There’s no doubt about it, we are a digital society. You probably sleep with your cell phone, rely on a GPS to get where you want to go, and respond to texts during important meetings. Screens compete with the physical world for our attention. And oftentimes, the digital world wins, to the extent that some like Sherry Turkle say we are alone together. Of course, the internet and all of its wondrous conveniences have advanced our civilization immensely, saving us time and helping us connect with others in an entirely new way.
But what happens when online communities become less about connecting with others – and more about generating profit from our consumption of content?
Social media is doing just that. No matter the network, advertising brands have been increasingly given more of a voice than individuals. Right under our nose, social media networks have pushed real socialization to the side to make room for entertainment media.
Of course, part of the pleasure in using social media today is the entertainment. The endless slew of videos and memes eliminates moments of boredom or awkwardness. We laugh at posts and tag friends in the comments so they will get a laugh, too. But this pleasure gives rise to an addiction that you have likely heard about and perhaps experienced yourself.
Even leaders at Facebook have recently admitted that there is a problem. Though the company’s revenues have exploded from the increased advertising on their site, CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that “interacting with ‘people we care about’ is better for users’ well-being than ‘passively reading articles or watching videos – even if they’re entertaining or informative.” Facebook is aiming to foster “more meaningful interactions” on their platform, which, while it would hurt revenues, would theoretically create happier users. They want to enable more of social media’s good effects over the bad ones. But can Facebook achieve this? The attempt conjures the image of trying to place what has become a square peg back into the round hole from whence it came. Time will tell if Facebook can return back to its roots.
For users who don’t want to waste time waiting for Facebook to figure out how to make their platform truly social once more, Go2s is the place to start something meaningful again. The Go2s Network is, at its core, a private social network (note – no media here) founded in trust, kindness and respect. With no advertisements or emphasis on content consumption, Go2s users are free to build the real, functional, meaningful connections that have become lost in today’s “social” media.