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What happens if we no longer want to post?

The social networks are dying and we are their ghost watchers, or at least that's what they say

What happens if we no longer want to post? The social networks are dying and we are their ghost watchers, or at least that's what they say

When I joined Twitter in 2012, I was tired of Facebook and Instagram was only used for photos, so I needed a viable and relatively quiet alternative to broadcast my thoughts. In the last 12 years (help), everything has changed. Twitter is now X, Facebook is for those over 50, Instagram is the realm of influencers, and TikTok is everything combined, seemingly overtaking its competitors in launching trends and microtrends in the fields of beauty and fashion. Sometimes, other small social networks are added to this mix. In the United States, Snapchat persists, for a brief period we used BeReal, and loyalists still use Pinterest and Tumblr. The landscape is saturated, our smartphones are saturated (with apps), and maybe we are too, a little bit. What happens now?

Are social networks dying? 

At this moment - on Substack, among industry insiders, and in other online and offline discussion spaces - there is increasing talk about the death of the internet, or rather the death of the internet as we know and use it now, which ultimately means the death of social networks. Have you looked around? Google uses Artificial Intelligence to randomly (it seems) fish for answers to our questions on Reddit, everything is about advertising and chasing big numbers, virality, and economic returns. We can’t imagine a pastime that isn’t scrolling, often even hate-scrolling, glued to the screen by horrible news and filled with complexes about what we are told is right or wrong, beautiful or ugly. In short, we’ve lost any pleasure in participating in the game; we endure it passively.

@thechainsawdotcom Google’s new ‘AI Overview’ feature is an absolute mess. #google #ai #tech #technology #internet original sound - The Chainsaw

Passive consumption: we have become ghost watchers

The keyword is passively. This, indeed, is the biggest change noticed in user behavior, and the so-called death of social networks is inevitably linked to it. Previously, we all dabbled in the refined art of applying sepia filters on Instagram, shared our day in a disinterested and perhaps naive manner, more attached to the idea of sharing with our network than to virality. Now, everything has bowed to the logic of numbers and money, and everything has become extremely codified and rarefied. A term has even been coined by Kate Lindsay and Nick Catucci in Embedded, a periodic newsletter. They use the term ghost watchers to encompass the change in our habits, the content we consume, and the way we consume it. It captures the idea well.

@thefinerpath Do you ever get tired of scrolling through social media? #fyp #healingtheyouth credits to euphoriazef - ‍

What do we do if we don't post?

According to Sydney Bradley and Amanda Perelli, who write about this for Business Insider, there is even talk of posting fatigue, a sense of fatigue and exhaustion at the thought of posting on social media, especially when it comes to the public feed. There are a thousand rules, a thousand expectations. So, we retreat to private messages, chats, Stories (especially on Instagram), groups, and audience restrictions. This way, we replicate instant messaging services, and social media remains in the hands of those who use it for work, showing us unreal lives, unreal faces, unreal bodies, making it even harder for us to post. It’s a vicious cycle, a loop that is spiraling downward, making social networks increasingly similar to television, a screen in front of which we sit with our brains turned off, a fiction with long commercial breaks. The change is still ongoing, and there is no solution or conclusion. All we can do is observe: observe our behaviors, our reactions, the transformations of these digital spaces where - even without realizing it - we spend much of our day. Is there a world without the internet? No. Is there a world without social media? Maybe