There are a few basic ways in which the world operates. It’s in the nature of the world and it doesn’t tolerate anyone straying too far from these givens. One such instance is the fact that for every commodity, there is minority of producers and vast majority of consumers. We all produce different goods and trade or barter them so that every one gets what he wants.
My concern with the social media is the way in which it forces all of us to be producers – of content, of course. The same way that some can’t grow the wheat they eat, they can’t be expected to produce content that they will rather consume. But to remain viable in social media economy, they have to be productive too.
So, how is it possible to have millions of producers of one commodity and maintain quality, or, even rationale? It is not. A lot of us are only recycling. And when it comes to content, recycling is not a great idea.
For example, someone who just retweets and reposts other’s content is having a one way conversation comprising of “I repeat,” “ditto,” “I repeat,” “ditto,” “totally agree” and so on. Come on, you don’t need to be like that. There must be something that you are good at. If not anything, pass on your grandma’s tips about doing the dishes faster and cleaner.
Almost all of us — no matter how unpresentable, stupid, odd, unsocial we are — find someone to fall in love with, get married to and spend a lifetime with. If you can get a person’s exclusive attention for a lifetime, getting a few followers, readers and subscribers should not be that big a challenge.
Social media is what it says it is – a social media. Of course, you can’t just be who you are. None of us are, when we are in the company of others. “Be what you want to be” is inspirational. But “I am what I am” — and I won’t make any effort to improve or make myself more digestible –is misguided and leads straight into the jungle of loneliness. We all learn the art of conversation and communication right from the moment we start blabbering non-sense as a toddler. What is the pride in disregarding what you have worked hard to learn right from your childhood?
Even Lady Gaga, who is born that way, works hard to keep her image intact. She has a team of costume designers, public relation managers and support staff who strive to keep her, well, her. So, stop assuming that whatever comes to your mind is worth putting on a social media website. You don’t do that when you are talking to another human being, so why will you do that when you are talking to thousands of them?
I am not interested in having my inbox and social media pages filled with your opinion on traffic that you are stuck in, movies that you are watching, friends you are meeting and generally how bored you are in life. The love of your life will show you the door if you talk and on and on like this. I don’t even know you that well. So, please make sense, it’s not that hard.
The reason why I decided to start a blog in 2011, when they are supposed to be in decline, over Facebook or Twitter, is for the freedom that it allows. I am free to write whatever I like assuming that no one is reading it. You are free to take a look whenever you want and have free time and have the inclination and the patience. My posts are not compulsorily delivered to your inbox, I am not social spamming you. If you decide to fall in love with me, you can subscribe to my blog. But that’s voluntary.
You can un-follow and un-friend people on Twitter or Facebook, but that’s an extreme step. Either you are a friend or you are no one to me. Either I follow you or our paths will never cross again. Definitely, blog is a more understanding, mutually respectful and mature relationship.
There are quite a few voices proclaiming the death of the blog. Twitter and Facebook were supposed to make it history whereas Tumblr is touted to be the ultimate long-format blogging killer. But if you have read it till here, you are my biggest argument in favor of blogging done the old way.
In fact, the mighty Facebook is on the decline too. Let me clarify – even if we are all using the word ‘decline’, Facebook is far from it. Rather, it is stabilizing. Sadly, there are only that many internet users in the USA.
Moreover, it is not just about Facebook. It’s high time the inflation driven social media market saw some rationalization, just like blogging did.