QotD: the end of social media?

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  • QotD: is there still much point to social media?

    I wrote the question during the whole Facebook–Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the more I absorb, the more I’m inclined to believe that social media are coming to an end.
       Adam Curtis, the documentary-maker and journalist, believes social media reflect back what people want to see: they’re essentially mirrors.
       That means they aren’t very useful for showing us a vision of the future.
       They can help people get together and protest, but not telling us what the alternatives are—Curtis cites the failure of the Occupy movement as an example.
       What fills that vacuum could be quite unpleasant.
       When the ’net first emerged, it felt like the future had arrived, and the world opened up to me. We were chatting with like minds, people who were also interested in making the world better.
       I just don’t see that with the large proportion of netizens in 2018.
       Social media aren’t media for exchanging views. They are for posting views, and most aren’t interested in hearing dissent. (Personally, I don’t mind opposing viewpoints, so we can grow, but I think I’m in the minority.) Google and Facebook have filter bubbles, and they seek to divide.
       I’ve been removing Tweetdeck from pinned tabs. I’m considering going off Twitter, because I’m actually finding more value with old-fashioned emails and having dialogues with friends there.
       We need a far more optimistic future than what our political leaders are offering, and it’s time to think about what that looks like.
       The question then is: how do we get word out about this future? I don’t think people want to hear about the new on social media, where the past and present are the currencies.

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