- March 13, 2022
- Posted by: Con P. Sweeney
- Category: Social Media
I hope that I’m not dating myself with the title of this week’s blogpost.
But, I seem to remember a simpler time when social media wasn’t the cause of all the world’s problems and some even thought that it shouldn’t even be used for commercial purposes.
Remember those times?
Let’s talk about that!
The Internet seemed to have been discovered by everyone towards the end of the last century despite having been around for quite some time as a US DARPA initiative.
Those early days were filled with people saying things like. “Have you tried this Internet thing yet?”
Or, “Do you have the Mosaic or Netscape browser yet?”
(Remember those two!)
Yes, social media wasn’t quite a thing yet, was Zuck even born then?
But, its antecedents got their start there.
Jeff Bezos was certainly around.
As were the purists who claimed that profit should never be on the Internet.
(Boy, were they ever mistaken!)
Still, there was a certain innocence at the time.
We could order books cheaper online than we could in bookstores!
Which was quite a big deal if you didn’t have a bookstore in your town.
Second Life made an appearance, then LinkedIn, and Facebook, and it all seemed fun.
For a while, we thought the Internet would collapse underneath a tsunami of spam.
That hasn’t happened.
(At least, not yet.)
The usual shysters and tricksters made their obligatory appearances online.
Somewhere around this time, Zuck announced that his biggest challenge in one year was going to learn Chinese.
Then somehow, it all seemed to go wrong.
While the trends started earlier, I trace the loss of innocence and fun on social media to the US Presidential election of 2016.
All of a sudden, Zuck’s biggest problem wasn’t expanding his Chinese vocabulary but explaining to the US Congress how Facebook helped to rig the recent election.
He wasn’t alone.
Twitter came under increasing scrutiny.
People woke up to what Google was doing with their data and what Amazon was doing to American life (not to mention what Jeff was spending his billions on.)
Now, it seems that even waging a war requires social media getting dragged in.
Big government is moving in.
Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain are adding new worries to the online world.
I don’t have any solutions for all this, I doubt if anyone does.
I just wanted to take a moment and harken back to a simpler time before it all went wrong.
That’s it for now!
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