When social media replaced social networks around 2009, we became broadcasters instead of connecting with each other

Date created: 2023-03-10

The author argues that this era is coming to an end now with TikTok since When social media platforms emphasized news feeds instead of interactions between users, they lost value from network effects and When social media giants like Facebook and Twitter prioritize algorithmic feeds for distraction, they compete with all other forms of distraction.

There’s no longer added value of amassing followers rather than just pushing viral content all the time.

That changed when social networking became social media around 2009, between the introduction of the smartphone and the launch of Instagram. Instead of connection—forging latent ties to people and organizations we would mostly ignore—social media offered platforms through which people could publish content as widely as possible, well beyond their networks of immediate contacts. Social media turned you, me, and everyone into broadcasters (if aspirational ones). The results have been disastrous but also highly pleasurable, not to mention massively profitable—a catastrophic combination.