Is Fast-Food Content Making Us Fat & Lazy?

The Social Media Idiot

PERHAPS I JUST need to be watch my diet. Admittedly, as a content creator, I end up ingesting mass quantities of social media every day. But lately my stomach has been churning over what I’ll call fast-food content.

I think it’s adding up to too many empty calories for all of us, in an already bloated diet of Internet consumption.

Is any content good content?

Like its drive-in counterpart, fast-food content is quickly and easily prepared, and scarfed down just as rapidly.

But where the “fast” in fast food is the lazy choice of the customer, this kind of fast-food appears to be the lazy choice of the social media content cook who can’t, or won’t, take the time to offer something you can really sink your teeth into.

I’ll give an example.

A few days ago on LinkedIn I joined a group discussion around a blog post about careless typos. As a writer, it’s a bandwagon upon which I regularly ride.

Although the author added the clever title, “Every time you make a typo, the errorists win,” he offered eight images that, in my opinion, didn’t quite make his case.

I had the sense he just needed to crank out some content, remembered Jay Leno’s headline bit on the Tonight Show, and threw some stuff together.

Weighing content on the calorie counter

But am I being too nit-picky? View his “typos” here, then return for my critique.

To begin with, I think the first two “typos” may have been spelled that way on purpose. The parody on British Keep Calm posters wouldn’t be much of a parody, or have any humor to it at all, if it weren’t for the misspelling. And, living in the  fiscally conservative state of Texas, I think what may simply be a play on the state beautification slogan, “Don’t mess with Texas” was probably an intentional, inside-the-state joke, as we’re known for our low taxes (based on another writer’s statement that the complete copy line read, “Don’t mess with Taxes”).

The two newspapers aren’t typos at all, but unfortunate juxtapositions of headline and photo, and the last one,“No Marxist Czars,” reads to me like yet another clever irony. So, by my estimation, that leaves only the History ad, the political sign, and the billboard as unarguable typos, with only the last one being at all noteworthy because of how funny it is. The other two? Meh.

What’s so bad about content that’s not so good?

So big deal. Posting a little light reading, with innocent humor most people would understand; what’s the harm?

The confession part is that, while I think hastily prepared articles such as this one lower the bar for language, creativity, and content overall, it’s difficult to know if the burgeoning field of social media is ready for critical analysis. 

Is it simply a matter of subjective humor, and do I just need to lighten up?

Whatdya think?