Social Not-Working

Some thoughts on the state of social media.

Ugh. A month of heavy usage has left me so tired out of social media that I have deleted the vast majority of my online profiles. Social networking is just not for me. Not the way it is today. A long, long time ago, before the rise of Facebook, socializing on the internet was a lot more fun as I recall. There was MySpace and the like—which, admittedly, were not entirely dissimilar to modern networks—but 20 years ago social media was still a new, promising idea and the big mainstream platforms certainly were not as prevalent as today’s.

There was space (heh) for many small forum communities and blogs to exist on their own terms and talking to strangers from different corners of the world was still a novelty. There was an adventurous sense of excitement about socializing through the computer, people were putting wide-eyed effort into their profiles and interactions with others, the companies responsible for all this were run by a bunch of tech-savvy frat boys dumbfounded by their own success. Fast-forward two decades and all we’re left with is few sanitized advertising machines masquerading as homogeneous social spaces.

This cultural development frankly saddens me as I have many fond memories of socializing on the internet of yore. It is what it is. I can’t change this reality by myself. What I can do, however, is spend my limited time wiser and healthier than hustling for cred on some algorithm’s score board. I’m here to make the best art I can and say something with it. Surely I can get people’s attention if I manage to deliver on the artistic front. Right?

As for social media, I’m not turning my back on it entirely as I do still think there is some merit to it in spite of my personal grievances. There is value in the quickness in which information spreads through these platforms. There is value in the discoverability of individuals you have (hardly) any knowledge of. There is value in the wealth of technological opportunities provided to all sorts of businesses, communities and people.

There are legitimate reasons to stay on social media, which is why I’m still on some platforms and may return to others in the future, but I won’t pretend that I care for it as anything but a tool I begrudgingly use out of necessity. *sigh*