Are social networks overwhelmed?

I don’t get Twitter. I’ve mentioned that I’ve been doing some social media work for a friend (basically managing and promoting Facebook, Twitter and similar accounts) and I just do not see the value of Twitter. It seems to a be a bunch of people screaming “Look at Me!” in 140 characters or less. Occasionally I find an interesting tweet, but I have to burrow through a lot of fluff.

Of course, I recognize what is interesting to me may not be so to others and vice versa.

I’ve had similar thoughts about Kickstarter, the platform with which creative types can hit people up for seed money for their projects (albums, films, sculptures etc.) When I was getting a Kickstarter request every month or so I considered donating to them. But now that I see them more often they’ve lost their effectiveness. I can’t donate to every struggling artist out there, especially when I’m one.

I was going through the household mail the other day. As people probably know, I live with my dad and his wife. They get about two pounds of mail a day and 95% of it is what I consider junk. Political organizations begging for cash, charities begging for cash, companies begging for cash, dogs begging for bones. I toss it out.

The phone rings about tens times a day here and nine out of ten times it’s also someone begging for cash. We basically just have to screen all calls.

You starting to see a theme here?

Twitter, Kickstarter, email, snail mail, the phone… they’re all networks of a sort – a means of connecting people. And it seems that over several years/decades they’ve become overwhelmed with garbage (by garbage I mean people begging for money.) And once they become overwhelmed – once their good name is soiled – it’s hard to recover. I dream of a day when I can get rid of the phone entirely. I rarely use my personal Twitter account. Kickstarter is a joke. Email… well, email isn’t so bad, is it? We seem to have effectively worked out ways of blocking spam email (for the most part.)

Facebook isn’t too bad though I’m starting to see disturbing signs. As people start to connect their “apps” to fbook you see more of these “Bob Jones is at Mina’s Cafe” or “Samantha Kur likes ‘Eat, Pray, Love’” posts. Why people think anyone will care is beyond me. Nonetheless, those posts aren’t too annoying.

So some social networks seem to be overwhelmed with garbage, others not so much. The question is why? I suspect it has to do with properties of each technology. An email system can completely analyze the content of an incoming message before it arrives and determine whether it’s junk. Not so much with a phone call who’s content is generated after the connection has been made.

There is an obvious solution. Man should forsake any connection with his fellow man. He should live his life in fearful paranoia of human contact of any sort. He should spend his days fretful and alone, muttering to himself about the evils of his cohorts. Only then can he achieve happiness.

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