Social media, we need to talk
Dear social media,
I’m afraid our relationship is almost through. In the beginning, things were so great between us! You showed me pictures of my friends, GIFs of dogs and cats playing together, and constantly updated streams of celebrity news (hashtag: overload). And it was all fun and games for a while.
But then it wasn’t. What started out as a fun way for me to waste time started to take up too much of my precious time. You saw the dollar signs from brands (of which I help represent) and you made changing Newsfeed algorithms more complicated than quantum physics. Maybe you thought it was empowering to have the upper hand? But then you went and made the content less engaging, rather than more fun.
And brands, with their best intentions to try and truly connect with their customers through your 24/7 free platforms, got caught up in your interwebs, vying for “likes” and “RTs.”
Sure, they claimed to only care about the engagement rates, but behind closed doors, it was always about the number of people who liked them. Even if those people weren’t, in fact, real people. It didn’t matter. Sadly, it was – and always will be – about who has the biggest number on the page. We’ve tried to tell them otherwise. But your allure was too great for them to resist.
Social media, I’m afraid you’ve become a monster out of control. To quote Uncle Ben from Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I’m not sure you know what to do with all of the power you’ve collected. In the wrong hands, you could really enable some serious damage.
So while I still see value in some of your parts, as a whole, you’ve overwhelmed me. There’s too many channels, too much noise, too many bright, shiny objects for me to keep up the chase.
I know you’re here to stay, social media, and that’s why I want to stay friends. I still want to know what’s going on with you – but I think I’m ready for some distance from your prying eyes (and data collectors). I’m sure I’ll come back to you soon, in some capacity. But for now, I’m going to sign off, sign out, get offline.
Good luck to you, social media. I hope you use your power for good, and not evil. I hope you help facilitate more important conversations, and less spam. I hope you help keep people better connected in a positive way, and don’t become the giant commercial mess I fear you’re becoming.
Let’s see where the road takes us, social media. Until then, we’re on a break.