Being fed content instead of having to work towards discovering great content is one of my greatest pet peeves. I remember when social media feeds loaded in chronological order ensuring you had control of the way you consumed information. Nowadays, an algorithm chooses what you might be interested in at a particular moment. Sure, the algorithm might find a way to entertain you more quickly, but it makes you a passive and a dumbed-down content consumer. It takes away your control and the fun of a good hunt, let alone all the disinformation drama going on in the world right now.
Here’s why I have a love-hate relationship with social media:
1. The social media honeymoon
For all its cons, social media has, in some ways, changed our lives for the better. It has democratized the internet. Anyone can open an account on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, and share their thoughts and points of view. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or just a college student getting by; you have access to a platform free of charge and can take part in the global community that is the internet.
2. The end of the honeymoon
Sure, you’re now online, but you are now competing for attention if you want other people to hear what you have to say. The worst thing for me isn’t competing against my fellow creators; the worst thing is competing against the algorithm. A vast industry has surged in the last couple of years thanks to things like these. There are hundreds if not thousands of people and companies promising to teach you how to trick the system and be picked up by the algorithm.
Let me save you some money and time. It all comes back to creating content that fits the narrative instead of creating content that is true to yourself. At least that’s what I feel and why I dislike it so much. Creating content while trying to trick the algorithm felt disingenuine. It felt like I was doing it for the likes and the fame, and the personality culture. And as an introvert and a quiet fellow, I hated that feeling of putting on a mask and pretending to be this extroverted look at me kind of guy.
I express myself better in writing, and writing feels like it has no place in modern social media. Try writing 1 paragraph on Facebook, and it’ll be shown in a small font and be hidden behind a “read more” button. Do the same thing with one sentence, and it’ll be displayed in a larger font and in bold. It’s the “Quick! Look at me and don’t think” culture, instead of the pause and reflect kind of moment.
3. Should I get a divorce?
Now I’m faced with a huge question. Should I swallow my pride and pretend like I’m alright with it, or should I get a divorce and leave it all behind? Will my ideas get picked up by like-minded folks like me if I write them on my blog? Or do I have to play devil’s advocate and use the tools I don’t like as much for people to find my ideas? Does that make me a hypocrite?
This last question keeps me up at night. I’m tired of conforming, but I’m also afraid that the real me doesn’t have a place in the world. After all, it is a world set up for extroverts, and being part of a couple of minorities is exhausting.
As humans, all we want is to fit in and have a place to belong to, but sometimes, belonging for minorities feels like putting up an act and pretending to be someone they’re not. I don’t know; all I want to do is be myself and feel like that’s ok. More importantly, I want to be myself and feel like others appreciate me for the very thing that makes me quirky and unique.
Like always, until next time.