The era of social media is on the wane | by Joe Duncan | January 2024

Technique | Opinion

What can we learn from the rise and fall of social media?

A picture from Roman Martyniuk we Unsplash

Social networks are experiencing a long-term decline. It’s almost imperceptible, but we all feel it. Every year we feel different, even if we can’t point to anything tangible as the cause, we feel like things are friends.

Don’t take my word for it. Corporate consultancy Gartner predict that a significant number of people will reduce the time they spend on social media by 50% over the next year. Ian Bogost he declared “The age of social media is ending” in Atlantic.

Writing for Forbes, Peter Suciu predict 2024 will be the year when artificial intelligence merges with the social experience. I’m skeptical. Who wants robots in their social space? still Peter he admitted that “2024 could also be the year that users firmly push back and further challenge platforms to address these issues of privacy and addiction.”

Monumental shifts are developing, as social media companies restrict free networking and limit traffic to off-platform sites. Thanks to these shifts, memes spewing misinformation have replaced links to legitimate news sites in our feeds. Social media is like reading just trash comments section – not the article.

Feeds are cluttered with ads and recommended content that most users didn’t ask for. With each passing day, we perceive the experience of social networks degradationtrudging along the slow path to obsolescence.

Part of the looming decline is due to the rise of AI-generated content. Research by Gartner found that seven out of ten people expect the proliferation of artificial intelligence content that will degrade the social networking experience. I am troubled about it myself.

But part of it goes deeper than that – our collective burn out. Social media is invasive, overwhelming, and a problem for many people. Researchers have described “System function overload, information overload, and social overload cause user burnout, which in turn leads to users dropping out of social media.”

Culture is changing. The shop is changing. Internet not a fun place it used to be. We no longer accept it without a doubt…

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