Are We In A Post-Social Media World?

Are We In A Post-Social Media World?

I was lucky enough to get to talk with Georgia Sparling of Thee Quaker Podcast a little while back about social media and some of the things I’ve wrestled with as a Quaker theologian, educator, parent, and person who has been actively online for 20+ years.

That episode published today and I wanted to share it here for those of you who might be interested. In the interview, I talk about some of my own journey around social media and getting off of Facebook. I also talked some about what is going on now with the network formerly known as X, and some of the things we’re discussing in my class called, “The Practice of Silence.”

Since the interview, I’ve deleted Instagram from my phone (I still have an account but it’s amazing how little I even think of IG with it not being on my phone) as another step. I have found that the advertising algorithim of IG to be extremely agreesive to the point that I could scroll for 10 minutes and never see any of my friends on the timeline. I got tired of the ads and IG thinking it knew what best I wanted to see from my timeline so I took it off my phone. We’ll see where that goes.

More and more I am convinced that Social Media, as we knew it in the Web 2.0 days, is over. And in this post-Social Media world we now have Interactive Advertising Platforms. All of these big company networks are advertising platforms where we tell them what we like and don’t like and then it spits out things for us to consume. Capturing and holding our attention, because our attention is the root of this new economy, is the only concern these algorithms, and the people and companies who design them, now have. I think we need renewed, and different, conversations around what it means to be so active on these habit-forming platforms today. Saying this starts to make me feel like I’m getting a little grumpy, but I’m seeing the effects of these networks and apps in my children and in my students and it concerns me.

You can listen here: