Rituals are what they are!
It is difficult to tell why they are performed and why they even exist.
Historically we know every tribe had their own rituals considered sacrosanct. They were built around the instinctive virtues of people practicing them. With world becoming more advanced and scientific, they remained preserved as the identifying marks of the tribes across the world. They still serve their purpose on virtual platforms like Facebook and Twitter, manifesting into several different forms yet retaining their innate property of being stubborn.
We know that Social media connectivity is driven by pheromones for a fairly long time now. The new observation is, we are developing a cult around our instincts, which allows only some chosen ones to become worthy of our favors. It has nothing to do with what lies beneath what the person says, or what the person writes. An intelligent work may go unnoticed and a vile crap may swing on to the top of your timeline with a lot of people contributing around it. The reason is a kind of ritual through which this "crap" slipped. Knowingly or Unknowingly people practice some sort of social media rituals. They have some identifiable characteristics:
- People don't want to apply their mind, they simply perform.
- It is blasphemous to question the performed and the performer.
- If you are not part of it you are not part of the tribe.
- People anticipate some favorable reaction from the tribe members, and others feel obligation to react in the anticipated manner, without going into the depth of the context.
- People behave as herd, though they may act very differently on a different occasion.
So retweeting or following a celebrity is a ritual. Saying something to gain traction for trending is also a ritual. Other occasions are bashing, bitching or showering praise for a person or cause. They have become very amplified and this behavior has taken all over social media, threatening the wisdom of decisions based on these metrices. So, Following, Trending, Unpleasant Reactions and even praises in favor of someone might just be this phenomenon. The interesting part of this is that once it is over, all is over. People just remember X was abused on twitter by a great number of people or Y was praised. If you ask some of them in person, they will say, We did it on Twitter/Facebook, but we didn't mean it.
Gresham's Law for Social Media: Bad Money(Articles) Circulates and Good ones are stopped by Individuals for themselves! #SocialMedia
— Ramesh (@netargument) May 9, 2012