Why do you use social media? What is the reason you turn to your phone first thing in the morning, or before you go to bed? The answer to this may come in all shapes and sizes, but at the end of the day, I feel people are becoming highly irritated with social media. To those of you who have been using social media for a number of years – have you noticed that you spend less time on certain platforms, or know of someone who has gone as far as disabling their account(s)?
For me, and I hope you agree, the original purpose of social media (excluding Whatsapp) was to simply connect with friends & family via images. Nowadays, that barely happens and I wish to share with you why:
The mother social media platforms of them all. A hub that connects billion of users on the daily. A great idea that sparked HUGE interest in the beginning. We used to login and scroll endlessly through amazing photos of what Bob & Joe were up to. But now…well…it is anything but that. You can no longer log on and see what your friends are getting up to.
Facebook, for me, has two uses; (1) useless videos that have been shared and somehow end up on my timeline. Why? Why do I need that on my timeline. Come now. But to those of you who have ‘troopered’ through these videos, the worst part is the fact that they can take so long to load…
The second function, which is actually quite relevant, and probably the sole reason why there is any remaining purpose in typing in your Facebook credentials everyday is because it acts as a lekker birthday and event reminder. “Michael has a birthday today. Wish them the best!” That’s actually quite useful, I shall not lie.
So that is Facebook in a spamshell.
Now Twitter is another platform that is based off of a really powerful idea. If you have never made active use of Twitter, it is actually quite helpful in staying updated with news which is unfolding. They say Twitter is at its most productive level in the first 15 minutes of an event unfolding. Anything after that you can vouch to be spammed with more rubbish than your email junk box.
The instantaneous feed is where Twitter has the edge over other platforms. But nowadays, it is full of introverts who act like Piers Morgan. In other words, users will tweet the walk, but never walk their tweet.
This notion of ‘live tweets’ has recently been tarnished. When I open up the app on my phone, without fail the first tweet that usually pops up is 21 hours old. Not 5 hours ago, not 22 hours ago – but 21 hours. If I wanted to read about yesterday’s news, then I would have bought the newspaper.
So that in itself is somewhat pointless, and users are starting to become irritated by that as well. Nevertheless, we mush on further…
Now this is a platform that was [is] like gold. In fact, it replaced Snapchat for me (a platform we won’t even cover today). There is something highly pleasing in scrolling through well-taken photos. It’s like people take so much pride in the pictures they upload to Instagram (barring a few). Insta’s bravery to outright copy Snapchat’s story idea has snowballed to Whatsapp as well. People are so addicted to the notion of stories, don’t be surprised if there are stories on our car dashboard in the near future.
Personally, there aren’t many bad thoughts to garner about the young Insta. However, the recent phenomenon of “sponsored ads” doesn’t bode well. Since Facebook owns Instagram, I won’t be surprised if Insta turns into a similar spam site. Enjoy seeing your friend’s photos while it lasts because soon you’ll be watching random videos from someone in Kazakhstan that probably lowers your IQ.
What would really be a dagger to the Instagram heart is if links used in the caption/comment section are able to be accessed like a hyperlink.
Although statistics show that the use of social media will grow, ESPECIALLY video related content, they are probably based on business related uses. I mean let us be honest for just a moment as we wrap this up, do you capture as much enjoyment online as you did a few years back? Why is that…For me, it is because the smart individuals at the top altered a winning formula.
For these reasons, I think social media is starting to take a backseat. Don’t get me wrong, people will always be glued to their phone, especially the younger generations. But the trends in its usage are starting to change.
Think about these questions below, and please drop your comments. Agree or disagree with me, just don’t abstain like a lot of South African electorates; it isn’t healthy for a system in progress.
- Why do you use social media?
- What is irritating you about social media?
- What needs to be changed?
- What do you want to see more of?
- Perhaps, what do you find keeps you online?
Follow the discussion further on Twitter.
And, listen to my podcast called “Are millennials pathetic?” on how social media is addictive and damaging.
Thank you for reading.