Of Glossy Mags and Social Media

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Many years ago I liked to get mags. I would look at the choice of mags every time I was in a magazine shop. I would even buy some every so often. Eventually I stopped I stopped, not because my desire to get mags was gone, but because the return on investment imploded.

You would buy a mag, flick through it, read a few articles, and in the process realise that more than half of the mag wa filled with adverts. In effect you’re paying for a magazine but you’re paying for more ads than content. I’d ratheer have a thinner mag, with more actual content than a mag filled with ads.

I mention this because Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok have been awful, with spam, in the last two days. Either the people I “follow” have stopped posting or advertising has become especially agressive.

On FB it’s a lot of junk posts. It’s spam rather than thought out, and researched post. The algorithms are pushing a tremendous amount of junk. With TikTok it’s nothing but footage of Switzerland flooded and Football. If I’m flicking through at 2200 I’m not looking for either of those types of content. I aggressively said “not interested”, especially to the football.

Noisy Algorithms

Social media algorithms, rather than being intelligent, are dumb. They look at the lowest common denominator, without looking at the context of individual users, so if a football event takes place, then everyone on social media is bludgeoned with the content.

Not everyone wants to see football contennt.

With Facebook I have been flooded by user generated crap by people I don’t follow. Twitter has the same problem. twitter, Facebook and Instagram have forgotten that social media is about following who we chose to follow. The entire purpose of social media is to create a niche, a bubble, for us to have a community, for conversations, laughter and fun. We can’t have that if the “pot de colle” influencers insert themselves so aggressively into our timelines that we find it impossible to see the content we chose to follow.

Self Curated Social Media is Over

That’s what social media is about. Choice. Self-curation and curation. The more junk we see, the less sticky social media become. I could finally break my twitter habit not because I wanted to, but because I no longer had any engagement, or conversations.

The Forgotten Niche

Social media was about community. It was about a group of people with common interests coming together to have a chat. When social media was about real life communitiess, rather than algorithms it was a pleasure to use, because the more time you invested, the more you got out of it.

Twitter, FB, IG and TikTok no longer provides with a Return on Investment of the time they spend on social media. That’s why FB has Whatsapp, to ensure that when we flee Facebook we’re still stuck on an FB product. Meta is Facebook, so I will never call Facebook Meta.

A Different Era

In the days of geocities, Myspace and other communities we slid from one community to the other, following the new and interesting communities. Now we get pushed off of one site, and then another. We were pushed off of Twitter, by the new owners, we were pushed off of IG as the level of adverts and pushed content increased. We were pushed off of Twitter by the rising amount of trolls, and spam.

We are now pushed off of FB by the quantity of noise, and from TikTok by the algorithms that suggest the wrong content at the wrong time of day.


Social media has to give something back to its users. If it does not then it becomes a waste of time. TikTok could have been fantastic if it helped build friendships. IG was fantastic when it was about friends sharing photographs. FB was great until zynga killed conversation. In the last two days FB has been especially bad. It has become unusable.

I looked at my timeline, the stuff I had shared, over a few days and I was horrified at how junky it was. I think the time for me to give up on FB is here.

I think that the time has come for children, and adults, to stop using social media. Social media was a grand experiment but I think we should revert to social networks.