Stories of a World Gone Mad: The future of the Internet looks even bleaker | Rogersville

I don’t consider myself to be shallow, but I’m like a lot of swimming pools.

Lots of people have a shallow end, and nothing exposes that more than the newest trend in social media.

First, though, let me set this up.

Several years ago, I was talking to this kid who had recently graduated from college with a marketing degree.

He was going on at length about how Facebook was the future of marketing and advertising, and how traditional methods of getting a message to the target audience were going away.

And I — being the geezer he certainly thought I was — told him that I didn’t think we would be looking at pictures of our Facebook friends’ lunches in 20 years.

And for the most part, I think I was right. I don’t see as many fettuccini Alfredo photos as I used to.

But that’s not necessarily a good thing, because social media has gotten even more ridiculous than ever, thanks to TikTok.

I never knew much about this particular platform. I only know it consists of people — young people mostly — posting short videos of them doing something they think is extremely hilarious.

Not to be left out, Mark Zuckerberg and the mad scientists at Facebook have now developed a feature called “Reels,” which pops up on my screen from time to time.

It’s Zuck’s version of TikTok.

I hate to admit it, but the shallow end of my brain has gotten in the habit of clicking on the Reels feed.

And it casts some kind of spell that sucks your brain out of your head.

Just so I could have something to write about this week, I noted the first 10 videos that popped up just now. You’re welcome.

First was someone making a trick billiards shot. For some reason, videos of people making trick billiards shots crop up all the time.

Next was someone jumping off a high bridge into a river below. I’m famously afraid of heights, and the algorithm must know that, because I get fed videos often of someone doing something stupid way up in the air.

The third video was someone tearing a hole in a vinyl floor and subsequently fixing it. I don’t care about this, especially since he messed up a perfectly good floor just so he could fix it.

Fourth was someone folding a fitted sheet. I have no words.

Right after that came s sports highlight. I don’t remember what it was. I see these lots, and I usually enjoy them, so I guess I have to give Zuck a break here.

Then came someone drilling a hole in a piece of lumber. Nothing more. Just drilling a hole. Another variation of this is a view of someone installing a wall anchor from the backside of the wall. That’s remotely interesting once.

Finishing seventh was someone crushing aluminum cans in a homemade can crusher — can after can.

At this point, I could feel my brain leaving my body.

Then I watched someone put a vehicle tire on a rim. I don’t even do that at the tire store.

Ninth was someone getting a haircut.

And last but certainly not least we had a video of someone’s garage door going down.

It made me long for a photo of someone’s fettuccine Alfredo.

Barry Currin is founder and President of White Oak Advertising and Public Relations, based in Cleveland, Tenn. Email him at


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