The Death of Social Media

Get ready, it’s gonna be amazing…

Social media is demonstrably the worst thing ever to be introduced to human beings. (#2 is Mrs Browns Boys, but I digress…)

So recent goings on have pointed to the decline and eventual death of social media, and surely now our species will be unchained from this burden.

Welcome to the death of social media.

Facebook

Lets start with the worst, the most vacuous, shit-kicking online presence since Donald Trumps Twitter:

Facebook.

The predictable decline of Facebook, a platform which started out as a way for rich, privileged Harvard incels to rate women, is delicious.

Facebook is UTTERLY dreadful. It’s an accelerator of every piece of fake news, every conspiracy theory, every shitty counter culture opinion, agitprop and pernicious dogma.

It’s how we got Brexit, Trump and Covid denial.

It's also the largest perpetuator of Holocaust denial, a huge aggravator of the causes of teen suicide and a nasty ally of eating disorders. It’s horrible.

Imagine a website where 2 billion people have access to both a peer-reviewed, tenured PhD professor, but also ‘Dave down the pub’.

Welcome to the Dunning–Kruger effect. Put simply:

‘The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias whereby people with low ability, expertise, or experience regarding a certain type of task or area of knowledge tend to overestimate their ability or knowledge. Some researchers also include in their definition the opposite effect for high performers: their tendency to underestimate their skills.’

Dave is now getting thousands of likes on a post that links Vaccines to Autism/Cancer/Impotence. He’s also a bit cautious of them Chemtrails.

The humble and immaculately credentialed scientist dispatches both of those canards with graceful eloquence. Ah thank goodness for some cerebral sense, right?

Wrong.

Guess whose views get the traction, the clout, and ultimately, the trust of the lower proletariat? Dave from fucking Facebook.

Studies show that false news spreads more rapidly on social networks than real news does — and by a substantial margin.

“We found that falsehood diffuses significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth, in all categories of information, and in many cases by an order of magnitude,” says Sinan Aral, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and co-author of a new paper detailing the findings.

Age plays a part too. The main issue is that young people don’t want to be on the same platform as the parents and grandparents. They want to be on TikTok. So the FB demographic is much older, and the older a human gets, the more conservative their beliefs are

In the last few days, Facebook owner Meta just fired 13% of their staff, their stock price tanked by 74% and Zuckerberg has lost $100 billion.

All you wanted to do was rank women by their hotness, yet you ruined the entire world

Twitter

Twitter was bought by ‘Space Karen’, the worlds richest man (on paper) a megalomaniac and the godfather of toxic work culture. In the name of ‘free speech’. Really it was about control (it always is).

Space Karen wants to speak to the manager of Twitter, who is essentially himself. How very Meta.

Within hours the far right were testing the boundaries in their tens of thousands.

Within days it was a dumpster fire of hatred. With no way to verify who was legit.

Which is bad if your only realistic revenue stream is advertisers…

Twitter Blue

…who fucked off in huge numbers after their actual verified accounts were parodied by anyone with 8 bucks and a burner email address.

Twitter ‘verified’ was amalgamated into ‘Twitter Blue’

*Actual* accounts that need verification will have an ‘Official’ tick.

Ok lets run some numbers…

Twitter blue is £7. Take off the Apple tax and thats under a fiver

Twitter blue is 50% less ads. This costs Twitter £6 a month per person in lost advertising reach (estimated)

So Twitter is making a loss on Twitter blue. And trashed verification, and now another badge that is unable to be monetised.

Then Musk Cadet fired half the workforce.

Fearing an exodus in ad revenue, a familiar face (A rocket company with a billion dollar NASA contract) popped up to spend a little cash on Twitter ads

‘SpaceX have announced a big new advertising spend on Twitter’

For the 100 million or so active Twitter users, this is great news if they may be thinking of switching their advanced rockets and spacecraft provider.

Watching Apartheid Clyde mess up the worlds most important social platform is astonishing. I’ll give it until the end of the year.

Instagram

How can Instagram Reels be both videos of what to eat to get abs, and how to fry cheese ALL OVER stuff. It’s both food porn and fitness porn. Its dreadful and also hugely addictive, and influential to so many young people, especially young girls.

Also EVERYTHING IS PHOTOSHOPPED. Or for you kids, FaceTune’d.

Get SWOLE

Nothing on IG is real. It's the best example of simulation theory, you can literally live your entire life inside a filtered version of yourself.

Baudrillard would have been a huge fan of Instagram, he died 3 years before it was released.

Harmless tho right? Perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards?

Forgive my segue but have a think about the tens of thousands of people, mostly young girls, who suffer from eating disorders:

Frances Haugen, a Facebook whistleblower, testified that Facebook knew Instagram users were being led to anorexia-related content. She said an algorithm “led children from very innocuous topics like healthy recipes … all the way to anorexia-promoting content over a very short period of time”.

She also said Facebook knew it steered young users towards damaging content and that its Instagram app was “like cigarettes” for under-18s. In a wide-ranging testimony, the former Facebook employee said the company did not have enough staff to keep the platform safe and was “literally fanning” ethnic violence in developing countries.

Terrifying.

But Instagram was now becoming famous for another dreadful disservice to vulnerable teenagers, and it was joined by that fairly innocuous image-pinning and grouping social media app patronised by 76.7 percent women…

Pinterest

… wait, Pinterest is harmless right? Its just mood boards, and curated image collections, interior design ideas, wedding inspiration and baby stuff etc?

Erm no. It’s an egregious enabler of suicidal ideation and self harm. Let me explain…

Molly Russell, a 14 year old schoolgirl from Harrow, died from an act of self-harm.

Her father subsequently looked through Molly’s emails, and found one from Pinterest titled ‘Depression Pins you may like’. The email included an image of a bloody razor.

Instagram was also helping Molly discover new depression content: In the six months before her death, she shared, liked, or saved more than 2,000 posts related to suicide, self-harm, and depression on the site.

The coroner said that posts on Instagram and Pinterest contributed to Mollys death.

“She died from an act of self-harm while suffering from depression and the negative effects of online content”

TikTok

I am convinced TikTok is a social experiment created by the Chinese Government, to grossly impede the intellectual development of western teenagers. Or get them to maim or kill themselves for clout

With more than 200 million downloads in the U.S. alone, its become the de facto platform for stupidity, narcissism and misinformation, all controlled by ByteDance, a hugely corrupt entity, with the state owned China Internet Investment Fund having a partial ownership stake (a golden share investment). It stinks. But hey, what about the content?

Exhibit one, the ‘challenges’

Cooking with NyQuil

Basically cooking with Couch, cold and flu medicine was one of the least dangerous, as some of the others were * check notes * ACTUALLY * trying to blackout, fucking with electrical sockets, shooting plastic beads in a water gun, filming yourself after covering a mirror in Vaseline and setting it on fire, throwing things in the air, climbing milk crates, taking large amounts of Benadryl.

The second issue is the data. China aren’t know for data security, and even the FCC were pushing for TikTok to be banned in the US. China could easily use TikTok to seriously influence an election or push a pro Chinese government subterfuge. Imagine if TikTok was owned by the Russians? then think about how dangerous it is to children.

In China, kids are limited to just 40 minutes a day and are blocked from using TikTok between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. In the US, its 24/7. See the issue now?

Seriously, fuck TikTok.

LinkedIn

My first ever article was about LinkedIn. I was advised it might hamper my attempts to find freelance design work, but I never got anything from there so I gave it both barrels

The absolute worst thing about being out of work, between roles or bereft of a vocational purpose is having to trawl the intersection or work and social media, owned by Microsoft, and riddled with the very worst in toxic male work culture, a hotbed of high fives, a fist bump for the wannabe CEO

Every single human on the seems to be a Founder, or a Trainer, a Leader and/or a Mentor.

And the amount of toxic masculinity on display is epic, in the form of ‘morning routines’ that are just one-upmanship for narcissists.

Why is it always a morning routine, and why abs on a business social network?

Shout out to The State of LinkedIn on Twitter, a brilliant account that highlights the absolute worst of the genre.

If you had to explain LinkedIn to someone who had never experienced it, its like every life coach threw up their worst idea into a bathtub, added cheap vodka and the tears of recently sacked tech industry victims, and then made ice lollies. It’s vacuous.

However, like a large garlic and chilli sauce-drenched kebab after 8 pints of lager and two Jägerbombs, its a necessary evil, a partial panacea to the pain of P45. But you are still unemployed and now you have the pain of having read Simon Sinek’s utter gibberish.

This is basically how the movie ‘Armageddon’ was made. Let's teach some oil drillers how to be astronauts.

Seriously. Señor Sinek is a contrived platitude farmer. A generator of random nonsensical drivel. Literally go back and read that quote. It’s nonsense.

And don’t try to ever cancel that interview, as Andy’s 11 month old son got conjunctivitis (via Crap on LinkedIn)

What a roaster

Outro

Ok I’m out like Tom from MySpace…

Tom was the OG social media chad.

Social media is dreadful but, yes I’m using it to share and promote my musings, I participate, therefore I am (bad Descartes). It's ok to bitch about a thing whilst using a thing. Behold, one of the most appropriate memes of our time:

Ok goodbye. I’m off to have a look at Tom MySpace’s Friendster account and MSN a few friends.

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Mat Venn

Designer. Dad. Cyclist. Runner. Flâneur. Autodidact. Piano student. Writer of intelligent balderdash. Fondue enthusiast. Hopeless romantic