I don’t know if you are a social media butterfly- you know, one of those people who is on every available social media platforms- Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Tumblr. . .I’m sorry if I missed an— oh wait! let’s not forget WhatsApp!
I would say that I’m 60% of Social Media Butterfly, being an ambivert by nature, I don’t indulge in Oversharing. . .Or total inactivity. . .but the recent trends in the way social media is shaping itself makes me wonder if they all seems to be crashing into one another, merging and becoming a gooey mess. the product of which is not unlike what a 5 year old mixing up different Play Doh clay colours would get . . .Yeah, that messy.
To explain my point, consider this: initially Snapchat became a phenomenal hit because it enabled users to share “Stories” which would stay online for 24 hours and then would be permanently erased. . .In that way, if you went to the park to capture the sunset, you wouldn’t have multiple pictures of the sunset on your, say, Instagram feed, but the picture of the sunset would be up only for 24 hours. Sounds like a wonderful way to share what’s going on in your life- some would even chance to say, overshare. Snapchat also allows you to “personal snap” someone, meaning you send only that particular individual whatever picture you want…which they can see only for 3-5 seconds after which it is permanently deleted.
Now this creative way of using social media appealed to many- Instagram and Facebook included. . . oh and WhatsApp too.
Because now we have “Instagram Stories” and Instagram “Live”, kind of like a one-way skype call, we have Messenger’s “Share your Day” and WhatsApp now has two “Status” components- one your old pretentious quote or the good old “Available” (the written Satus) and the other similar to Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook Messenger’s “Story”- so now you can out pretentious quotes, cringey selfies or your sunset pictures on your WhatsApp status too!
Sounds brilliant right? I mean SO MANY OUTLETS to share!! But you know what the problem is? THERE”S ONLY ONE OF YOU!
You can look at this in two ways:
a) You will be compelled to remain active on all media. . .but you can’t share the same stuff on all media because your audience base- that is, your social base comprises pretty much of the same people, and
b) on a scale of 0-10, how much do you really think the other person cares what you’re up to?
Basic economics leads us to believe that this paradox can be looked at like a Bell Curve,
Initially there was potential in the market to introduce this novel sharing concept- it is instant, it is quick, it is temporary!
So, all the companies exploited this potential which means that most social media platform abandoned their original purpose and evolved into what was most marketable while retaining their original intent. Which is totally understandable when you consider the fact that at the end of the day, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp etc are companies with a profit-making motive.
The problem with this evolution is that by observing current trends we can chance a prediction that at some point all these media will morph into one.Each will take the best and most creative component of the other with their own slightly, but barely tweaked version.
What I’m trying to drive at is in the future, this Bell Curve will slope downwards indicating that consumers are no longer interested to use the social media. . .Or maybe that won’t be the case, but one thing is for sure- if this morphing trend continues then very soon the difference between say, Instagram and Facebook will become indiscernible.
Over-stuffing the consumer with goods, in this case a variety of differences in the application will lead to oversharing which while not necessarily a bad thing, is definitely not a good thing and while I believe that evolution is an integral part of every well-functioning healthy company- recycling existing material and feeding it to consumers in a barely modified format can only lead to saturation and consequently, decay.
This is something I just wrote off the top of my head, with no edits. . .So hopefully there are no factual or worse grammatical/spelling *gasp* errors.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Do you agree with me? Disagree? Let me know!