Stay niche

The quality of a social network goes down as it grows in size to represent the larger public. This happens merely as a result of the network now representing the “median” of the human condition. The median is of average quality. It represents the unorthodox, boring and conventional.

In contrast, progress happens in outliers. Humanity could not have been progressing towards betterment without the at-that-point-in-time fringe-heterodox thinking normally associated with creativity.

This explains why social media was interesting in its beginning years, but have gotten increasingly constrictive (due to censorship) and of average quality in the current times.

The core problem here is the monolithic nature of these social networks, not their size per se. The solution is decentralization, 1 making it impossible for there to be a large monolithic network thus discouraging any form of universal group-think, for there will be no such universal group.

It is time we humans (i.e., each of us individuals) let go of the idea of “humanity” (i.e., as a “group”); decentralized social networks today have a fantastic opportunity to play their technological role in it.

See also

Footnotes
1.

Until we get there federation might be an acceptable compromise, as the UK House of Lords recommended in its report

Social media services offer citizens unparalleled opportunities to share their opinions with others. However, this market is dominated by a small number of very powerful companies. Rather than allowing these platforms to monopolise the digital public square, there should be a range of interlinked services between which users can freely choose and move. The Digital Markets Unit should make structural interventions to increase competition, including mandating interoperability.

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  • Sridhar Ratnakumar
    I don't use social media. To subscribe to regular email updates from me, send an email to srid@srid.ca
  • Pros and Cons
    After the wide popularity of the Internet, it is not difficult to get in contact with people outside of one's niche. Thus one can unwittingly get involved with what one may consider as ‘the worst’ of the human condition more easily than before. In the physical environment, if someone for example doesn’t like a particular neighbourhood or city, they can simply move to another geographical area*; this is not strictly possible when publicly using a popular social media platform.