Eric Bishop's Webpage

Thoughts on Social Media 👥

June 18 2024

(Updated: June 22 2024 )

I would like to maintain my whole online presence on this site from now on. I think it may be time to leave social media for the foreseeable future; there is no longer a way to spend time on there and connect with people in a healthy way. I’m concerned about the overall effect it is having on us, and even more so how it is influencing our youth.

In the earlier days of the internet, it was centered around individually owned sites where people created content that mattered to them or was creative, expressive, informative, etc. Even when MySpace came around, it was focused on creating a unique profile for yourself that allowed for some individuality, but it offered a central platform to connect with one another. Things have changed so drastically over the past decade, as social media companies have become increasingly nefarious in how they maximize advertising revenue. These platforms have lost the essence of being a social network. Now, we watch moments of our life slip away while viewing content on social media that is often fabricated, unrealistic, upsetting, wasteful, and insubstantial (it sounds like I just described a lot of the current use cases of AI). Consuming endless content only helps chronically wealthy people build more wealth for themselves through advertising, while online here we internally squabble, argue, and introduce negativity into each other’s lives. Although there are some benefits still to social media (mostly if you can build a profitable brand or following for yourself), the issues outweigh them substantially. I’ve been listening to Kendrick Lamar’s last album often recently, which was partially themed around him distancing himself from the internet & public in order to better himself, and the negative effects of technology & social media (I can’t think of another celebrity talking about this).

Social media is not an authentic place, nor do I feel like we represent our lives authentically on there. Every social media platform has decided to copy TikTok’s content-first approach, and gave up on the “social” aspect of their platform in order to maximize consumption and ad revenue. This has led to Instagram changing entirely. Ironically, even though I feel this way, when I am on Instagram I also fall victim to the advanced social engineering and get sucked into watching reels. It’s not sustainable to be on there.

I never really anticipate having a following here on this website, but I’d rather do something authentic on the internet and limit my exposure to social media “content”. Just like we should be mindful of the food we consume, in order to maintain our physical health, we need to be mindful of what we are consuming on the internet, and the detriment it is having on all of us. I’m sure I’m not alone in my feelings towards the state of social media, but the path to leaving it behind is, more often than not, unclear.

“Many find they life in a phone”

Kendrick Lamar, Count Me Out