So Elon Musk recently bought Twitter for several billions, but I’m honestly lost on the supposed value of social networks. I’m easily able to keep up with all the important people in my life without needing big social media:
- For family, we use group chats in our phones’ default messaging app or 3rd party apps like Signal, Matrix, and Telegram.
- For friends, I’m part of some Discords and Slack workspaces. Or we text.
- I keep LinkedIn around for when I need to look for a job and don’t really bother with it otherwise.
- Pretty much anyone I care about professionally has a blog. Or I can just follow their Twitter / LinkedIn / Medium / Substack from afar.
I guess the only reason I would consider using Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or TikTok would be to keep up with the odd acquaintance or college friend. But doing so would also subject me to everything else on those platforms, which is basically just spam and/or political arguments/tribalism these days, so I don’t bother.
Too, given all of the above, it’s preferable for these communities to not all live in the same place. I often want to share something with one sub-section of my social group but not another. I think Google+ nailed this with its concept of circles, but we all know how that story ended.
So yeah – who needs ’em? Maybe social media had some utility back in the day, but, now that pretty much everyone has a smartphone, so many of the built-in apps are sufficient and I think the novelty has worn off.
Time will tell, but I think maybe Elon paid billions for vaporware.