Social media and the cult of “pseudo-profound bullshit” (heh!)

Social media and the cult of “pseudo-profound bullshit” (heh!)

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Social media is filled with posts containing “inspirational quotes” that are often just nonsense – but we share them anyway:

Dr Erin Vogel, a social psychologist who explores the influence technology has on our lives and wellbeing, says: “Social media seems to define ‘living fully’ as being adventurous, spontaneous and extroverted. For people who are fulfilled by a quieter life, social media seems to tell them that they’re living life the wrong way.”


Gordon Pennycook, an assistant professor of behavioural science at the University of Regina, has published research on “pseudo-profound bullshit”, which he defines as things constructed without regard for the truth. He notes that it is “quite possible that ostensibly inspirational quotes could fit into the broader category”. Pennycook says this type of content spreads online because we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. “This is why inspirational quotes often don’t make any sense,” he explains. “Typically, it gets spread because it has some sort of intuitive or emotional appeal.”

Source: What does ‘living fully’ mean? Welcome to the age of pseudo-profound nonsense | Life and style | The Guardian

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