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The Perils of the Social Media Craze


RUSH: So I just got an e-mail note about Apple and all this stuff. "Rush, why don't you do more social networking?" Yeah, I'm gonna answer that in a minute. As you know, ladies and gentlemen, I have expressed often and for a long time on this program my discomfort over this seeming desire on the part of young people to just tell everybody everything about themselves. I haven't been able to put my finger on it, but having lost my anonymity, I've got a different perspective on this.

After a bunch of years of this, it's gonna lead to some really psychologically messed up people. It is abnormal to start telling everybody everything about yourself, every moment of the day -- where you are, where you're going, when you're gonna get there, when you've arrived, how long you're gonna be there, and then when you're leaving, what you think about this, when you're wearing, all of this. This is not normal.

It's all rooted in a desire for fame, and people associate fame with the Hollywood red carpet, and with fawning media coverage that actors and actresses get. People like Beyonce and Jay-Z and the Kardashians. They think that's fame, and it's gotta be really cool. So they start trying to do things to become famous or become notorious. I can't put my finger on it yet, although I've got a little closer, and I actually think it's gonna lead to some deeply rooted psychological problems, 'cause let me tell you one aspect of it.

This is primarily a cautionary tale to you parents out there whose youngsters are all over this social network stuff. There's a downside to this that I don't think a lot of people are thinking about. I used to have the same attitude about TV shows like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. What was that show? That show was basically (chuckles) telling you everything you're not and never will be, and I think all this social network stuff is like that.

Let's say you're Little Freddie, and you're reading about all these people supposedly doing all this stuff and going all these places and chatting with all these friends. You're Little Freddie, and you're not doing any of that. I think it's actually... Instead of all this social network stuff ostensibly bringing everybody closer, I think it's gonna have a much different impact on most people, and it's gonna end up telling them how left out of things they are.

I think it's possible that the message is gonna be, "Look what you're not doing! Look what you're missing out on." People you don't even know on these sites are saying, "Yeah, you know, I went over here the other day, and then I went to the Yard House. We ate at the Yard House, and we went and hooked up. After we hooked up, we went over Dunkin' Donuts, and after we was at Dunkin' Donuts, we went to the microbrewery. After the microbrewery, we hooked up again."

You're Little Freddie, and you're reading all this, and you're not doing any of that.
"My God, what am I missing out on?" So you say, "Okay, I'm gonna go get a gun and start shooting people," or what have you. That's an extreme example, but all of this social networking stuff could end up making most people feel like they're being left out of a whole lot of things. I don't know that it is. I could be totally misreading it and putting a wrong emphasis on it. It's just something I think is a possibility.



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