top of page

The Rubinshteinic Theory On Contentism -- Why Emotions Can be Weakness

Updated: May 22

A dystopian metropolis ruled with an iron fist by massive media corporations.

Ms. Tamara Moskal's Synopsis

"Contentism" refers to the shift in human relationships from evaluating people to judging them based on the content they create and post online. Content creation and consumption, empowered by AI technology, is one of the most growing-in-demand resources in the market today. Consumers value content but increasingly don't care for the humans who created it. The lack of connection between readers and content creators is profound in philosophy.
Mentioning logical fallacies can minimize human elements, including emotions. In philosophy, emotions are a weakness and can bias perception. The solution to contentism and growing existential solitude is to appreciate humans beyond the content they provide. In extra notes, the author describes the downsides and solutions to the mental harm caused by content creation and navigating through "cancel culture's" sensitivity.

The term I would like to coin, "contentism", refers to the gradual shift in our relationships with other human beings in contemporary times. Today, anyone can be a content creator by simply posting things online. It is through the lens of the content we see on our screens that we judge and evaluate other people. This evaluation exists for two reasons: Some of us may not appreciate other human beings as more than creators, and because we lack better ways to evaluate humans in the digital world.

Even by speaking, you create. Thus, your basic value in human society is significantly measured by whatever content you may be creating out of your mouth and behavior.

Contentism can be seen as a contemporary variant of behaviorism, a philosophy of the mind that claims our mentality only exists in our behavior. This rationale is flawed because our true mentality can be well hidden under the guise of a behavior that indicates otherwise. The same can be argued about contentism, and even more so. After all, it is quite easy to mask and deceive behind a screen than behind your own face.

In this day and age, content is king. Many of us may live for the sake of consuming content. It is, in fact, one of the most growing-in-demand resources in the market today that practically everyone can produce. Social media platforms merely cashed in on the human need to create and consume content, and earned their power and finances in accordance to the outlets they've been providing for their own gain. Their popularity essentially stems from feeding our egos through features of gratification, such as "likes" and "followers", as reward for our presence there.

It is even possible to create content out of consuming it. Reaction videos are such examples. The AI revolution cashed in on that as well, by being able to generate content by demand out of prompts.

The problem with contentism stems from the difficulty of connecting the human, authentic element with the desire to generate and consume content. Your social media followers may follow you not because of who you are as a human being, but because of your content. A social media follower is not necessarily a supporter of you. They are a supporter of what you produce and upload online. Hence why it is not the same as the traditional follower who is loyal to you or supports you. As such, a follower of Jesus Christ is far more loyal than a TikTok follower.

I soon realized that I am basically insignificant without the generation of content. I realized that people will not care about me at all if I did not produce content, or produced that of lower quality. Parents and family may love you for simply being. Anyone else would only appreciate you by your behavior and by what you generate for others to consume.

Because why would strangers care for other strangers? This world is not built on human appreciation but on sets of personalized interests. In the age of contentism, you are defined and valued by your content and not by yourself as a person.

Relevance is relative. Relative to time and to the quality of product. Those who will prove their relevance by both, more than others, will also be valued and appreciated more. All in the name of two: Being liked and giving the people what they want. Those who fail in both, can easily be shoved aside to the corners of society, and live as unproductive outsiders.

The reason why ad hominem is a fallacy justifies the disconnection between the human element and the element of what they produce. People are not going to care for your emotions when they read you or watch you, because you as a being are irrelevant by yourself. They will mostly if not only care for the content, for the product. If your emotions will get in the way, they would either minimize the worth of your feelings or simply find other content creators who are less emotional than you.

This can show how humans can care for each other very little, when what connects between them is the content and nothing more. This is especially true in philosophy because logic can be a very cold, relentless tool, despite how essential it is. It's quite hard to be a good philosopher when you're constantly and impractically offended by reasonable counter-arguements.

Technically, the mentioning of logical fallacies can be used to minimize the human element, and that includes their emotions. The Nirvana fallacy may discard your hopes for a better future. Whataboutism may discard a potential subtext where you are expressing your hurt feelings. Arguments from anecdotal evidence may discard the person's experience entirely only because their experience is insufficient for the argument to be made publicly.

(Note: One of the reasons I've been revamping my articles a lot is to eliminate versions of articles that were purely written from anecdotal experience, which is of course fallacious).

The solution to the contentist approach to human beings is to regard human beings as existing beyond the content they provide, and to appreciate humans in general as such. This can do good for the moral goal to decrease unnecessary suffering in this world, by letting people know that they matter despite of their behavior and what else they express.

Until then, do remember that emotions are a form of weakness, especially in the cold field of philosophy. Your emotions don't matter much when you make an argument because it does not matter what the arguments you make, make you feel.

In addition, emotions can bias your perception to the point of misleading others without intention, by minimizing opposing evidence, or by discarding it altogether. We may live to believe that expressing emotion is something negative, especially as men, unfortuantely.

As such, our love and appreciation from this world may be conditioned by our ability to repress emotion in the name of the task at hand. I wouldn't be surprised if the same is also applicable to women, even if not as much.

To be a better philosopher.... I killed much of my emotions. They were weighting me down, they were in the way. I slowly turned from an emotional being to a cold, calculated thinker who rarely feels emotion. Yes, it is possible to rid of emotions.

In reality, I feel through the senses, not through the "heart". It was necessary to rid of much of it to survive and thrive in this field, as well as to endure the contentist world we all live in. Some may appreciate me as a person, but let's be more honest, okay? Without my writings I would've been just another stranger to many of you.

Would you really care for me, then? Probably not. It's one of the things that nurture a growing age of solitude, even when you are in a physical company. Existential solitude... might as well only be solved if we cared about each other more as people and less as content providers.

And that is the dark side of Bill Gates' quote of "Content is King". Humans are no longer the kings of Earth. Content is. And that is exactly why the A.I content revolution could be a threat to many. That threat is one that isn't only on friends but also on partners.

In the absence of human appreciation, we may only appreciate whatever content we consume and like. Nothing. More. Feel free to admit the truth, even between the halls of your own mind.

Admit the truth, and Hail Philosocom.

Extra notes I: Mental Harm and Its Solutions

Content creation, while capable of growing your recognition, can definitely have some downsides for your mental well-being. Here are some of the common dangers:

  • The Comparison Trap: Social media is full of perfectly curated feeds for our own addictive amusement. It's easy to constantly compare your work to others, leading to feelings of inadequacy and hindering creativity by feeling unworthy in relation. It's solved by working hard on your craft and by setting goals that can be accomplished within your lifetime.

  • Pressure to Perform: Platforms often prioritize content with high engagement, creating pressure to constantly making out ideas and chase trends. This relentless demand can lead to burnout and ruin creative flow. This can be solved by creating your own platform and making it attractive enough for people to not only visit but stay in it. Given the competition, this is no easy feat, and one I'm trying to do with Philosocom.

  • Obsessive Validation Seeking: Likes, comments and follower counts can become addictive, turning into a quest for external validation. Basing self-worth on these metrics can be dangerous and lead to anxiety. Like with body image, however, it is solved psychologically, not statistically.

  • Cyberaggression: Content creators are unfortunately exposed to a lot of negativity online, from rude comments to full-blown harassment. This can be emotionally damaging and affect mental health if we choose to remain highly sensitive and not work on ourselves to become tougher.

In the age of cancel culture, content creation can backfire in a number of ways, potentially leading to social rejection, damaged reputation, and even career predicaments. Here's how:

  • Unearthed Controversial Past Posts: Social media posts from years ago, made with a different perspective or humor, can be found online and be used to paint you in a negative light with the use of rhetoric that takes advantage of people's biased thinking.

  • Misinterpreted Content: By clipping or quoting specific things you said, your words can be taken out of content could be taken out of context and misconstrued, leading to accusations and backlash. It's your job to protect your reputation by properly expalaining all that needs to be explained.

  • Offending a Particular Group: Even if unintentional, your content might offend a certain group of people, triggering outrage and potentially harming your reputation. This can be avoided by avoiding from any kind of discriminatory attitude, based on race, gender and so on. Not doing so can eliminate wide portions of people from reading or listening to what you have to say.

  • Cancel Culture Pile-on: Once the cancel culture snowball starts rolling, it can be difficult to stop. A minor misstep can snowball into a full-blown online attack. You might want to study other content creators and their downfall. Creators like Onision can teach us adults to stay away from minors.

Here are some tips to navigate this tricky landscape:

  • Be mindful of what you post: Consider the potential long-term implications of your content before publishing. Remember that even if you remove a content piece, it might be saved and be used against you. Thinking like a competent villain could help you.

  • Avoid sensitive topics: If unsure about a topic, it's best to not act on petty emotion, and choose a topic with a far less risk of damaging your public persona.

  • Be respectful and inclusive: Avoid stereotypes, generalizations, and humor that could be offensive to specific groups of people.

  • Take responsibility for your content: If something you posted causes offense, apologize sincerely. Fail to apologize that way and you can only make things bad for yourself. A case example is Will Smith's apology, which is considered dishonest by some.

162 views0 comments


Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

bottom of page