We need to move forward. But why?

What does “moving forward” mean in terms of modernizing social media and communication?

After all, we now have countless choices in social media platforms and many ways to stay digitally connected i.e. status updates, tweets, stories, instant messaging.

So haven’t we already “moved forward?”

Aren't we more "connected" than ever before?

Choice overload is a behavioral phenomenon that affects us more often than we may realize. It’s the overwhelm we experience when presented with too many options or with options that are too complicated. This overwhelm can lead toward defaulting to what others have decided or refusing to make a decision altogether.

Being presented with choices about how we can communicate is awesome, but having as many as we do can also be a source of stress. This is especially true as we consider the learning curve that often exists when trying to master the social norms and features included in any given social media platform.

WHICH SOCIAL MEDIA “STORY” IS THE
RIGHT ONE?


Common questions that lead to choice overload revolve around the purpose and best practices for “stories.” For instance, what kind of content should be created with an Instagram story? And is that content different than the content that should be created with a Snapchat story? How do Facebook stories fit into this? And what in the world is the purpose of the brand new LinkedIn story feature?

Frustrated with social media stories and choices
Photo by Tim Gouw / Unsplash

Are all four “stories” meant to showcase different types of content? Or, for the sake of simplicity, is it more sensible to choose one platform as your “story” platform and forego that feature on all the others? Which behavior makes the most sense?

These are valid questions and can make it challenging to feel like you’re “doing” social media correctly.

For better or for worse, there’s no way to lessen the number of choices out there but there is a way to remove the overwhelm.

We can choose to engage with social media platforms that prioritize a simple root purpose above constant feature additions.

One such platform is TapeReal.

The root purpose of TapeReal is to emphasize privacy and human connection above all else. Any features that TapeReal adopts are meant to fall in line with those priorities and our core values.

We don't use TapeReal to impress people, we use it to impact people.
TapeReal is designed for human connection and privacy.

Often times, the launch of copy-cat features on traditional social media is not in the interest of creating more "communication" or "connection." It's in the interest of keeping users hooked and spending more time in the app so that more advertising units can be sold and served.

As a result, the interests of traditional social media platforms fall out of line with the interests of its users.

But how can a social media platform truly prioritize human connection when social norms have moved so far away from impacting people, and so close to exploiting people?

Well, in order to move forward, we need to take a look at tradition. We need to ask ourselves, “How much of tradition do we keep and how much of it do we change?”

ARE ATTENTION SPANS DECLINING ON SOCIAL MEDIA?


Attempting to look at all the information flooding into our brains at any given moment is like trying to drink all the rain as it falls from the sky: Impossible.

The sheer number of directions in which our senses could be diverted is mind boggling. Email open rates have had an overall decrease over the last decade. In 2010, the click through rate for an email was 5.3% and by 2019 had dropped to 2.9%.

It's hard to focus with so many social media apps
Photo by Stefan Cosma / Unsplash

What does this mean? It means that a lot of sources are vying for our attention and we’ve given up trying to see them all. For this reason, we have learned to become more selective about what we give our attention to.

But… are we electing to give our attention to things that overwhelm us? And if we are, what can TapeReal do about it?

Despite our inability to take in everything, we still somehow manage to stress ourselves out over the high expectations of social media.

TapeReal allows us to reap the benefits of self-expression and making social connections without the fatigue that comes with trying to win various popularity contests or learning the ropes of a thousand widgets.

This is a great way to connect what we love about the past (longer attention spans) with what we love about the present (connecting in spite of time or distance).

DOES OUR SOCIETY TRADE AUTHENTIC HUMAN CONNECTION FOR SCALE?


Before the internet, one person’s ability to socialize was confined. Making social connections with whomever you spoke to was a natural outcome.

At first, you only spoke to people in your neighborhood. Next, as technology improved you could travel and make friends elsewhere in your city. Then, technological breakthroughs made it possible to communicate with folks on the other side of the country. Finally, we gained the ability to communicate with people all over the World.

The importance of human connection on social media.
Photo by Joshua Ness / Unsplash

At the beginning of these monumental shifts in communication, authenticity was a natural byproduct of these interactions. But now, we as a society have traded authenticity for scale.

The goal has become gaining followers, viewers, or subscribers rather than connecting and having conversations with like-minded individuals.

In addition to the issue of social comparison, this “need” for constantly rising numbers has fed right into the ulterior purpose of social media: to monetize your private information.

IF A PRODUCT IS FREE, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT


“Free” services like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are free because they sell the information they know about you.

Your age? Sold.

Your income? Sold.

Your zip code? Sold.

Your buying habits, searching habits, eating habits? Sold, sold, sold.

In almost every Terms and Conditions we sign, there is a clause stating that by using the free service, we give the owners of that service the legal right to sell our data, likely for advertising purposes.

Remember remember.
Photo by Tarik Haiga / Unsplash

This is why TapeReal is not free. We pride ourselves on upholding strict privacy standards where the interests of people come first.

You are not the product.

But this circles back to another question.

What does trading authentic human connection for higher follower counts have to do with turning you into a product?

THE RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA CELEBRITIES


Social media “influencers” are popping up all over the place.

People with lots of followers in various social media sites are sought out by brands to advertise for them. In exchange, brands pay influencers or send them free product.

However, market researchers don’t just find random influencers and ask them to promote products. They try their best to only advertise to the types of people who are likely to purchase.

That makes sense of course, because it would be silly to show a dog food ad to someone with no pets. But where do dog food companies get this valuable information about who has a dog and who doesn’t?

Social networks, of course, because they mine our personal data to help advertisers extrapolate this information.

How do social networks know I have a pet?
Photo by Darinka Kievskaya / Unsplash

Free social networks know that advertisers value our information more than anything else. So they sell our data without discrimination, even to organizations whose business practices may seem less than ethical.

MODERNIZING HUMAN CONNECTION WITH TAPEREAL


At TapeReal, we are connecting the parts of pre-internet existence (longer attention spans, mindful conversations, and authentic representations) with what we love about the present day (the convenience and speed of mass communication despite time or distance).

We believe this can be done without giving up our desire for meaningful conversations. We are building a new #SocialReality where you can show up as a person, and not a human product or popularity contest contestant.

We do this by starting a new tradition, one that combines modern conveniences with the things that made communication so great in the past. And when we make a conscious decision to do this, we will remember how to "socialize" with social media, once again.

What modern traditions will you create with TapeReal?

#SocialReality

If you're interested to learn more about TapeReal, download our iOS app from the App Store today. We have a slew of new features coming soon like Creator Monetization and a whole lot more...

Join early and be a part of the #SocialReality movement!