Groupthink and Social Media

There was a time when the term groupthink brought something like the image below to mind. Everyone went along to survive. Sadly, that image is as antiquated as the floppy disk operating system. Today, groupthink might be more appropriately associated with TikTok and Twitter.

You may think, here’s another nut case who believes people can’t think for themselves. If so, feel free to move on and check your favorite social media platform to see what you’ve missed in the last few minutes. Okay! That was a bit snarky, but your reaction to my comment would say a lot about where you stand in the new groupthink society.

Yes, I said groupthink society. The reality of that term came into focus while finishing up another post, Conspiratorially Speaking. The constant and draining coverage of the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard circus helped solidify my position.

To be clear, I have written about the troll effect that social media brings out in many users before. Many people feel it is okay to say almost anything through social media when they would not say it to someone’s face. At least one would hope they would be more civil when criticizing in person.

The sad thing is that even within their trollism, they live in a groupthink reality. I don’t follow many people on social media for many reasons. I do follow some folks who love to stir the pot at times. The comments some of their followers and friends make are amazing, in a “let me fit in” way.

When a friend complained about property taxes, people rose to support his position in droves. Most supported a state income tax or another form of taxation to fund local public services. Some even referred to other states with lower property taxes as examples of how to support those services properly.

Of course, they completely overlooked the number of people fleeing those states for places such as Texas and Florida. The handful of people who tried to point out flaws in their logic were ignored or chastised for their support of excessive property taxes.

Consider this if you are still reading and feel I am on the wrong track here. Who decides how federal income tax revenue is spent? Who decides how and where state income tax revenue is spent? In both cases, the answer is the central government.

Sure, elected officials are in control of the central governments, to a degree. Theoretically, they are also accountable to the citizens electing them. Often, the reality is most elected officials only pay attention to the electorate when they are running for office or need money for their campaigns or pet projects. The rest of the time, they closely follow the advice of bureaucrats and lobbyists.

At this moment, some who are still reading are nodding their heads knowingly. They are thinking about the money spent by big this and big that to influence politicians. Yet, these head nodders are often side by side with the rest of the lemmings headed for destruction because of false narratives, slanted news, and innuendo pushed on social media.


About S. Eric Jackson

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4 Responses to Groupthink and Social Media

  1. Eric, To be quite honest, I do not involve myself in any social media. The term itself tells you what it is – it is human beings either trying to belong, because of their lack of knowledge and confidence, or trying to pull others down for the same reason. Honestly, you are much better off without any of it.
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to comment.
    Regards, Phil

    • Phil, I understand from whence you come. The only “social media” I follow regularly is FB. Mostly, I keep up with it so I can stay in touch with old friends, colleagues, and former teammates spread around the country and the world to a degree. However, It also gives me inspiration for new material at times and, to a degree, helps me keep a finger on the pulse of various segments of our segments of society. And I pick up some great one-liners every once in a while. Take care, and keep posting! Eric

  2. Hissing! I like that. Immediately I thought of a Komodo Dragon hissing at an adversary. However, most of the hissers on social media are more like Green Anole showing off. (

  3. The Hinoeuma says:

    Go along to get along. This is how you wind up with one bully on the playground, that no one really likes but, a group will join when a bully goes after a weaker individual. Everyone wants to feel powerful and groupthink/gang-ups are a way to do that. It takes a rare individual with integrity to tell them all to f*** off. Where do you learn integrity? Good parents…another set of unicorns.

    I blog on WP and I surf Telegram. That is it. The rest is just people hissing at each other. There is hissing on Telegram but, you don’t blocked for expressing an opinion…unless you happen to piss off a channel owner. THEY can block you but, in general terms, Telegram doesn’t.

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