With Twitter getting worse and worse every day, I’m trying to look at my relationship with social media. I’ve long been a doom scroller, a sharer, and a curator. While poke wars, top 8, and nascar style share buttons are a thing of my past, they are a part of the history that has shaped the way I look at and think about social media.
Social media is important to me since it provides a connection to those closest but also to those I don’t want to forget about and those I don’t yet know. Growing up in an era where school friend’s moved away in the summer and then coming of age while cell phone numbers changed sometimes every year, having a
They type of connection can be simple. For example, I posted about struggling on the stair master at the gym and someone who I was friend’s with in college replied sympathizing but encouraging me. It didn’t matter that we hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in years, it put a smile on my face to see his message.
I also find social media to be important since it’s a place where the conversation happens. While it’s often the case that social media “The Room Where It Happens”, it is a place where influence takes place. In many cases, my instagram story is seen by more people than a post I make here and never share. The ephemeral content that is gone in 24 hours, get’s more love than a review of a camera lens that has been live for 18 months. I might create for myself, but it is nice when that creation isn’t only for myself.
The democratization of curation likely wasn’t the goal of social media, but in many ways it has been a big benefit. Retweets and shares have given many people. The heavy algorithmic nature of today is changing all this. No longer do I feel like I have much say into what I see.
So I am approaching social media now looking at as a way to connect, a way to participate, and a way to consume. I don’t think there will be a single place that does all that I want. But I have some fairly diverse interests, so maybe the diversification will be how I divide my networks.
The Creator, the participant, the consumer
The Poreto Principle says 80 percent of people creates 20 percent of the content and vis-vir-as. This isn’t necessarily the case though. Creation also happens through the ways we influence algorithms since it influences what we see and what others see as well. A like is a creation. Watching a TikTok on repeat is a creation. Algorithms are creating look-alikes so you scroll just a bit longer and generate another ad view.
In the last week, I’ve joined two more social media networks. I’m skeeting (did I say that correctly?) and threading along with a collection of friends I’ve made over the last 20 years. I don’t think I understand how or why I share what I want (other than preparing for the day I actually get 9/9 on immaculate grid). My goal isn’t to be the biggest influencer, it’s to feel a part of a community even if it’s an ephemeral one. Participating in ephemeral communities can help build communities that last, so perhaps that will happen.
So where will I be on social media? Likely in all of them. Creating bits, consuming pieces, and participating where it feels like I have something to add.