The Seven Deadly Social Networks

Excerpt from this article:

“Social networks do best when they tap into one of the seven deadly sins,” the LinkedIn co-founder [Reid Hoffman] and venture capitalist said. “Zynga is sloth. LinkedIn is greed. With Facebook, it’s vanity, and how people choose to present themselves to their friends.”

On to Greed. According to Dante, the greedy and avaricious are condemned to joust with each other using enormous heavy boulders, forever. What’s more, they are rendered unrecognizable—each soul appears as the blandest, dullest version of itself. Does that sound like LinkedIn or what? Mandelbaum’s translation put it particularly well:

… I saw multitudes
to every side of me; their howls were loud
while, wheeling weights, they used their chests to push.
They struck against each other; at that point,
each turned around and, wheeling back those weights,
cried out: “Hi, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”

Sloth was Zynga once, per Hoffman, but Zynga is no more. Now sloth is Netflix. I know that’s not a social network, but, eh.

Wrath, according to Dante, was a twin sin to sullenness. He wrote that they both came from the same essential error: Wrath is rage expressed, sullenness is rage unexpressed. And he condemned both the sullen and the wrathful to the Fifth Circle—where, in a foul marsh, the wrathful attacked each other unendingly, without ever winning; while the sullen sat beneath the murk and stewed and scowled and acted aloof. Rarely has there been a better description of Twitter.

Others:

  • Gluttony = Instagram
  • Envy = Pinterest
  • Lust = Tinder
  • Pride = Medium
  • Vanity or Vainglory = Facebook
  • Acedia (“cousin to boredom”) = Tumblr

 

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