Facebook and Twitter enjoyed a strong run.
Mark Zuckerberg was born in Harvard’s dorm rooms. He catalyzed the rise of Twitter on whiteboards back in those early days. The entire idea of early social media companies relied heavily on large social connections.
I will give you one.
A recent family photo I uploaded to Facebook was posted. My professor from many years back made a kind comment, suggesting that I call Linda my Linda now and not just her formal title.
That’s nice, right? That was possible thanks to social media. Twitter and Facebook made it possible. I’m not sure how she would have found the photo otherwise, since she probably doesn’t have my email. For the last decade or more, we’ve all enjoyed a wonderful period of personal connections with friends, family, and acquaintances.
Unfortunately, years before the end, thunderclouds appeared on the horizon, hinting at an impending apocalypse. Facebook allowed companies to access our private information for political purposes. Twitter allowed trolls unabated to infiltrate and it also closed down accounts rather than figuring out how they could be throttled.
Recently, what began as a storm is becoming a major conflagration.
Recent posts I made about the way Twitter seems like it’s a ragdoll, possibly because of some intentional death-wish. Facebook, through parent company Meta is a disaster. Mark Zuckerberg declared that VR was the future for social media, without consulting anyone.
What’s really going on?
For starters, we’re a little bored. Both Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and others know this. These apps don’t do anything new. We post and post and post again, but it’s boring. On Instagram, we’ve seen pictures of someone with their arms outstretched in front of a mountain vista about 5,000 times; the mountain hasn’t changed.
In one world, holding a smartphone in your hands and taking a picture seemed exciting and novel. But not anymore. Zuckerberg realized that the best way to innovate with social media was to change to another medium.
It was almost as if we were sharing the intimate thoughts of celebrities on Twitter.
I’m not sure we really care that much anymore. We are constantly being flooded with digital messages via text and email, as well emerging apps such SnapChat. Perhaps the real question is: Can we not be reminded of celebrities too often? Is it possible to close down digital sites?
The noise of social media has overtaken our daily lives.
What this might mean, finally — after all of this time — is that the powerhouses of social media have simply lost their stronghold (or perhaps, stranglehold).
We are now connecting in so many ways that the idea of using two or three main apps all day doesn’t make as much sense. In some ways, mission accomplished. We’re connecting on digital platforms more than ever. We’re overly connected.
Of course, we’ve been predicting the death of social media since the beginning. This time, it’s closer to an actual extinction event, at least for some of the early innovators. Meta is slowly moving towards destruction. Twitter is currently in self-destruct mode.
Jordan Raynor, productivity expert, advises me to delete Instagram from my smartphone until it is needed again. If I do post, it is very rarely. The writing is on the wall, and it’s loud and clear.
The colossus died.
Social media must evolve.
It is my hope that there will be something new. Facebook and Twitter are the current giants. Be ready to meet the new giants. Are you up for it?