We asked the question, should we remove social networks or improve them?
In this Part 2, I say remove Social Media. But remove is a soft word. Instead, let’s say: eradicate, abolish, and abandon.
No Social Media
I first joined Facebook in 2009 and have been using Social Media ever since. Years of privacy scandals, election tampering, misinformation, and fake news hurt society. Mixing that with funny memes, dad jokes, cat videos, baby pictures, and travel photos is jarring. Doesn’t your mind feel assaulted when scrolling the feed?
Social Media: the pros don’t outweigh the cons.
Despite the good stuff you and I enjoy on Facebook or Twitter, all the bad stuff is too much. The negativity is too negative. And it spreads like a pandemic virus across the globe! Why is negativity so viral? The downsides of Social media are too detrimental to our society.
We should eradicate Social Media from our culture and daily life.
My normal response to Facebook when it gets sour is to disengage.
Then I delete my account!
But since I always return to the platform, I do not plan to #deletefacebook this time.
In the past, I’d hoped that enough people would delete their accounts to cause a mass exodus. The network effect would kick in. If enough people left Facebook, then everyone else would follow along and leave too. It would become a ghost town and get shut down.
The problem is that everyone would end up on another Social Media platform. Then we’d have all the same people and all the same problems.
Back on our soapboxes, discord would be sown again. We’d reap a new harvest of civil unrest. Do people tend to agree-to-disagree on Facebook? Is Twitter a place where we compromise our agendas?
This is why we must abolish or abandon Social Media. We must avoid the degradation of society.
Connecting the world together reveals and exacerbates our differences and facilitates division. We want to moderate other people’s opinions when deemed as bad speech. But we feel we’re muted when our own posts are moderated. It’s decried as censorship, and the ranting escalates.
We’d be better off without the global megaphone of Social Media.
But can we live without Social Media these days? Yes, we can.
Remove Social Media
We can return to the Old Way of digital networking via blogs, emails, and chat apps. You find the utility of Social Media replicated by these and other forms of decentralized or federated communication.
And there are advantages to living without the silos of social networks, like privacy and control of your personal data. On those lines, the IndyWeb movement fundamentally upholds the free and open web.
These old and new forms of social networking also have their pros and cons. But given our current state of Social Media, it’s time you and I understand and consider alternatives. Our very own democracy may be at stake.
Improve Social Media
If Social Media is too entrenched to be expunged, then we must find a New Way to network on the web. We must change how Social Media works.
Can we erase and replace Facebook and Twitter? Are social networks broken beyond repair?
In my next blog post, part 3 of this article, we’ll look at a New Way to do Social Media.