A Better Internet Is Waiting for Us

“Social media is broken. It has poisoned the way we communicate with each other and undermined the democratic process. Many of us just want to get away from it, but we can’t imagine a world without it. Though we talk about reforming and regulating it, “fixing” it, those of us who grew up on the internet know there’s no such thing as a social network that lasts forever. Facebook and Twitter are slowly imploding. And before they’re finally dead, we need to think about what the future will be like after social media so we can prepare for what comes next.”

“The legacy of social media will be a world thirsty for new kinds of public experiences. To rebuild the public sphere, we’ll need to use what we’ve learned from billion-dollar social experiments like Facebook, and marginalized communities like Black Twitter. We’ll have to carve out genuinely private spaces too, curated by people we know and trust. Perhaps the one part of Facebook we’ll want to hold on to in this future will be the indispensable phrase in its drop-down menu to describe relationships: “It’s complicated.””

“Public life has been irrevocably changed by social media; now it’s time for something else. We need to stop handing off responsibility for maintaining public space to corporations and algorithms — and give it back to human beings. We may need to slow down, but we’ve created democracies out of chaos before. We can do it again.”



I loved this article so much, I read it twice. I also posted it on Readup and it’s trending to #1!

Thanks so much @richard1

From the article:

There isn’t a decent real-world analogue for social media, and that makes it difficult for users to understand where public information is coming from, and where their personal information is going.

The “real world” analogue is the science fiction world we began to imagine several decades ago. A vast majority of people are getting a vast majority of their information about the world through channels (TV and social media) that are incentivized to addict their users so they can show more ads and make more money. Most people aren’t going “above and beyond” to draw their own conclusions and create their own opinions from scratch. It’s easier to be told what to think. The platforms themselves aren’t “hackable,” but the thoughts and ideas of the general public are for sale. It’s not a hack. It’s a business model. It’s the machine working exactly the way it’s meant to. Everyone is targetable. Everyone has a weakness.

We are stronger than this stuff. People just need to wake up. Pronto.

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