What is the intended destination for all of us now?

What is the intended destination for all of us now

The internet is witnessing the end of an era, particularly for social media platforms. Twitter has been declining since Elon Musk acquired it, while Reddit is also facing troubles, alienating its users and developers. TikTok is on the rise but might face potential bans, and Instagram has shifted into an entertainment platform as Facebook loses its popularity.

Various factors contribute to this changing landscape. Economic downturns have made funding scarce, forcing companies to prioritize revenue generation over growth. Additionally, the rise of AI has led companies to protect their data and turn away from open access platforms.

As a result, the social web is undergoing three significant shifts: transitioning from public to private, shifting focus from growth and engagement to revenue generation, and becoming more entertainment-oriented. People are now gravitating towards group chats, private messaging, and forums, reminiscent of an earlier internet era where connections were limited to people they knew.

Finding a new, healthy, and thriving online community is becoming challenging. Although some decentralized platforms like Mastodon and Bluesky hold promise, they are not yet ready to replace the current social media giants. WhatsApp and Signal offer privacy advantages, but they lack the social experience of traditional platforms.

Discord may be the closest alternative, but its large communities can be overwhelming, and moderation tools are not well-refined. The social networking era excelled at connecting people effortlessly, but it came with significant downsides, such as harassment and data privacy concerns.

While the downfall of social networks might be embraced by some, many still long for the sense of community that existed before. The desire for a global water cooler, where everyone could interact, is strong, but it remains uncertain whether this feeling will persist or fade with time.