Home » piqd | Why social media is broken

piqd | Why social media is broken

by admin

It started so beautifully. Thanks to Facebook, we were able to stay in touch with friends, acquaintances, former classmates or colleagues and participate in their lives. Twitter didn’t take itself too seriously, was personable, and for a while felt like the pulse of the world, in a good way. Instagram was creative, often simply beautiful. And TikTok made people dance.

And today?

In the last few weeks we have been experiencing what we cannot use platforms like X or Instagram for: to discuss complex conflicts or to find solutions to complex problems together. Fueled by algorithms that optimize for engagement at all costs, and driven by human vanity that craves likes, shares, and followers, social networks have transformed into places of easy answers. To easier answers. If you are not for us, you are against us. The loud, opinionated and self-promoting dominate the timelines. Anyone who doesn’t think in terms of friend or enemy, has doubts, wants background information in order to form a differentiated opinion, recognizes complexities, and can even deal with tolerance for ambiguity has long since become a largely silent observer – or is in WhatsApp groups with friends or clubs , initiatives and family withdrawn.

The inventory of the text, which deals with the current state but also with the future of social media, is sobering. The reasons for this are also discussed: business models and algorithms geared towards them that address people’s baser instincts.

Sure, many confident users have long since found ways to avoid hate, fake news, the flood of advertising and the risk of addiction as best as possible. Nevertheless, the desire to get involved on the major platforms is decreasing.

So should we just leave social media alone? Not necessarily. It could have been better. Decentralized platforms in particular – part of the often derided Web3 – could become a real alternative.

In decentralized social networks there are no powerful central authorities like the companies Meta or X, which hoard all the information and are de facto in possession of the users’ digital identities. Instead, the data is distributed across decentralized server networks of many operators. Some of the new alternatives even promise interoperability and portability. This means that users should be given control over their digital identity. They then decide who gets what data, and they can take their profiles from one social network to the next, so they are less trapped.

In addition, some decentralized apps promise the ability to choose the algorithms that pre-sort content yourself. If you just want beautiful animal photos but no endless political arguments, you can have that. In such a digital world, the business models of the current platforms, which are the cause of many problems, no longer work.

Even the Metaverse, the hype of last year, promises improvement. Should it come?

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