The main thrust of my journal article is that social media has failed to live up to its promise. Essentially, the guttering candle flame that looked as if it might ignite an entire “markets are conversations” moment, has been extinguished, and in its place…
Well, there’s the rub.
It seems most can agree to feeling, at best, frustrated by social media in its varied incarnations. I don’t believe a day goes by for me where I don’t hear someone talk about how they’re tired of Facebook, etc. However, people are loath to abandon it (the cost of quitting – moving/losing all those photos – is too high). Related, no alternative has emerged.
I’m not sure, however, that it’s just fatigue that is making people dissatisfied. Rather, I think it’s an unfulfilled promise. For a moment, FB (etc.) seemed to offer authentic connection, and, thus, hope with respect to our greatest collective fear: loneliness.
As those connections — once co-opted — became increasingly less authentic, the value of these social networks fell. The promise of not-lonely disappeared.
There are moments of authentic connection out there, however. It takes some looking. It takes following the bread crumbs (often originating on FB).
One such example that works for me is the newly-introduced live stream sessions on Daytrotter. And, yes, full-disclosure, I’ve been working with Daytrotter for ~4 years now.
Why these work for me is their authenticity. You hear the artists creating in real time…warts and all.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” and this to me is magic. The tech disappears. The intimacy re-appears. For the time that the artists put themselves out there, there is a bond between listener and artist. For this time, we’re not alone, and we’re not lonely.