WHY SOCIAL MEDIA IS DYING.

 

Social media is starting to be taken over by toxicity, AI, and new corporate owners. Facebook and Instagram were taken over by Meta. Bazillionaire Elon Musk took over Twitter (now X) and has just about burnt it to the ground in the midst of it all.

Harmful people of power or public figures were banned once upon a time from X, and those people are now back in action.

I have seen a plethora of weirdos on the app that spread misinformation all over the place. Most recent arguments have been anywhere from gun control, to the existence of the Holocaust (and yes, it did happen, put on your tin foil hat, sir.)

FREEDOM OF PRESS.

There is none. Journalists are constantly ridiculed, Doxxed, harassed, screenshotted/receipt (the kids do those silly things now.), and canceled if someone disagrees with an opinion, a pairing of fictional show characters, or an important issue.

And with that toxicity, comes the silencing of your real followers and fans. We are limited to making it so only accounts we follow can chime in, or turn off comments altogether. Hacking has also been a huge problem. People will hack into important or popular accounts and destroy the person’s reputation.

And while these accounts have been reported multiple times, they either skate by a shadow ban or come out unscathed.

SHIP WARS AND THE SCARY SIDE OF FANDOM.

Do you like a popular show? That’s great! Do you want to pair characters romantically? No can do! Not only do these ships have their hashtags, but they also have their place in what is called a fandom war.

This is where obsessed fans come together in groups or just a person on multiple accounts to call out, stalk, harass, or dox others who a; like the ship or b; disapprove of the ship. This is not normal behavior by any means and is also a huge problem in social media.

You know exactly who you are.

Some people go so far as to pair real-life actors and trash their spouses in hopes of getting their fan favorites together. And honestly, it can be downright terrifying.

Honestly, I frequently move on from popular fandoms/shows or avoid them altogether because of the fanbase it attracts. On X it got so bad that I started to mute certain shows, words, or usernames. Who can live like that? Who HAS to live like that?

VERIFIED FOR MAJOR CASH.

 

When X was still Twitter, we had what was called a legacy verification. A public figure or professional would have to go through the rigorous process of giving proof of their license, follow counts, and overall popularity to gain a free checkmark to show people that they were a legit celebrity/person. Most of these once-verified figures have since declined to purchase and or keep their checkmark.

LET’S PAY FOR NONSENSE.

Now, you can pay anywhere from 8 to 11 a month to get a blue checkmark. While a lot of celebrities and public figures have secured these, a lot of unknowns and randoms have also bought them, which doesn’t make it worth it anymore.

As for journalists and magazine companies? You’re looking at a thousand or more to fork over for a yellow checkmark. Pretty ridiculous.

ADVERTISING.

It’s a waste of money to advertise your brand or company on X. The majority of past users, including former employees have moved onto other platforms such as Instagram. If you look at once popular pages, they have all been abandoned or have not been posted for a few years or so.

You won’t get a lot of views on your product, and if you get any comments, they are usually bots or spam.

What seems to work these days is more good old-fashioned word of mouth. Colleagues, friends, and small circles end up filling the void of useless and expensive digital ads on dying social media websites.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

With new owners, come new terms and conditions. X is one of the most left-field, toxic sites out there. It used to have zero tolerance for misinformation and abuse, but has since taken a backseat to it, and rarely does it do anything to meet dangerous reported accounts head-on.

Meta isn’t much better when it comes to Instagram either. A majority of violent, animal abuse, or downright hateful posts have been sifted through after multiple reports, and can only offer the advice to block the account. This has been a huge problem with both sites for a while now.

Facebook has tightened its belt and sometimes goes overboard. While it is a lesser-used platform, X and Instagram could take some pointers from it.

BOTS.

There is nothing more annoying than having computer bots infiltrate your comments or follow your accounts. And there is never just one, there are always more. If you post something you better expect a bunch of direct messages from the bots and even some unpleasant scams/phishing attempts.

The best defense, though useless, is a hard block.

CALLOUT CULTURE.

The majority of X seems to be teenagers/college kids, or disgruntled women in their 40s/50s. Not any part of that is safe to the normal passerby who just wants to talk about their favorite show/movie/what have you and go about their day.

If someone doesn’t agree with something, they will attack. They will tag all of your accounts, take receipts of ANYTHING you have said, even if you were a dumb nineteen-year-old years ago, and they will make sure their friends, followers, and randoms attack you.

Never argue with these people, you won’t win. Never try to help someone or solve someone’s problems. In the jungle of social media, if you can’t be kind–be quiet.

We are still waiting for a better social media platform to come along.

Don’t get us started on the monstrosity that is Tumblr.

TIKTOK.

TikTok is basically what Vine was to all of us a few years ago. You post a silly dance or something trendy that is 30 seconds and pray you get views and comments. While it can make a lot of people famous, it does attract a younger crowd similar to Reddit and it can dent reputations or mental health, especially for children.

I don’t use it. A friend suggested a few times to try it out, but I just don’t have any interest in it. It’s a useless app right along with Snapchat. Are the kids still doing that?

POLITICS.

Don’t have an opinion or prepare to be called every name under the sun. Don’t talk about politics. That is a general rule with me, I won’t discuss it unless you are a close friend or my mother. Period. I’ll change the subject multiple times if I have to or leave the situation.

You can support a movement without tearing someone else down. I’ll say it again. You can support a movement without harassing or tearing someone else down. Your opinion is not the only one that matters, there are others. And if you don’t want to hear others, then that is your right and you can just stay in your corner and not engage in conversation. There are real problems in people’s lives, no one cares about what Becky said down the street.

Now, if you are one of the ones spreading HEAVILY dangerous misinformation–then you have a problem.

Honestly, nine times out of ten, you will find people you have never even talked to before that have you blocked. Some may call it rude, but I call it grateful so I don’t have to deal with you.

Almost always, even if you post about puppies–someone will bring up religion, politics or anything else in it. Is that seriously how we want to conduct ourselves??

WE NEED A NEW PLATFORM.

There has to be someone out there who can come up with something better. A place of less craziness that focuses on brand, marketing, and good old conversation.

Who will step up?

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About the author: Katie Harden is a professionally repped New York-based/bi-coastal musical theater, entertainment journalist, and indie film actress. She is proudly part of the Actor’s Equity Association and frequently interviews colleagues, friends, and celebrities, along with reviewing television and movies. Find her at the bottom of a can of Arizona sweet tea or in the ocean!

Work: AMC, Showtime, HBO, The Emmy’s, The Walking Dead magazine, MGM, Universal, Sony Screen Gems, Fansided, Bloody Disgusting, and more.

INSTAGRAM: @KATIEHARDENOFFICIAL

 

 

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