WHAT HAPPENED TO SOCIAL MEDIA?
It’s hard to find things in there natural states. Almost everything we see and consume has been purified, distilled, combined with something else or watered down. Many of my favorite things in life are the absolutes. The first taste of a gin martini. Watching the sun rise in the morning. Hearing a new song. Touching my daughter’s hand. These natural state encounters are sometimes subtle and jarring but never disappointing.
For a while social media was one of these. I remember the first time I went on Twitter seeing unfiltered tweet after tweet. Pure thoughts in a 124 characters. Things like, “I can’t believe the traffic at airports.” Or “Geez my Dad is getting way too old #50isoverthehill.”
I can recall the very first Instagram filter and seeing a photo of the Grand Canyon. I miss the days when I could count how many Likes my rant about my garage door breaking received on Facebook.
Unfortunately these days of pure social media are gone.
Every other Facebook post is an ad for something, instead of filters Instagram is filled with influencers promoting and pushing products secretively, Twitter confounds users with multiple newsfeeds so that you end up seeing only top rated tweets, and now with Snapchat every video or photo is marked by ad driven filters, temperature gauges or bunny masks.
What happened to social media!
If anything, I shouldn’t complain it was the social media marketers that ruined it. Companies like mine convinced brands and small business that the way to reach there target audiences were through these types of so called advances. We showed them tricks to posting, introduced them to advanced photos and showed them the exact times of day to tweet.
Then the social media companies themselves decided to incorporate various add-ons into the social media channels, they optimized and perfected them month after month. Within a few years the natural state of social media was gone replaced with what we have today, a purified, distilled, combined with something else or watered down version.
I’m saddened by it but the beauty of our world is that the natural states of things are constantly being created new again. Just like the other things I love - I see the pure state of social media in the small corners of each channel.
Like the young YouTuber that does an unboxing of a pair of yeezy’s for the first time, fumbling through his words and expressing sheer jubilation in what he just accomplished. Or the grandmother that gets a notification that she has been tagged by her granddaughter in a message that says I love you! on Facebook.
This is social media in its pure state and this is what I love.