Sunday, January 16, 2022

The Social Media Failure

A few things happened over the past year, that created some opportunities for reflection.  I turned 40 which resulted in spending quite a bit of the year reminiscing about "the good old days".  A global pandemic coupled with political wars continued to make mainstream media unbearable to tolerate.  And 'Big Tech' continued censorship shenanigans with "fake news" classifications with some, in a twist of irony, actually becoming real news stories by the end of the year.  Suddenly I found myself missing the core roots of Social Media, and how enjoyable it all was once upon a time...

In the early 90's before the internet as we know it today, I was enjoying my off-hours by dialing into multiple individual BBS (Bulletin Board System) hosts.  Each BBS had its own specialty, set of interests, and games.  As the 90's continued on, and the internet became more widely available later in the decade, we were migrating from Bulletin Board Systems to web hosting services like GeoCities or Angelfire to express ourselves.  Websites were just as unique and creative as their BBS predecessors.  At the same time, the earliest of Social Media sites were being born like MSN Communities and MySpace.  We all had a sense of individuality, and we were making new online friends (most of which we never got the opportunity to meet in person).  AOL messenger and Yahoo Chat rooms provided a venue to learn more about one another and develop relationships.  And then we took a turn that some would argue was the way of the future, while others were adamant it was the wrong way.

Along the way, everything became uniform and we lost our sense of individuality.  The creativeness that once painted the internet, was severely limited if not gone completely.  And as time progressed, we were no longer sharing our interests and collaborating on commonalities, but being divided by media are arguing with one another.  As the roaring 20's once again approached, a difference in opinion became fake news and tech giants began censoring and banning people.  The roots of Social Media had been forgotten, and we destroyed the enjoyment and creativity that once was.

Hence, this is how I found myself here... back to the foundation of what was started 30 years ago.  A website where I could express myself like those good old days.  Something that isn't uniform, or is a standard format that can constantly be built upon and changed.  Something that has the capacity to encompass who I am.  Something that is MINE.  And so here I am, starting right back where I started just looking to recapture some of the early enjoyments of the internet.  No mainstream media news feeds with one feel-good story for every ten apocalyptic stories.  No updated guidelines messages attached to something I post if it should happen to contain keywords.  Just me, what I enjoy, and what I choose share.  And if I'm lucky, maybe I'll meet a few computer nerds that have found themselves in the same position I have... wondering where we all went wrong in the Great Social Experiment.  

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