“Social” Media

Social media is entering a new generation. A state where social media sites don’t connect people so much as they do showing off information and most liked content.

Social media sites are no longer an acurate representation of a person but rather of a platform for distributing infromation the site believes is valuable to the user. Yes I use sites such as Facebook to stay in touch with friends on the west coast, in Europe and in China (shh don’t tell the Chinese government), however when I view the Facebook news feed I see more and more about current events, funny links and other information I would like to see (I do actually like most of what Facebook provides because it interests me). But what I don’t get to see is what my friend in China or Turkey or Seatlle is actually doing. Moving away from the news feed, my profile can be accurate representation of who I am as a person to some degree. It shows my interests, my likes, my favorite books and movie…. but it still fails to encompass who I am as a person. I am still just a number in a database with arrays of information. A person (or computer) could read every post, comment and like and still not know who I am as a person. Some times its because I change my personality on the internet, other times its because I’m only provided with information Facebook thinks I want to see.

To build a social media site that actually knows you as a person there would have to be a great deal of privacy. Many users won’t want everyone on the web to know who they are, they don’t even what all their Facebook friends to know everything about them. The site would be so complex that users wouldn’t enjoy using it. For these reasons, althouth it would be possible to build a social media site that knows what you are truly like as a person, there would be no customer demand for such a product. Instead, social media (and technology in general) should be used to connect people together. People. Not people and robots. People to people. Yes the information provided by Facebook is usefull, but that is not social media. There can be other places on the web, even other places on Facebook, to gather that infromation. But a social media site should provide a clean and easy way for users to communicate with each other. The connection between people should be the front of a social media site with recommendations about other infromation separated.

This new generation of social media is drifting away from the fundamentals of what it means to be social media. Instead these sites are creating a separation between people and helping people connect with computers rather than with other people. It is unrealstic for a social media site to reflect who a person is, but they should allow users to interact with other users.

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