The internet is...boring?
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have stolen the joy out of using the internet
Columnist India Knight wrote a provocative piece in the Sunday Times this week. She made the case that the transition away from personal blogs to everyone just using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like has made the internet far less interesting.
...the internet used to feel like an infinite street of interesting, sometimes wildly eccentric, little independent shops. You couldn’t wait to go and explore. Now it feels like a moribund clone-town high street — and half of it is shut.
Facebook and Twitter have between them gobbled up all the fun. I don’t blame the bloggers for not blogging any more and tweeting instead, and besides, most of them, having monetised their product years ago, had got bored of blogging anyway. But you don’t sit down in front of Twitter with a cup of tea and a contented anticipatory sigh, or at least I don’t.
My love of Twitter and Facebook has been gone for a long time now. But Instagram always retained some element of joy. That too has been diminishing these last six months or so though. More and more people are using it as a kind of blogging alternative. But it’s not nearly as good as actual websites when it comes to displaying words. Or as interesting. The beauty of Instagram was its lack of words. Now every other post has an essay underneath. And a horribly formatted, hard to read essay at that.
I get that it’s hard work to engage across multiple independent personal websites. Seeing everyone in one or two places is a whole lot easier. But I agree with India Knight on this – we’ve lost something in this transition.
Maybe I’m a relic from the past, still writing on my own website. Maybe the world has moved on and left me behind. Maybe I’m showing my age. But in the same way I want to support the independent shops of this world, in the realm of the web, I want to be an independent store owner. I don’t want to succumb to the giant chain stores on the web. I want to play my part in trying to keep the internet interesting and not bland.