportunity to bring their message to the ‘youth’. But let’s be honest. All of the ‘youth’ vanished from that platform in search of the next parent-free zone shortly after Chuck snitched the first time. And so the cycle continues.

TUTOS MLPC Numerical Aide

If you’re more of a numbers person, you haven’t been left out. Please feast your eyes on the Quantified Unified Theory of Social Media Platform Life-Cycles:

And so I leave you with my unified theory that I expect will one day lead to a prestigious award and much notoriety.

Boats are the new bunkers — July 16, 2019

Boats are the new bunkers

A number of things have changed since I last lived in the US 3 years ago. Most shockingly, perhaps, Amazon bought Whole Foods which is the sell out that we all knew those hipster/yuppies would serve us but it still stings.

It better be Mary-Jane because until the day comes when I can order a special brownie on Amazon and have it delivered that afternoon, I will not be satisfied with this merger and the growing monopoly of Amazon (a company which I personally rely on and morally abhor).

Arthur Greenwood, Redwood, California

Secondly, somebody confused Twitter and the Electoral College leading to everyone’s least favorite grandpa somehow living in the White House because he got confused and thought it was the gated, 65+ retirement community for white people.

Remember that Thanksgiving when he told us he was the King of International Trade? And none of us challenged him even though we all knew that El Chapo was the King of International Trade because we didn’t want him to throw a fit and destroy the pumpkin pie for the 4th year in a row? I regret that decision now.

Moral of this story is that you should have never taught your grandparents how to use social media. You should have stopped at TiVo.

But back to boats. Given Whole Foods now delivers and the ice caps are still melting and this country will soon be one large gated community for white folks, it’s time to seriously consider buying a boat.

I got a good deal on this one. I bought it from some guy named Pi Patel. He swears he survived on the boat for 27 days in the Pacific Ocean with a tiger. Anyway, thank g-d for Pi, he landed in Canadian waters. (**Spoiler alert**)

Maybe you’ve been wavering on the whole boat thing. Maybe you thought bunkers were cool again because of the popularity of ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ and because the President of the United States has adopted what’s being called a ‘bunker mentality’. But don’t be fooled. If Kimmy Schmidt were to endorse a product, it would not be bunkers. It would be rainbow-pack scrunchies.

And nothing our 173-year-old grandpa has done has ever been cool. Not the time he grabbed women by their pu$$ies who might or might not have looked exactly like his daughter; not the time he filed bankruptcy in 1991, 1992, 2004 or 2009; not the time he called his wife smart for stealing Michelle Obama’s speech, twice; and certainly not the time he started wearing trucker hats with business suits.

– What does it even mean, Grandpa?
– I’ve got international stock invested in red trucker hats. It’s gonna be huge. They’re gonna run out of the color red. The color red is not going to exist anymore on this planet.

Not the President

So if you’re afraid, if you’re unsure what direction this country is going, if you don’t really want to be here anymore, then please, I beg of you, don’t bury yourself deep in the ground with your grandpa’s cans of creamed corn. Join me and Amazon’s Whole Foods on the boat commune. We’ll be touring down the Mississippi for at least 2,348 miles during which time we’re going to need to figure out a plan to deal with that wall. I’m sure Amazon will drone in a solution.

We’re also gonna need to ask the city of Xochimilco, Mexico if we can borrow their boats.

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