The State of SCP Number-Go-Up Brain Rot
OPINION/ANALYSIS — The Good, The Bad, & the Ugly
“Blessed are they who are not held by possessions, for they shall be free.”
— The Sermon on the Mount
The recent outage of WikiDot made people confront their sleeping addictions. While some took the time to reflect on the relative unimportance of the object of their dependency, and celebrated participation in other parts of life, others experienced withdrawals, and re-upped on their fix immediately when WikiDot returned.
In honor of the forced sobriety check, we assess the current state of the SCP Wiki’s culture of enabling addiction —the site is notoriously toxic for its attraction of and selection for writers writing for wrong reasons. While no one writes just for the sheer process of it, the SCP is the excessive end of the spectrum, filled with the sort who write in order to get more Twitter followers.
The following are choice selections from Twitter demonstrating the current state of the culture of rating worship and upvote brain rot at the SCP Wiki. The rot itself is originative & endemic to places like Twitter, as well as other social media platforms designed for this same effect. As I’ve said many times before, a writing site is the last place it should be.
On the whole, SCP authors are thankfully more aware of the issue now than they were in years prior. Blatant braggadocio that casts numerical metrics as stand-ins for self-esteem, writing ability, and enviability are at least prefaced by the awareness of it as a fool’s equivocation. The existence of a section here dedicated to awareness & on-point discussion of its metastisis (“The Good”) is ample reason to declare a victory. This section arguably would not be here in, call it, 2018. Dare I say, the caution displayed for the now-obvious pitfalls of upvote brain rot has become somewhat fashionable. DrGears’ accurate 2021 diagnosis of the Wiki’s issues as stemming predominantly from ego and the rating module — these two things having more in common than not — certainly helped, if but quietly; as if the space didn’t want to recognize itself in the accusations and Homer-Simpson’d their way into the hedges.
Still, figures who occasionally speak out against the moon-boy upvote culture and its outsized role in the definition of the term “quality” can’t seem to help themselves either, like a bad habit that’s hard to kick. They will just as soon boast or e-beg (“The Bad”), make light of it, exponent its sequelae, or push upvote worship upon others for them (“The Ugly”) as they will claim to be cognizant of or repellent to it.
So, do not take any one statement here as definitive of a given individual’s stance on the complex issue of social media dopamine snares — in either direction. Many people here have at times something like the opposite to say, and as contradictory as this appears, the deeper truth is that we are all humans who on some basal level can’t help but be swayed by the materialism of article upvotes and Twitter likes, but who are trying their hardest and most admirable to be something more; something higher, something better. Something more akin to a writing project than an excuse for social media railways. Some more successfully than others.
This collection is in no way exhaustible, merely representative. You can almost throw a dart at SCP Twitter and find more of these.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures that corrupt or that thieves may steal away. Lay up rather treasure which shall not corrupt nor be stolen. For where your treasure is, your heart is also.”
“Others love themselves in your nearness. I love you in your self. Others see a beauty in you that shall fade away sooner than their own years. But I see in you a beauty that shall not fade away.”
“And give not that which is holy to dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine… Let ignorance reproduce itself until it is weary of its own offspring.”
Shout out to the thinkers who have consistently pushed down on this perpetually boiling stew of self-congratulations and outsourced self-worth,these ego shops set up all over a small, humble, yet meaningful and powerful temple.
A resource for everyone else: https://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/pages/tip-social-media-obsession.aspx
All quotes are from Kahlil Gibran’s “Jesus Son of Man”.