People have begun to pull back from social media. But Why? Well, for many reasons that I will tell you about in a moment.
As you probably have noticed Social Media has become all about entertainment and adds. People are constantly being disturbed with notifications and news about all kinds of usually irrelevant activities and things like staged videos that pretend to be from real surprising life situations, fake news and images or notifications of all kind of irrelevant things going on the social media platforms. For each new social media platform, there seem to be even more focus on superficial and “meaningless” entertainment.
They are in control
The social media platforms control to a large extend what we see and are notified about. And it would be fine with me, that is, if it was relevant or helped me. But it rarely does! Why does these platforms want to control what, where and when we see something? Well, the answer simple, it is all about engagement and adds. The customer that pays is the advertiser – and I am sorry to say but you are the product! Did you not know?
I could just say “Good By”
Are you never irritated or frustrated about what, where or when you can see things on social platforms? Is it just me? Take for example stories – they are showed for a specific short time or an image that are showed for a short time on Snapchat. Why would I want that? I do not! I want to decide myself when, where and how long I want to look at a picture or read a story. So, I could just say “Good By” to social media platforms! Well, that is one option that I have already considered. And I can’t blame people that have already done so. But there is another option. We could give social media a makeover and start focusing on users’ needs instead.
Ready to pull back
As I told you in the beginning people are ready to pull back from social media for many reasons and some of the most important reasons are:
- It is addictive and rarely with any gain.
- The application interfaces are more often than not terrible.
- It does not serve the user real needs.
- The craving of attention is destructive to mental health
- The huge amount of time we spend on social media are destructive to both mental health and unity.
- The platforms are using algorithms, bots and agents that seek to divide us and exploit our psychology (as opposed to help and assist you).
- The platforms create the illusion of accomplishment through likes and emojis and gamification.
- By encouraging and rewarding our basic instincts, the platforms promote divisiveness.
- It is trying to keep everyone in a locked-theater where unseen hands control all the exhibits.
- Handling of its user’s data is negligent – e.g. they are selling your data to data brokers.
Something surely went wrong!
Let us stop here – I think you got the message by now. Something surely went wrong with the first generation of social media! Behavioral economics has done much to prove that people are not rational decision makers, which is true – we really are not! We are constantly being tempted by our basic instincts and desires which are exploited by the social media algorithms, and it is almost impossible to rise above the distractions and do more and better with our time and resources.
The reason behind this is, that the platforms we call “Social Media” have been engineered to appeal to our most primitive reward system. Our brains give us little chemical treats, a reward, when we comment, post, and engage with these tools. You could compare them to a slot machine that was built for one purpose: Make the user keep using it.
We need a makeover!
We need to build a social network focused on building in-person social bonds in close one-on-one connections or as part of a wider community of user-initiated groups. We need a social media revolution to bring user needs into the core business of social media platforms – and keep advertiser needs at the periphery where they belong. You should not be the product, you deserve better. You should be you and the platform should help you with being you. Therefore, the next generation of social media must be much more responsible, user-focused and regulated.
Social media must live up to the promise of what social media can and should been from the beginning: A tool to facilitate human connections rather than replacing or exploiting them. We need a better world and there we need to fill a growing need for real and authentic connections. We need to connect people in meaningful and beneficial ways that are human and profound and will allow people to be themselves. Something we all deserve I believe.
In an ever-connected society that relentlessly puts pressure on us to be ‘on’, meaningful friendship is a safe haven that doesn’t judge or pretend or demand but gives true value to your life.
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