#Facebook #Chinatown: Where ‘Likes’ are the New Currency


Like Me, Baby...

Like Me, Baby…

Strolling through Facebook now is like strolling through Chinatown or along a carnival midway, complete with barkers and colored balloons, signs and advertisements now occupying every available inch of empty space, imperceptibly creeping like Capitalism into our lives and our computers and smart phones like viruses (virii?), the good kind, friendly bacteria that you can live with. In Chinatown there IS no empty space. Social media has degenerated into one big tease: “You won’t believe this!” or “You’ve got to see what happened next!” or “Don’t forget to share.” Likes are the new currency.

Chinatown, KL

Chinatown, KL

Welcome to the new era of advertising: anything to get you off that home page high street and into some dark little corner where the salesman can work you over, nice and smooth, mint tea and carpets. Of course, once you enter their site, then you’ve got to watch the video. That will waste more than twice the time in which you could read it by yourself, more time for your eyes to wander around the room—I mean page—and maybe see something you like.

Now I know that Marketing 101 teaches you to keep the customer in the room as long as possible—I learned that in Thailand—but this is ridiculous. There they rearrange the supermarkets once a month just to keep you confused—and buying. There the psychology section in bookstores is devoted to nothing but sales. I’m OK; you’re OK? Yeah, right. Playing cards were invited in China, BTW, paper money, too; no connection. Mahketing, dahling, it’s all about mahketing…”