I clicked and clooked around on the Internet just now, saw some blogs, blogrolls, Mastodon instances, and then more blogs, and some embedded social media stuff (from the "main socials") within those blogs. Well, screenshots of things from socials, as any type of embedded content won't display for me, because I have no accounts on social media.
And a couple quips, and jokes I saw therein were funny - people CAN be funny on social media, just on the rare few moments when they "recover" from a rage storm of...day to day use. LOL!
And then I started to think about social media (NOT going back to it, of course), and how in some ways, it hinders ambition. Or sort of "categorizes" and in the worst way "labels" people - no matter who they are or what they are about. And so (sometimes) people do/say things to "get seen" or to "build a (fake) brand" - for the sake OF doing so. That's what I refer to when I title this post "antithesis of authenticity". But also, the "perversion of popularity" reference is more or less due to the machinations and algorithmic formulae TO "be"/"get" popular, noticed, relevant, seen, followed, etc. It's lacks complete organic structure, and the "puppeteers above" more or less decide the winners and losers - albeit not usually human-controlled decision makers - mostly, or doubtfully.
When some, me, many others, see this "system" of labeled king/queen-making, it pulls the "juice" out of any fun or interest in nearly any online activity. If one wanted to "DO" things online, make a name for themselves (not just be a "Liked" Internet celebrity, or someone who fancies having their ring kissed daily), but to put out a significant message, or to express different types (perhaps even ALL NEW types) of digital content - it generally tends to be a complete lost cause, because they'd have to compromise to no end in order to generate a critical mass to BE noticed, seen, or have attention paid to.
So many things are possible with the Internet - SO many things. But organically generating an interest in nearly anything (aka OFF social media) is a complete and total non-starter, and that's sick.