People Are The Nicest People So Treat Each Other Well, Okay? <3
Another Monday, Another Naive Weekly - Curated stories on Technology and Internet Culture.
I am not entirely sure when, but at some point we started to talk about Facebook as social media. Back in 2005 when it launched, we called it a social network or maybe a web 2.0 company, but we never mentioned it as a social media.
In Mary Meeker’s 2019 report (read it), she outlines that Americans today are spending 6.3 hours a day with digital media. Video killed the radio star, today the Internet killed TV - and is becoming TV itself.
As our consumption of social media has increased, we also start to question it much more. Jenny Odell’s new book “How to do nothing” keeps appearing where ever I turn my head. And Cal Newport’s “Digital Minimalism” has caught my eye on a desk or two.
Sometimes this would get me to think that the age of social media is over. In some ways this is probably true, and in other ways it is entirely false. What I would like to claim is that if Facebook still exists in 10-15 years, then I doubt we’ll call it a social media company.
Instead of basing their business model on consumption of media from friends, I believe Facebook - and any other successful platform that engages people - will be based on much more concrete services.
My guess is that we’ll look at the social web as evolving from social networks, to social media to social spaces. The Internet will continue to be the greatest technology we have to connect across time and space, but the platforms we use to do it will look very different.
At our last Community Leadership Summit we had Mitchel from Depop fly in from London to share the story of how they are engaging young people on their digital thrift store platform. The other week Depop announced a heavy investment round to further fuel their growth. Depop is mall-culture anno 2019.
Facebook is of course on top of every game when it comes to the social infrastructure of the future. Their latest bet is within currencies as they just this week released the first information of their long-rumoured crypto-currency called Libra. Money is social.
I’ve previously written about how people use Fortnite as the new social hangout spot. Let’s call it the digital basketball court, or the community football field: you go to play, but also to socialize with your friends. Interestingly, last week the company behind Fortnite acquired Houseparty. Houseparty labels itself as a face-to-face social network (hint: not social media).
What social spaces do you see emerging? Will Spotify be the digital block-party? Will Slack be able to become the digital water cooler? Who will provide the digital public park? The library?
Five Stories on Technology and Internet Culture
This article has nothing to do with technology at all, nor Internet culture. However, I do think this is an excellent short read: are you a conversational narcissist too?
From the time when humans realized that we had an impact on nature, it still took half a century before policies came into place to protect wilderness. In this article Maciej Cegłowski argues that privacy is the new wilderness and that it is time to have a new conversation around privacy.
“The question we need to ask is not whether our data is safe, but why there is suddenly so much of it that needs protecting. The problem with the dragon, after all, is not its stockpile stewardship, but its appetite. This requires us to talk about a different kind of privacy, one that we haven’t needed to give a name to before. For the purposes of this essay, I’ll call it ‘ambient privacy’—the understanding that there is value in having our everyday interactions with one another remain outside the reach of monitoring, and that the small details of our daily lives should pass by unremembered. What we do at home, work, church, school, or in our leisure time does not belong in a permanent record. Not every conversation needs to be a deposition.”
I’m aware and concerned of monoculture of Internet language: it can’t be good that more than 50% of the Internet is English. What I do think we shouldn’t forget when we look at Internet language is the many ways we communicate online. It might not resemble what we traditionally think of as language, but I believe memes and emoji are spoken in extremely creative ways. (And also, voice messaging is booming in China and Japan where the keyboards don’t do the many characters justice)
I was quite fascinated when I read how there might be a link between the collapse of crime rates in the 90s and the rise of cellphones. The theory suggests that the cellphones made holding physical territory less important as people could communicate without standing face-to-face.
We just announced our next Community Leadership Summit, it is September 6 in Copenhagen. Please join if you too are excited about the explosion of movements!
Also, as you can see, I’m still running a bit late in life :)