Social Media: As much as you want it to be

Ian Vanagas (again)!

Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok show us the most engaging content, which keeps us scrolling endlessly. It also makes us forget our purpose for being there. Is the point of our time on these platforms really to look at content (and ads) from random accounts? We forget that the original purpose for users of social media was “to be social.” As an individual, you can take this purpose back.

This is done by leaving the platform completely.

I briefly interacted with a clinician who left Twitter for good. I haven’t followed up with him, but it was a refreshing insight into the fact that he realised the limitations of medium for “medical discussions”. Platform constraints aside, Twitter is an advertising platform and a medium for broadcasting your mundane life. It doesn’t matter who finds it attractive but the “digital currency” has no worth or form in real life. The intertwining of real versus virtual has distanced users from real-life issues that lead to mental anguish and health crisis we see today. Everyone is aware of the inequities in healthcare, for example. Why harp and persist on similar lines each day?

The author has a practical suggestion:

If you’re acting like an engagement tool of social media, developing modern friends requires change. Once you escape the engagement trap, opportunities to connect open up to you. Instead of liking someone’s content, you can message them. Instead of waiting for someone’s opinion, you can ask them. Instead of approving content with a like, you can tell them why you approve. Social media becomes a way to create connections with people rather than consume content.

I still hold- its better to create a close knit community around specific ideas and escape the algorithmic mess. It is for a specific reason why I have automated my Twitter stream completely.