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  • Writer's pictureGavin Kelly

The Reach

Welcome to today's episode of

"What Grinds My Gears"

Isn't it delightful how the selection process for conventions and events has evolved into a popularity contest on social media? Gone are the days when merit and genuine contributions mattered; now, it's all about who can garner the most likes and followers. Clearly, your number of followers on TikTok is a flawless measure of your worthiness to grace the hallowed halls of a convention, right? Who needs expertise, knowledge, or talent when you can flash a shiny follower count and suddenly become the belle of the convention ball? Forget about those pesky innovators and pioneers who've dedicated their lives to advancing their field. Who needs 'em when you can have influencers who excel at lip-syncing to the latest trend?

Oh, and let's not overlook the sheer brilliance of reducing an individual's worth to a mere number. Forget about their groundbreaking research, their groundbreaking inventions, or their groundbreaking ideas. Nope, in this brave new world, it's all about metrics, baby! A person's value can be perfectly encapsulated by a numerical value on a social media profile. And why bother with authenticity or substance when you can have influencers who are experts at peddling sponsored content? Who cares about genuine passion or dedication when you can have someone great at making sponsored posts look like genuine recommendations? So, let's raise a toast to this brave new world of superficiality and social media stardom! Because who needs substance when you can have style, right? Who needs expertise when you can have followers? And who needs integrity when you can have influencer endorsements? Oh, the joy of attending a convention where the most pressing question isn't, "What groundbreaking research are you presenting?" but rather, "How many followers do you have?" The number of hearts and thumbs up you've amassed is the ultimate measure of intellectual prowess and contribution to the field. And let's not forget the unparalleled thrill of rubbing elbows with influencers who specialize in selling teeth-whitening strips and detox teas. Who cares about substantive discussions and meaningful connections when you can network with individuals whose primary skill is convincing people to buy stuff they don't need? Oh, and the cherry on top of this glittery, superficial cake? The satisfaction of knowing that hardworking, deserving individuals are being overlooked in favor of those who excel at crafting the perfect selfie. Because, really, why reward talent and dedication when you can reward sheer popularity? So, here's to the brave new world of conventions where substance is out and superficiality is in! Let's raise our selfie sticks high and celebrate the triumph of social media influence over genuine merit. After all, who needs expertise when you can have followers, right? Cheers to the era of the Insta-convention, where the only thing that truly matters is how good you look in your Instagram feed.

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