Is social media broken?

I’m not sure of the genesis for social media, but I find the current position troubling.

Perhaps it is that everything new smooths out in time, but the message I’ve promulgated for as long as I can recall – to earn attention – is a wasteland.

Indeed, not only is there is a dearth of original content, but there is an unapologetic affront to my senses by dint of everyone peddling their brand of Uberness. To put this in concrete terms, you only have to look at the lack of engagement on Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn to understand the point. Come on. If your content was so remarkable, how come your Tribe haven’t gone wild with excitement – “WOW look at this!”

For many businesses they have a long road to travel before they embrace social media, but I fear that, by the time they have cracked the cultural issues, they will have lost the element of social and defaulted to bugging, buying or begging for attention. In fact, many are there right now. Also, they wouldn’t dream of investing in a creative department, but default to promulgating their previous, anodyne material to a new(ish) medium.

Social media networks do not help. In many ways they are antithetical to whole notion of social. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not against advertising but it isn’t social media. Of course, there is a convergence between paid and earned media but the good stuff seems so heavily promoted that any value is lost.

I hope I’m wrong about social media; but I instinctively feel there is a gap in the market for a proper social media platform where constant self-promotion, selling and offers are banned or at least removed from my line of sight. Perhaps I’m asking too much. However, I wouldn’t need much persuasion to give up some of my platforms and focus on more creative material, even if it meant losing out on the opportunity to (occasionally) syndicate my work.

It may well be that because I’m British I feel particularly squeamish about bugging people all the time. But I don’t think so.

I don’t think it matters a jot where you hail from. If we spend our precious time online then, surely, it isn’t much to expect not to have to wade through the treacle in search of the really good stuff and a bit of honest conversation.


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