“Many a hand has scaled the grand old face of the plateau. Some belong to strangers and some to folks you know…”“Plateau” by The Meat Puppets, Meat Puppets II
Social media has become much more than it was ever meant to be, and to that end – it’s a problem.
What was supposed to be a place where we could check in, check out, and see updates from our family and friends – has become a battleground of opinions where people are talking AT one another instead of TO one another.
Twitter was a shit show from the get go, although Facebook has taken the cake in terms of being the platform for drama, doom, and gloom. But that doesn’t mean that, that ethos hasn’t trickled over to instagram – where people have found ways to argue over pictures. LinkedIn has some flare-ups from time to time, but it’s still the professional platform of choice – and anything else out there is probably full of Busch League brawling just the same.
I won’t get into what we’re actually sharing on these platforms, behind the scenes, because we all agreed to it; one way or another – but yeah, that’s pretty shitty too. The only solace being that the targeted ads remind us of the stuff we want to buy on Amazon.
So, for me – social media has reached its plateau: it can’t get any better, but it will get a whole lot worse. And, I know I am not alone in this proclamation.
Slowly but surely, friends and family we’re logging on less and less. The truly committed were still commenting and liking my posts, but in all reality – a lot of the attention coming my way has been from people in the outer circle; which is fine – but there’s something to say about what to do when the people in your inner-circle aren’t there anymore.
For Facebook, the obvious answer is to branch out and argue with people.
I’m not completely jaded, however. I still enjoy Instagram because I love taking pictures and sharing them. But, even there, the want for likes and follows has been whittled down to an app that lets me edit and post my pictures, in lieu of a picture book that sits on a shelf.
A good friend recently said “Man, you sure post a lot of pictures on social media – but you don’t share anything with me anymore.” And he was right – moments and memories – that we used to trade off as part of our relationship – became public fodder; I lost my balance and social media won.
That hit home.
It made me pivot.
If I had to get personal about it, it may have put the sparkle back into who we are as friends.
What could make this bigger and weirder is that I made a living off of social media and I still work with it, on a professional level, today. But I have been able to catch myself from falling and have compartmentalized how I use social media on a business level so that it doesn’t interfere with my personal life.
Fact is – social media is the strongest tool in marketing and business right now. You can’t succeed in business without it. It’s only when you compare it to your life when you realize that it’s something of a cesspool.
Overall, and I am going to pick on Facebook here for a minute, social media only gives us back what we put into it. Who and what we like and follow are what we see on our pages and streams, ultimately. So we’re partly to blame for sure. But there’s more to it than that. I mean, how much time do we actually spend on FB, IG, TWTR, ETC?
It’s become the new Worldwide Pastime.
We sit there and stare into the glow, scrolling through things we didn’t know we needed to know and engaging in conversations and situations that we could save ourselves a lot of time and stress if we just didn’t.
Who needs action when you got words?“Plateau” by The Meat Puppets, Meat Puppets II
It’s creating a society of passive aggressive people who feel empowered because they can throttle someone in a comment or a post without having to deal directly with them – what’s worse is that it’s replaced traditional news outlets and acts as a conduit for misinformation.
And I was susceptible to it from time to time; lowering my standards and getting down in the weed to argue with perfect strangers for ZERO gain in life. Heck, I still am – even in admitting this.
Like I said, it’s now a battleground…
Okay, so maybe it’s really just Facebook and Twitter! Maybe we can fix Instagram as long as we stick to pictures and hash tags?
Either way, I don’t believe any of it is going to get better. There’s no evolution from here.
It’s stagnant and I am bored.
So are most of you.