The online world sometimes makes me feel rushed and overwhelmed, not only in my personal life but also as a blogger. When you own a blog being online a lot is the obvious choice. Having an online life doesn’t have to be a bad thing, on the contrary. Meeting nice people, all the available information, being able to use the knowledge of others. I see many advantages. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s energy consuming in a negative way. At moments like that I miss the offline life a bit.
Anneloes: “The real life, that means contacts in real life: offline and face to face. Enjoying the moment. Just being/ existing without all of the online incentives and distractions. Of course online contact can also be real and from the heart, like in a twitter conversation or facebook chat. It’s a way to get to know people. It’s how we’ve already met so many bloggers and even made some new friends in the last few years. And we love that about the internet! But still there’s also a dark side. It’s striking to see all kinds of strategies popping up to get more followers, more likes and sneaky tactics to reach more and more people. Relatively new are the groups of people (instagram pods) who quickly comment on eachothers posts because they made an agreement. I acknowledge it’s an interesting tactic to get more likes and better algoritms but is that really how you want to use Instagram? How real and sincere are comments like that, I wonder”.
Janet: “To me it kind of feels like an “everything is for sale” attitude, but is that really the truth? I don’t don’t feel like getting likes, just for the sake of the likes. I want people to sincerely like my photo. And I myself also want to say that I doubleclicked because I really like your post, not because you asked me to and you are doubleclicking on mine in return. That just doesn’t feel right. And then the question arises: how real is social media still? When we first started using social media (I think it was about 10-15 years ago when Hyves was started in The Netherlands) everything was exciting and new and it was a way to share a bit about yourself to long lost friends and far away relatives. We pretty soon learned that the nicer your post looks, the more likes it got. Other platforms were born and suddenly people discovered they could earn money by scoring the most likes. Isn’t it crazy when you think about it? Now most of these platforms are 90% commerce. If you do not have an instagram account with ten thousands of followers you don’t count for the platform. Algorithms will make sure you pic won’t be shown, sometimes not even in your best friends timeline. Advertising versus authenticity is 1-0.”
Anneloes:”The internet is a convenient tool to achieve more interaction, reach more people and attract more publicity for your blog or your work. That’s why social media is an obvious method to use. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook started working on the algorithms some time ago and the keep taking measures that lead to a decrease in followers and comments if you don’t have a huge following. It was only a matter of time before people would think of strategies to go around these measures. So don’t get me wrong, I definately get it! But do I like it? I’m not sure. When comment bots and instapods take over, It’s difficult to know what are sincere and honest comments. Also, you can never really tell if people post stories that are sponsored. Often people ‘forget’ to mention this. So how do you know when something is real? Of course not knowing if something is real can happen in the offline world as well: people responding to something you say or do and not being honest about what they think, right?”.
Janet: “That reminds me that one of my girlfriends used to think it was scary to be at my parents home because in my family we were always being so honest to eachother about external things. If we thought the couch had the wrong colour or a new haircut looked quite bad, we would just say this. My friend preferred being nice instead of honest: she’d rather not hurt people and wanted to be liked. That happens a lot. I also do that sometimes, while I’d rather say nothing that be very enthousiastic about something I’m not. I’m not going to lie.
About all the strategies that seem neccessary to many these days: I think the owners of facebook and instagram love all this but if this is really the way to go, I think I’ll pass. The other day I read Deep Work by Cal Newport (also check his TedTalk “Quit social media”) and he says we are being distracted by social media. We put some many hours into getting likes and followers while we should be perfecting our work and skills so that e can become the best in our field and not base our success on something as transitory as social media. Make yourself invaluable and you don’t need those likes anymore. Interesting thought!”
Anneloes:”Making social media unnecessary? On the one hand that sounds like music to my ears. On the other hand: I really do like the advantages the online world has to offer. In a perfect world I would try to get the best out of both the online and offline world. It’s just a matter of finding balance, right? The same goes for honesty and sincerity.
Conclusion: Wouldn’t it be great if we could go back to the beginning of social media? You know, with the beautiful and untouched snapshots, no algorithms, no bought followers and pods, no commercials and sponsored posts? That sounds so nice, it would be much more authentic and realistic. If that’s ever going to happen? No, probably not. We’ve changed the game. But the question is how long are we going to keep this up? The call for realness and authencity is getting louder and louder.”
How do you use social media? Are you a fan?
Janet: Anneloes: “Social media overbodig maken? Enerzijds klinkt me dat als muziek in de oren. Anderzijds zijn er ook wel voordelen. Ik wil het beste van beide werelden, van de online en offline wereld. Kwestie van balans vinden lijkt me. Datzelfde geldt voor eerlijkheid en oprechtheid.”
Conclusie: zou het niet superfijn zijn weer iets meer naar het begin van social media terug te gaan? Je weet wel, met mooie en leuke foto’s, zonder algoritmes, zonder dingen als gekochte volgers en ‘reactie’afspraken en vooral zonder reclame? Dat lijkt ons wel tof, daarmee wordt het voor ons gevoel een stuk echter en realistischer en veel minder een wedstrijd. Of dat gaat gebeuren? Waarschijnlijk niet. Maar de vraag is ook hoe lang mensen dit nog accepteren en volhouden. De roep om echtheid lijkt namelijk steeds groter te worden.”
Hoe doe jij dat eigenlijk, ben je fan van social media en hoe gebruik je het?