The Social Media Mullet: What Would Philosophers Think of Social Media? Part 3

Make Me Social’s Phil Grech named his blog The Social Media Mullet because, like the hairstyle, it will discuss the fusion of “business” and “casual” under the banner of online communications.

My last post discussed why Bentham would have made a horrible and invasive Social Media network CEO. Before that, I discussed Social Media and Existentialism. Continuing my roll of incredibly interesting topics, I am going to talk about the 20th century philosopher Theodor Adorno.

I like Adorno. Why? Because he is the first person I have read to ever put in very intellectual terms why mass-produced art hanging up in your house makes you dumber. For me, it was always a feeling, but Adorno solidified it for me after I read “The Culture Industry,” part of a book entitled “Dialectic of Enlightenment.”

This German-born philosopher believed that after the Industrial Revolution, the allowance of art to be mass produced was a bad thing (in simplest terms). Adorno argued that the art that comes out of easily accessible and mass-produced means is formulaic and meaningless and, subsequently, it dumbed people down.

With Social Media, the production of art is virtually limitless. Post a picture, it gets liked and then it spreads even further to that person’s friends. While it is certainly beneficial to make art more accessible, and companies greatly benefit from it in the form of advertising and campaigns, Adorno would have argued that Social Media, or at least certain aspects of it, dumb people down. Don’t get mad at me; take this matter up with Adorno. I’m just the one explaining his claims.

What else would Adorno have commented on regarding social media? What about QR Codes? QR Codes deal less with aesthetic appeal than they do with access to information, so I think he would have not have had much to criticize there.

What about tumblr? Considering the amount of time people spend on tumblr and the amount of sharing that goes on there, I am sure we can easily presume what Adorno would say about that popular network.

With that in mind, don’t ask Adorno to like your last status. He wouldn’t even have a Facebook account.

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Phil Grech is a Content Manager for Make Me Social. He published his first book, “Don’t Waste Your Hands”, in 2009. He studied English and Philosophy at Flagler College. In his spare time, he reads, works out, gardens and searches for good conversation.

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7 Comments

Filed under Phil Grech, The Social Media Mullet

7 responses to “The Social Media Mullet: What Would Philosophers Think of Social Media? Part 3

  1. He sounds like one of those elitists who can only like something if hardly anyone else knows about it.

  2. Michael, we just posted Part 4 – think you may enjoy it! ow.ly/7lJo3

  3. Really interesting content. I like the style in which you bring the old world philosophers into the modern world of social media. I write and own a blog called socialmediaethics.net that I think you would enjoy and I was wondering if you would consider guest posting. Please let me know when you have time.

  4. Hi Hana, thank you for your feedback! We will forward your information on to Phil Grech, the author. How would you like him to contact you?

  5. Your right Adorno would have hated what social media does to art! But its interesting thinking about what he would of thought about how it has changed the media considering what the internet is doing to the ‘culture industry’ he hated so much. Information and cultures beginning to come from ordinary people instead of from the top down. I think Adorno would have loved this!

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