Having been online since the ’80s, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the various stages of the internet’s growth. The web truly came to life in ’92, but of course, the seismic shift arrived with the advent of Social Media.
I’d like to share my wish list for Social Media (SM). I’m using “X” as an example because I’m not a user of Facebook, Instagram, nor Pinterest anymore. My reasons for not using these platforms, despite signing up almost on day one, could fill three posts!
Here are my Top Three suggestions:
- Anonymous Accounts: The topic of anonymous accounts sparks debates for and against. To me, there should be a subcategory where you can view and respond to anonymous accounts, but they should be clearly separated, just as they separate “For You” and “Following” on some platforms.
- Celebrity Accounts: The top X accounts are predominantly held by celebrities of various sorts. It’s refreshing that Elon Musk holds the #1 spot, but it’s widely known that these celebrity accounts are run by social media teams, essentially functioning as PR outlets. These celebrities rarely engage with your comments; they’re more akin to “Fanzines.” Viewing them through the lens of anonymous accounts might be a more accurate perspective, as these are not genuine individuals but orchestrated personas.
- Echo Chambers: Lately, I’ve noticed that many posts consist of people sharing their beliefs or making statements, which is perfectly acceptable. However, it’s vital to remember that the entire world isn’t on social media. Your list of followers typically comprises people who share your views or admire the same celebrities or sports figures. This isn’t in line with the ethos of the Cluetrain Manifesto, which advocates for the importance of diverse perspectives. I strongly believe in this principle.
Moreover, upon reviewing accounts, it’s evident that those with the most followers, whether celebrities or not, tend to be young, attractive women. This raises questions about the shallowness of social media culture. Statistics back this up: “The average number of likes for female users, including celebrities, influencers, and ordinary users, was 578, compared to 117 for male users.”
Adding to this, in my personal experience, I’ve received an overwhelming number of messages from “Young Hot Girls,” not only on X but also on Instagram. This alone makes Instagram practically unusable for me. I receive dozens of such messages daily, and it’s quite peculiar.
For some intriguing statistics on influencer marketing, you might find this link informative: Digital Marketing Institute – 20 Influencer Marketing Statistics That Will Surprise You.
I also came across a thought-provoking article: BBC Future – How Social Media Affects Body Image. One quote from this article particularly caught my eye: “Take a break and engage in other activities that have nothing to do with appearance and comparing yourself to other people,” she says.
So, what if there was a way to use X Preferences to sort or categorize your feed? Similar to how many online shopping sites allow you to filter products:
- New or Used
- Cost, etc.
This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly would be mine!