How Social Media Works (An Autistic View In Five Simplified Rules)

1. Pick a social group.

Southern Baptist, Republican, Democrat, Evangelical, or a combination of multiple groups (a cross section, like in a Venn Diagram).

People, by nature, seem to exist in groups. You may think of them as tribes, or herds, much like other animals. They do not exist well in isolation, being social creatures. They have formed, over the millennia, multiple long-lived groups, such as Conservatives, Liberals, Christians, Evangelical Christians, Buddhists, Mormons, and countless others. They have further subdivided their groups into categories like American Football fans, NASCAR fans, Basketball fans, car lovers, and foodies. You may pick a group based on where it exists in the list of available groups. It may be a simple group (for example, gender based only). Or it may be a complicated group (white, motorcycle loving, Southern Baptist, defense contractors). The idea is to pick the group you wish to become a member of.

2. Learn the values of that group.

What that group believes is appropriate behavior. What it believes is inappropriate behavior. Politics. Religion. Science. And all the rest.

Learn the rules of the group. What the members of the group believe (political beliefs, religious beliefs). Their perspective on medical science (for example, do vaccines work, or are they harmful), technology (Do they use Apple computers, or Windows computers? Do they use Apple phones, or Samsung phones), transportation (Do they drive trucks, SUVs, or cars? Do they ride motorcycles? Do they use public transportation?), Climate Change (Is it caused by humans, or is it a natural event?) Spend time studying the group to learn what it believes.

3. Behave like any other member of that group.

Once you know the rules of the group, the appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, implement them in your daily existence. If your group prays at each meal, even in restaurants, then you must do that too. If your group is anti-vax, then you must become anti-vax too. If your group believes the sky is clear (transparent), and not blue, then you must believe the sky is clear too.

4. Recruit new members to the group.

Upon finding anyone who is not a member of that group, attempt to entice them into membership.

The group can only survive as a group if it’s membership grows, or at least remains constant. People grow old, and they die. You will need to replace these people, or the group will eventually run out of members. People move, and lose contact with the group. Again, you must replace these people to sustain the group. If the group is to thrive, it must also grow, meaning you must recruit new members at a faster rate than existing members depart the group.

Pretend they are welcome. Pretend you value their perspectives. Pretend you value them. Pretend you like them, and appreciate them, as an individual. Anything to bring them into the group. Once they are in the group, then commence the conversion process, to complete their transition from a heathen non-member to a full, functional member.

5. Maintain group purity.

Upon finding anyone who does not agree with that group, isolate them, and scream at them about how awful they are until they go away. Maintain the purity of the group.

If someone disagrees with the group, clearly they are wrong. You must point out to them how wrong they are. You must relentlessly beat them, verbally, over the head until they admit they are wrong, and change. If they are unable to admit they are wrong and change, you must hound them about their failures, and mistakes, and how wrong their perspectives are until they can no longer stand to be associated with you, and leave you alone, and give up all contact with the group you are a member of.

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