“I think that the age of mass social networking has reached its peak, at least for us first-worlders,” said Cloak’s co-creator Chris Baker, who also founded the hugely successful viral news platform Buzzfeed . “Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are public arenas where we cultivate versions of ourselves that are well-manicured, mostly false, and always ‘on’. I think that is what’s beginning to wane. We’re exhausted from it and by it. Now platforms that enable ephemeral, private and very loose moments are starting to become hugely mainstream. Antisocial stuff is on the rise. Social has had its moment in the sun. Now people are beginning to revolt.”
There is evidence that Facebook and Twitter make many of us unhappy as they push us to maintain an unrealistically positive public persona. A recent University of London study explained: “The public nature of a user’s Facebook profile means that users’ social lives are particularly open to scrutiny from others.” And the network can even break up relationships: “Site use can lead to increased jealousy and/or obsessive behaviour, as a result of the opportunities it provides users to access … information about their partner that would not otherwise be accessible.”
The fear of being judged has resulted in social networking excluding many people who lack social confidence.
Some of these sound pretty interesting, but blogging is about my limit, and with three blogs, that limit is pushed. For now, I think even anti-social networking is still too much network for me.