I'm just so bored.
What makes social media frustrating isn’t just that the algorithms are constantly changing - forcing us to reinvent the wheel over and over again - but that we basically do all this work for free.
Very few creatives ever earn a dollar from their work while the platform basically sits there collecting ad revenue, finding new ways to monetize our consciousness.
It’s actually kinda dystopian when you think about it.
Spot on with your observations. Instagram, FB & X have algorithms that are no longer designed for connecting communities. Instead they've been configured to serve two distinct functions: 1) Fill a user's feed with ads (Meta is every 3rd post on IG) targeted on the user's demographic and viewing usage. 2) Keep selling the illusion of reach by showing posts in the feed from people with thousands of followers. This all was made worse in the last couple of years due to the Billionaire owners seeing their profits (& stock price) fall from a lack of ad interactivity. Advertisers were catching on the the fact that Meta's promised ad ROI was based on a 60-70% CTR from bot traffic. Ergo, Ad fraud. Twitter/X was one of the worst & now is a trash heap of ad fraud. Tik Tok, crazy as it is, is a whole other beast that for 2D visual artists is a tough forum to take advantage of. (speaking from my own experience.)
Overall though for independent artists big social media sites seem to offer less and less. Personally I find better reach and interactions by using Notes, Counter Social, Mastodon, and Spoutible to smaller crowds. But I think you are onto something about people also getting burned out by Social Media.
Instagram just keeps getting worse. As a small account I have no hope of ever growing at all. Ever since they removed the Recent Hashtags search, it became completely pointless. I can't do reels, I just want to look at pictures and post pictures. I want to talk to people. So I've given up on it. I've given up on Twitter in a similar way. Interestingly, Facebook still stands. At least my friends still see my posts and I see my friends' posts. I'm in a few good groups there that make it worth it.
Substack is currently my favourite, but I'm afraid to grow attached. All SM are so cute and wholesome when they are babies.
For the love of kittens, the shitshow that Instagram has become is.....makes it all but unusable. It's not just you. My husband bitches about it daily, since that's how he promotes most of what he sells in his eBay store and some of his art work.
I'm just tired of the constant stream of ADS IN YOUR FUCKING FACE ALL THE FUCKING TIME.
Face book isn't much better. I ditched Twitter months ago. I don't use Tic Tok and refuse to use Threads.
Point being is that I hear you and agree.
Just FYI, it might help your Instagram experience to know there is a Following feed, but you have to choose it manually every time. It's not ideal, but it is chronological and it shows you the people you follow. Same with Threads now, thank goodness.
But yes, overall. I am so tired of social media jerking us around, trying to get us to guess what the type of post is the one they want this week, how many hashtags, long or short captions, etc. I'm increasingly grateful to have places like this to actually be able to make the kind of post I want to make -- and keep up with my people, like you. (And if Substack ever betrays us and installs an algo, I'll just...take my email list and leave. I save the list every single week just in case.)
I miss true social media when I was able to keep up with folks I know and discover those I don’t. Before it felt like work. But not work I enjoy. Work I have to do even though I get nothing in return.
I share your sentiments exactly! I never even wanted social media in the first place but got a FB account to stay in touch with friends. The irony is exactly what you stated happened to me too-- I never saw anything but sponsored posts and memes from years ago in my feed. And no one ever saw my posts on the rare occasion I DID post! I told my friends if they want to stay in touch, sign up for my newsletter here. It’s liberating and so much more fun to forget about “staying in touch” for the sake of keeping appearances and to instead do your thing and connect with those who genuinely want to. Hey-- I never would have discovered you otherwise! 🥂
So agree with all of it. It’s nothing but a scrambled jumbled shit show on most the social media platforms now --it’s done nothing but make creatives, artists, writers and just plain ordinary folks run for the What exactly? The whole internet needs to be revamped to honor the people trying to figure out what these idiot billionaires think they are doing unfortunately it’s nothing good. Boycott, protest, DO NOT CONSUME!
I deleted my Facebook and Instagram almost 2 years ago. No regrets. The algorithms really ruined the platforms for me. I found more informational value on X/Twitter but it's starting to become a lot of noise, and I'm thinking I will delete that too now. My focus is just going to be on Substack going forward. But also for anyone looking for a great alternative to Instagram I really recommend the platform called Vero. Beautifully designed and best of all NO algorithm!
Trust is the key, personal relationships with authentic people. The challenge remains finding them, which is what makes it such a shame that these social networks have become so bad for building / engaging with an audience for a lot of people who don’t have a huge following. For someone who has used some of them from the beginning, then came back with a new account, the difference is very noticeable.
I echo these exact sentiments!
I've stepped away from almost all social media. I don't want to spend all my time discovering the wims of an algorithim. I'd much rather discover the depths of what makes my soul sing. I don't want to get better at learning the best way in which to share things. I'd much rather learn more about how to get better at making things I'm proud to share.
Well, this resonates! I've had similar thoughts for a while now. I've worked in and around social media professionally from the beginning - in fact before the beginning, starting with forums in the early 2000s, then witnessing the arrival of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. That means I'm old enough to remember when Facebook was an exciting new space for small businesses!
My general malaise with social media has made me wonder if it's a consequence of me simply being old. But, then, aren't old people supposed to still be obsessed with Facebook?
What I have found is a complete lack of interest in the new arrivals - Threads, TikTok. Those short-lived things like Clubhouse. I assume from the beginning that they are cynical data-grabbing exercises with little actual utility.
It feels like a challenge to figure out how to promote my work without using social media....but then I think back and wonder, honestly, how much did it contribute overall compared to the time I put into it over the last decade and a half?
Very relatable. My feeds are filled with strangers or stuff I don’t care about, and meanwhile, I don’t see even half of what the people I follow are posting. Nor do they see what I post! We’re all shouting into a void.
I am far happier and freer when I just focus on my writing. The art, the creation matters most anyway. It’s just frustrating because social USED to help creators share their art. Now it just feels like a giant time suck that doesn’t even nudge the needle.
Mastodon may not have an algorithm, but it has tons of rage at people still on X etc, accusing them of the heinous crime of continuing to support the billionaires. Plus reply guys. So no, you can't win, and it's not your fault.
I (and some Masto peeps) have some even darker theories, and they go way beyond money. See: the Saudi guy recently condemned to death for his tweets.
I have been reading *nothing.* :-( One story from Uncanny, and that's been it. It's been such a month, all I want to do is look at yarn, buy yarn, squeeze yarn, figure out what to do with my yarn, and make little yarn squares while I listen to podcasts and try to figure out what went wrong with my life, the world, and everything.
“Soshe meeds” haha that’s def the new terminology
I started here on SubStack like 7ish weeks ago…. Twitter (X, whatever) usage just evaporated and I actually didn’t hate twitter at all. This place just feels more like a platform and less like that Soshe meeds crap.
This!! You’ve went inside my brain and wrote all the thoughts and feelings that are sitting there. It’s just so… disheartening! I love the truth about having a “minimum threshold/expectation” for when you post. It’s not about a million likes or gaining followers, but simply SHOWING the art to the people who DO follow me would be nice! How can someone have XXX number of followers, and then CRAWL towards only 50 likes (or whatever!) It’s maddening and I’m deflated!