Follower Fatigue

I have been on modern social media for a while. I worked at ShareThis in its early days, so I was deeply immersed in social media when most people were just beginning to hear about Facebook and Twitter.

Initially I was vigilant about my Facebook privacy settings, but I’ve finally given up thinking about it, and just make everything public, and treat my Facebook posts like I do Twitter. I’ve come to the conclusion that once you click the post button, it’s not really yours anymore.

Mashable has virtually taken over my Facebook feed. Pete Cashmore is my bestie it seems. Yes, that baby is cute, Pete. OMG, what they did to that woman is awful, Pete. Hey Pete, didn’t you used to tell me about Social Media? Ha, ha! Never mind.

When I look at Twitter, I glance at a few posts, but feel overwhelmed. It’s like watching an individual droplet of water go over Niagara Falls. I suspect there was something else interesting going on with all the other droplets, but maybe not. Anyway, I was too busy looking at that other one.

I’ve started reading books again. Did you know books have a last page? It’s kind of cool! When you get there, you get this bizarre sense of accomplishment! It turns out, authors tend to do this crazy thing where they give their stories a beginning, a middle, and an end. On purpose! I’ve come to appreciate that now more than ever.

I am ready for the age of the follower/following to end. Let’s bring on the Golden Age of Curation! I want an expert who knows me, and just shows me the stuff I like. I don’t want to follow that fitness expert anymore. I can’t keep up! I’ve had too many donuts this morning!

An experience that has all but faded is going to your local neighborhood bookstore or record store and just browse. Sure, Amazon and Spotify make this so darn convenient. But the social aspect of the experience is gone. The guy or girl behind the counter saw you every week. You’d talk to them about more than music. There was a connection there…something intimate about the whole shopping experience. A band I dearly love called The Daydream Club wrote a wonderfully melancholy song about it.

The people who worked in the independents could be counted on to recommend something really amazing. Now machine learning is trying to take over. But humans are better at that…for the moment. The best playlists on Apple Music come from a carbon based origin, not a silicon one.

I just had this weird Edgar Wright scene play out in my head of a van with an Amazon or Apple logo on it, pulling up to the independent record or bookstore and forcing the old clerk behind the counter to get into their van and go work in their curation sweat shop. Oh well. They still have a job I guess.

LinkedIn is my largest personal social network. I made the 500+ club on LinkedIn a while ago. I used to be proud of that until I realized this is more a function of my age (over 50), and longevity on that network, rather than any sort of fame, status, or brilliance. Anything I post there is just another droplet in the majestic follower/following waterfall. Don’t blink! Sigh.

I’m with Adele. I think I’ll go dig out my flip phone.

(Oh, and if you liked this post, please don’t follow me. Trust me, it’s exhausting.)

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