I mentioned in a recent post that I came back from my time away from the web in August with a new take on things. One of the things I’ve come back with is an unshakable sense that social media has gotten boring. Not one platform, but all of it, together. As a topic of conversation certainly, but even as an experience. It’s boring to use it.
Google Plus: boring.
Twitter: uh… boring and yet still kind of overwhelming somehow.
This is not to say that social media isn’t useful, or hasn’t moved the world forward in huge ways. Can you imagine going back to a world where the only way to get news was through newspapers? My god. Or can you imagine only being able to connect with people via email and the telephone? I can’t either.
But social media has somehow slipped from being the thing I love doing and talking about to something that feels like work. And not the kind of work I love, the kind of work that’s just work.
Part of this I think is that there hasn’t been much movement as far as what social media does for me in… oh, several years now really. And social things are really only interesting when they’re fresh and new. Imagine going to the same party every single day of your life – sounds pretty awful, huh? (Sounds a lot like a job, actually). To humans, a big part of ‘social’ is newness and freshness. We’re wired for that, socially, and social media stopped providing us with that a long time ago.
Another part of it I think is that social media has been oversold. Oversold you say? Yes, OVERSOLD! Social media is pretty amazing, but it’s just one course in a giant meal of amazing that we’re all eating right now. But the press, VCs, celebrities, everyone jumps on it like it’s the only show in town. The result is that we end up eating way more of that one course than we otherwise would – an entire meal of one course. Bleah.
And part of it may just be that “social” is done. Or 80% done, anyway. It’s mature, it’s grown, it’s stable. And if it’s stable, we can all stop talking about it now, just like we all stopped talking about light bulbs back around 1900.
So if social media is boring, what is exciting? So much else. Pretty much everything else. At faberNovel NYC we’re working on a couple of realtime data visualization projects that I think are really exciting, in that they give a glimpse of what the future could look like in cities. I’m also finding the idea of co-working and accelerators really exciting (and that’s social in an entirely different sense of the word, no?). Bike sharing is exciting. And Arduino is exciting. And pretty much any idea I come across that rethinks the status quo is exciting. But social media? It’s getting harder and harder for me to make that case.
Do you feel that way too, or is it just me?