Discover more from Sarah's Commonplace Book
The Multiverse of Madness
The Era of Being a Social Media Refugee
Hello Friends in the Computer,
Has the explosion of social media sites left you feeling overwhelmed and confused about where to go?
Blog Rolls, Fametracker, Television Without Pity, LifeJournal, Google Reader, Two message boards - the names of I don't remember - that sprung up for Fametracker users, FriendFeed, Mokum, a few subreddits.....
All online sites where I spent HOURS and a significant part of my day and emotional bandwidth until they collapsed or I left (willingly or unwillingly).
I just realized I forgot MySpace.
I don’t think there will ever be a single short text based social media service that completely captures the zietgeist and allows for multiple cultures to discover each other and interact on somewhat neutral ground like Twitter. And that’s a shame.
(And I don’t think it’s downfall is an accident but I can’t figure out how to talk about that without sounding like someone that encourages you to open your third eye.)
Listen: The Twitter we knew and loved is dead and never coming back. Twitter may in fact be the only thing I was naturally good at and if I can admit it’s dead, you can too. It will probably limp along for a while yet, with lower quality content and more technical snafus. User inertia is a powerful thing, after all. I’m not sure what the tipping point for twitter to fully collapse will be, but it’s on the way. People do and will move on, and will do so shockingly fast once it starts.
Here’s the thing you need to understand: there are online spaces that can't be replicated but no site is irreplaceable.
Institional users - like government, media, brands - will need a safe space to post short written content. We’ve discovered that it’s a good medium for many creative and social needs. Maybe it will be Threads, maybe it will be Bluesky (if they can score an invite), maybe they’ll set up a Mastodon instance (especially if the Threads fedederation comes through), or maybe it will be a contender to be named later.
What to do in the meantime? Experiment. Do a self assessment and figure out what’s important to you in culture and functionality and try to find a service that best meets your needs. Realize that any service run by a commerical entity is in some way going to be problematic for your privacy, human rights, and possibly world peace. Try to be understanding when someone makes a platform choice that you don’t personally agree with, as a lot of people are dependent on social media for their livihoood, activism, community, etc.
And then get ready to do it all over again in a few years when your chosen service(s) fail.
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