Facebook treats us as the products, not the user. Tumblr, now that it is banning adult content, is seeing a mass exodus from its platform as those users look for refuge elsewhere. Instagram is predominantly a mixture of LinkedIn for influencers and Amazon storefronts with branded content sprinkled in here and there and every 4th post. I just bought the damn thing! What makes you think I’m going to buy the same thing two hours later?
Clearly, we are tired of the way these platforms behave. We don’t trust they have our best interests at heart and their methods of engagement have heightened hate speech, depression and addiction.
The social network can’t be trusted.
So why not build a new one?
With all the trouble these platforms are facing, most notably Facecrook™, there hasn’t been a more opportune time to build and deploy a “Facebook killer” into the general population.
Here are a few changes that could help the next generation of social apps, and its users, live harmoniously:
Paid subscription. These platforms have to make money. If you’re not giving it to them, someone else is and that tends to be advertisers and other nefarious groups looking to manipulate the platform. This is true for other media companies, which Facebook claims it’s not (it is). You get what you pay for.
Secure data. Under no circumstance should these platforms be pimping us out to organizations we’ve never heard of to serve us ads we never asked for. Except, of course, when we clicked “Agree” on the Terms of Service we never read…
Customer service. If you have ever had an issue with a social network, you know that there is a 99.99% chance they do not respond to your customer request except for the automated “Thanks for submitting your feedback” message. On the flip side, if they have a problem with YOUR behavior, no matter how ridiculous their claims are that your photo is against their terms of service, you can be sure your account can and will be suspended and/or deleted without meaningful explanation.
Is it best that we just give up on social media, full stop? There is a case to be made that trying to communicate across digital platforms is desensitizing us all to what it means to be human. Things like empathy and sarcasm and nearly impossible to understand through text or tweet (use more emojis).
Do we really need to be this connected all the time? Bring back the AIM group chats and the snarky away messages!
Where do you see social media landing in five years? What changes do you want to see in social media? Let’s talk about it in the comments below or on, oh, what the hell, one of the social media apps like Twitter or Instagram, or better yet, Patreon, where you can support this great content.