Once there were manifold reasons to use Social Media for me. It was either to get or stay in contact with people (Facebook), get inspired (Instagram) or get the latest news and spend some time browsing the stream (Twitter).

This era of Social Media is gone. Consumerism took over Facebook and Instagram, Elon Musk took over Twitter. Both are devastating for the future of Social Media as it was.

  • Facebook und Instagram haben sich in reine Konsum-Plattformen verwandelt. Wo einst der Austausch im Vordergrund stand, geht es heute um eine Art zeitgemäßes Fernsehen: Unterhaltung und Konsum haben Priorität. (View Highlight)

The Vergecast - The Poster’s Guide to the New Internet

  1. The great platform age dominated by companies like Facebook and Twitter is ending, giving rise to more open and interconnected systems like Mastodon and Blue Sky.

I like my dose of entertainment, though, but I don't get it from Twitter anymore. I don't want to be there under this regime. And honestly, I don't miss anything.

I now consume selected media sources on YouTube (which is not a Social Network by any means) and some stuff through Newsblur, my RSS reader of choice (which has a social component I rarely use), but that's about it.

  • Was bleibt, ist der Verlust. Social-Media-User haben keinen gemeinsamen Ort im Internet mehr, an dem es sich lohnt, sich einzubringen. Passives Scrollen, Swipe, Swipe, Push, Push, läuft. Aber die Idee, sich öffentlich auszutauschen, ist gestorben. Bei Facebook und Instagram aus kommerziellen, bei Twitter aus politischen Motiven. Bei TikTok vermutlich aus beidem. (View Highlight)

Nowadays Social Media 'alternatives' for me are Discord, Slack and Mastodon - all focused small players in their own niches which foster existing echo chambers. On one side you can better select your interests here and keep everything else out - but isn't that one point of Social Media in the first place, to stumble over things you wouldn't normally see and that pique your interest?

When I'm now on my boardgame Discord server of choice, all discussions are around boardgames (and sports, on the special channel). I don't have any medium anymore that gives me a broader input. Mastodon tries, but right now this is an echo chamber of its own.

The IndieWeb movement tries to be a solution for this, but I'm not sure this is yet another echo chamber with nerds talking about nerd stuff. Onboarding here is still too complicated, and even services like pumicro.blog which cater for the masses don't have that widespread appeal yet. For now let's hope that spreading these ideas through outlets like The Verge is going to help bring this idea any further.