Opinion: Keep Your Compliments To Yourself
Yewww are being kind of a dick.
Constant social media usage has made our interactions with fellow surfers a bit strange. By far, one of the most nauseating recent trends is the false positivity in the comments of our digital dojos.
What am I referring to?
Such a simple comment, but can we actually trust it? While it may just seem like a compliment from a friend (and probably is), there’s a slim chance it could be something darker. Something truly sinsiter.
Promotion—specifically self-promotion—through someone else’s post. When an incredible clip or frame is displayed on the inter-web, there’s opportunity for it to blow up. This is where the bottom feeders—or as I like to call them, social investors—crawl in. Quick to comment on every post with nothing but good vibes, this overzealous commentary is used to cover up the social investor’s true motives.
How does it work?
The social investor gets in early, drops some heaping pile of optimism in the comments, and waits for the likes to trickle in. If their comment receives enough red hearts, their name gets pushed to the top of the pack, leading to more interaction and, subsequently, more followers on their own page.
It’s a disgusting practice, but it’s also surprisingly effective. Which is why so many of these “surf influencers” seem to be employing it.
It’s most obvious when hailing from those “surfing lifestyle” pages. God, those things should be flagged, reported, and hit with a shovel. Reposting other people’s clips to build a following and then selling the account to some douchebag for his start-up company? Gross.
Identifying this mannerism becomes trickier when an actual human is introduced to the equation. There are certainly a couple pro guys/vloggers that are guilty of this unspeakable behavior. It’s usually the same people commenting the same phrases under trending surf posts. Yew, ripping, mental, [fire emoji]—the list of redundancy goes on. All of these phrases need to be properly interrogated for authenticity.
The marketing model is basically advertising positivity in a place that is receiving a lot of attention, with a compliment that takes three seconds to write (or in the case that they’re using some bot software, zero seconds). Marketability of surfers has a direct correlation with follower numbers, page views, and likes. The more clout a surfer has, the more dollars they can demand from their respective CBD sponsors. False positive comments are used by the smaller fish seeking to reach the next tier of stardom on our silly social platforms. Most of social media’s surfing elite have become established enough to where this low-level page promotion isn’t necessary (hey Kelly).
I know I sound like a socially paranoid lunatic, but there’s some truth to my cuckoo claims. Not everyone is gunning for attention, most comments are true nods of approval from peers. As consumers of content, we’re allowed to like things, and we’re allowed to express it. The ability to comment on another surfer’s wave from thousands of miles away is pretty fucking neat. It’s just shitty to see people mass-commenting identical captions on multiple posts. Whether it’s for self-promotion, branding yourself as a nice guy, or maintaining relevance, knock it off. Tell us what you liked, make a joke, just contribute something more than the recently used phrases suggested by your iPhone.
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