... This has led to the posting of much drivel, which is inevitably "liked" by hordes of sycophants. Do I jump on the bandwagon and start posting irrelevant updates? Or just keep my head down, keep selling as much as I can and hope the fascination of pointless posts goes away?
Read what Lucy Kellaway, "agony-aunt" of the Financial Times (London), answered: One of the drawbacks of being a wage slave is that you get told to do stupid things. Sometimes you have to do as you’re told; other times it’s safe to disobey – it all depends on who is doing the telling and whether anyone is watching.
In this case it sounds as if the order comes from on high, and as if you are being watched like a hawk. This leaves you no choice but to Chatter.
I feel sympathetic to your aversion, being a huge fan of chatter (small C) when it involves actual people talking voluntarily and in person, and no fan at all when it is Chatter, a compulsory, virtual, highly political, broadcast noise of no particular interest to anyone. However, whether we like it or not, social networks have arrived in offices. You say you think you can get your head down and wait for the fad to go away, but I don't think this one is going anywhere. It will change, and will probably get better, but it won't vanish.
But just as Twitter has evolved from a dreary place in which people expected the world to be interested in what they had for breakfast into an occasionally useful signposting service for things of interest on the web, Chatter will surely evolve too.
For now, you ought to adopt a holding position. Engage in a "Chat" whenever you read anything of any interest and then briefly draw your colleagues' attention to it. Write single sentences about anything of note that happens at work. Don't spend any time agonising over it; especially don't waste time trying to be funny. It's not worth it. You should also do some "liking" of some of the less moronic things posted by other people. Of course this is grim, but it's no grimmer than any of the other sucking up that has always been a part of office life. At least it's quick, and it's not undignified as everyone else will have worked out which way the wind is blowing and will be doing exactly the same.
Aus: The Financial Times, London. www.ft.com