How facebook ‘slacktivism’ sucks time.

By jreighley - Last updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Okay, so one of my facebook friends commented on this photo today:

The commenter tends to be conservative, so I assume that their comment was one of 4000 or so that said something like “No Thanks!” or “This country will be broke with 4 more years” etc etc..

I am not sure because I wasn’t going to sort through 10000 comments to read one. I did scan through several of them they where probably 60 40 in the affirmative for what the photo was promoting..

In previous days I saw my liberal friends post to conservative propaganda as well, so if you commented on this photo and are reading this, I am not picking on you specifically.

But all in all, I thought what a massive waste of time this is!

Is anyone really going to read comment 7486 from George in Tennessee and think “Wow, I hadn’t looked at it that way, now I am going to vote for Romney!”

Lets do some math… The photo has been up for 5 hours. 60 minutes times 5 hours = 300 minutes. 10000 comments divided by 300 = 33.333 comments per minute. Facebook shows 6 comments per photo unless you press the more button. That means that you comment is going to be noticeable for all of 5 and a half seconds.  Of the people who open that photo during the 5.5 seconds, what percentage are going to read the comments?  Maybe 25%?  Maybe.  And how many of those folks are going to be open minded enough to read it and give it consideration?  I suspect that if they are passionate enough to open the photo to comment on it, their mind is probably already made up one way or another.

I would assume most people spent 30-60 seconds composing, typing and proofreading their comment, so lets round it to 45 seconds per comment. 45 seconds * 10000 comments means that approximately 45000 seconds where invested in the “dialog” in total by the commenter. 45000/60/60 = 125 man hours. And counting.

All in all, we are investing massive amounts of time and  ego  scuffling our thoughts into a vast pit of ones and zeros. The chances of any of this making an ounce of difference in even one voter’s mind is probably so close to nil you may as well buy a lottery ticket..  And this is just one of many, many posts just like it.

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