Post photo: Social Media | © Shutterstock
After all these years, it's really hard for me to see anything positive about social media. And the current discussion about Twitter or the fence-broken religious war with the supposed competitor Mastodon clearly show the real problem of social media.
For professional reasons and because one of my very good acquaintances was at least one of the inventors of the so-called social media, it was inevitable that I would deal with it right from the start and also try to use new offers that were brought up for myself again and again.
But I also immediately came across the core problem of social media and tried to solve it very pragmatically, namely by creating my own social media product (most recently under the domain worldcitizenship.com) before Facebook and Co. and thus also ensuring it that I am still the master of my own content. However, this obviously did not solve this core problem for the other users and so my start-up got stuck very early on in its infancy — and, very surprisingly for me, was very soon overtaken by the now well-known social media.
This was so surprising for me because the other providers had the same problem and didn't solve it either. And also brought two other unsightly things into play, namely trading in personal data and the obtrusive import of advertising.
And so I can only assume that the founders of these social media channels managed to distract people from this core problem or even sell it to them as an advantage. But one thing is certain, and I've been able to observe this over the years, that the success of all social media depends on first being able to generate a critical mass of users and then making everyone believe that there are more and more new users. As soon as a product threatens to fall below this critical mass again, the end of this product is sealed - there are numerous examples of this.
And so it is the great art of social media to convince users that “the others are doing it too” and as soon as “the others are doing it too” most people don’t give a damn about what they’re doing, and don’t care either there are numerous very bad examples here, even in real life, as pogroms prove time and time again.
Meanwhile, another problem arises, namely that idealists or even philanthropists cannot run a network that connects billions of people. Volunteers would be overwhelmed with this alone (see e.g. Wikipedia) and thousands of employees simply want to be paid. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the vast majority of social media users are too stingy to even pay for this service; this starts with the e-mail providers and recently led to really bizarre discussions on Twitter.
This leaves the operators of these networks with no choice but to earn money through advertising or trading in personal data. And those who are hesitant to do so will make losses (Twitter). If you really want to earn money (Facebook), you have to descend into the human abyss — because social media users force you to do it!
I see three possible solutions here. Let's start with the absurd solution, which is interestingly also propagated by "democratic" professional politicians. The state social medium, in a somewhat less severe form the ÖRR social medium, which then does not want to make money with us humans, but wants to control or even dominate us humans! The really funniest thing about this solution would be that, whether we like it or not, it would really take the money out of our pockets.
The second solution would be for the state to set a minimum amount for the use of social media, which all providers must demand from the users of their social media products. Because we citizens are simply no longer able to recognize that services and products cost money (our newspapers can sing a song about it!). And since the social media would thus have a financial basis, trading in personal data must be expressly prohibited. The respective social media then continue to compete for users and the more successful ones can generate additional income, e.g. B. through advertising or paid add-ons. The charm of this is that it is still up to the user to decide which product to use, and "bad" products, like mine, also disappear from the market.
The third way, which is now better known under the term Fediverse, makes the user the owner of his data when he is not posting on Mastodon, and makes the Internet what it was from the start , namely a federal network. And such smaller structures are more likely to be run by volunteers who don't necessarily have to make a living from them. Since the whole thing is getting a bit more complicated, maybe even more strenuous, most of us probably don't take it with us. Worse, the lemmings among us lose track of who to chase these days and freak out when these switches happen too often.
And so, sooner or later, at least these three solutions will exist side by side, but this does not solve the basic problem, namely how do I remain in control of my own data?
I am therefore writing here on my weblog and am willing to link this weblog to other weblogs and websites. I also continue to use social media and have started to collect my products there and I also strive to record my statements there in my own slip of paper for later use, because if you just post on social media like that, you can also talk to the wall right away.
As some must now know, their Twitter fame ended with Twitter, and before they ever ended themselves. Jules Vernes or Nicholas Luhmanns note boxes are still alive today.
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