Most people use social media because being able to say happy birthday to your needy aunt without having to talk to her is worth all the hassle. (Hassles may include: your photo being used to promote products without your permission, companies storing ridiculous amounts of personal information, and having psychiatric experiments performed on you without your knowledge.)
However, we all knew that the time would come when the creepiness of these sites would outweigh the benefits. That time is now. Here are some ways social media is going from "a bit creepy" to "smiling clown face pressed up against your bedroom window at 2 a.m. creepy."
#5. Social Media Apps That Replicate Your (Annoying) Friends After They Die
We all have that super annoying friend who has to Instagram every single meal they eat, as well as tweet all the random thoughts that go through their head in real time. Did you ever wonder what that friend might theoretically be eating six months after they died? No? Tough shit, because there's a new breed of programs that will allow any sufficiently self-obsessed acquaintance or relative of yours to continue clogging your feed -- and even have conversations with you -- from beyond the grave.
"Remember when you slept with my wife after I died, Mike? I saw you. I saw you, Mike."
This Week in WTF Pop Culture History: A Fucking Ninja Turtle Rap Song Hits #1 in July 1990.
We're not being sarcastic when we say that a proud and important pop culture tradition was renewed this week with the release of this track:
That is "Shell Shocked" by Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa, and Ty Dolla $ign. It jumps from describing the four Ninja Turtles and the unbeatable power of brotherhood, to talk of teaming up with your friends to make shitloads of money for Lamborghinis and Rolexes (which suggests that the new film features a sequence wherein Master Splinter teaches his four young protegees how to ball like motherfuckers). And before you dismiss this video as being unimportant to your life, you need to understand something:
Rap songs about Ninja Turtles used to fucking dominate the pop charts.
If you look hard enough, the Internet will provide evidence for anything you want. Anything. Obama is guarded by lizard-men? Here you go. The Titanic was an inside job? Oh, for sure, man. The job of the media should be to take all that news-feed and forum swill and show us the true light ... or, as our zillion-part series continues to prove, just go with whatever headlines they think will get the most rage and/or boner clicks.
Here are a few recent examples that might have fooled your friends (but not you, because you've read, like, 20 of these by now and know better):
#4. North Korea Didn't Trick Their Citizens Into Thinking They Were in the World Cup
North Korea has risen in the ranks of egregious lunacy so much that visiting it was Dennis Rodman's rock bottom moment -- which is saying a whole lot. Thanks to this, the country has also become the Swiss Army Knife of irresponsible journalism, with pretty much any and all stories coming out of it appearing believable. Like this one:
Presumably, Rodman was team captain.
It's hard to be a militant organization without looking like the bad guy. Image is more important than ever, particularly when anything you say or do can be beamed across the world in an instant on Twitter and Facebook. Consequently, once-terrifying groups are deliberately taking steps to cultivate a more Internet-friendly image, which is why we're seeing neo-Nazis doing the Harlem Shake on YouTube and the Chinese secret police making recruitment posters of their officers spin-kicking their way through explosions.
#4. The Russian Troops Who Invaded Crimea Take Happy Pictures With Anyone Who Wants It
2014 has been an interesting year for Russia and its neighbors. Winter Olympics fever took Eastern Europe by storm -- that is, all of the parts of Eastern Europe that weren't totally screwed by it -- and as soon as those two weeks of pretending to care about obscure athletic competitions tenuously connected to cold weather dried up, Russia went and invaded Crimea while simultaneously denying they were doing so, because global politics is occasionally a cartoon show.
However, not everyone in Crimea totally hates their Russian invaders, because not all of Crimea was completely down with becoming part of the European Union (which was theoretically on the table before the previous Ukrainian president suddenly changed his mind and was booted out of office for his trouble). The invading troops extended an olive branch to these pro-Russian citizens the only way the 21st century knows how -- by posing for adorable selfies.
Moments before Granny's hand got uncomfortably lower.