Is the NFT Community a “Crowdsourced Cult”?
15 Cultic Characteristics of the NFT Enthusiasts Inundating Your Twitter Feed
First, a disclaimer:
This article is not about the benefits — or pitfalls — of blockchain technology. It’s not about whether Web3 is going great or not. (Molly White’s already got that covered.) It’s not even really about cryptocurrencies or NFTs.
This is an article about human behavior.
Specifically, it’s about behavior you might have noticed on your Twitter feed as of late. (I know I have.) Some might consider this behavior annoying, or foolish, or repugnant, or humorous. Personally, I find it fascinating (this from an atheist who devoted a large chunk of his college experience to courses on world religions).
Some more disclaiming: my goal here isn’t to shame anyone for their beliefs, nor is it to persuade anyone that they should leave the online community and/or communities to which they belong. Realistically, even if I wrote the best goddamn article, with the most cogent, logical points, ardent NFT fans would still fail to be persuaded. If you yourself are part of the NFT community, you’ve probably already been turned off by this article’s headline and overall subject matter.
This is to be expected.
As journalist Zoë Heller explains:
The problem with any psychiatric or sociological explanation of belief is that it tends to have a slightly patronizing ring. People understandably grow irritated when told that their most deeply held convictions are their “opium.”
(source: The New Yorker)
And if you don’t think people have “deeply held convictions” about NFTs and Web3, you haven’t been paying attention. This is a fiercely loyal and vocal group of people we’re talking about here. And while that group may not fit the textbook definition of “cult,” it certainly ticks a lot of the boxes (as you’ll see below).