We live in a social media economy.
Many of our largest companies are in the social media space, such as Google and Facebook. What exactly do they produce? Not cars, not planes, not trains.
They have strange business models as they are not directly compensated for their product, but indirectly are paid for the content or platform they provide for advertisers and mind benders. Then there is selling your, what you thought was private, data to the highest bidder.
Moreover, social media probably generates negative productivity. We read some time ago the average American spends 40 minutes per day playing Farmville. How does planting virtual corn add to the GDP?
Though we are more ambivalent about Google, Facebook is doing some severe psychological damage to an entire generation, including my 15-year daughter. They spend much of their time competing with trophy photos loaded up on Instagram. Never gonna win that game, which leads to increased anxiety and depression for an entire generation.
The Google Short
That brings us to the Google (we are old school and can’t bring ourselves to call it Alphabet) short.
Imagine when a politician has his/her epiphany that all those porn searches they have done over the years on Google are stored somewhere and could be hacked and released to the public? That will ignite a prairie fire of potential legislation, which will spread faster than you can say SNAP.
We would not doubt the mantra of the next presidential campaign will morph from “lock her up” to “shut them down.”
The social media economy is in deep trouble, folks.