In 1995, I distinctly remember enrolling in my first HTML class. My mother spent $4,400 of her savings to buy me an NEC Desktop computer from Future Shop, a local electronics store. My desktop PC came fully equipped with Windows 95, a Pentium 133 MHz chip, 4 MB of ram, 28.8 dial-up modem, hard disk drive, CD-ROM, color monitor, natural keyboard, external mic, speakers, and a webcam.
I was ecstatic and finally able to work on my GeoCities web page.
Back then, life moved at a much slower pace.
If you wanted to install a new software program, it would take hours to install.
If you wanted to browse the web, expect minutes for a website to load.
Even ICQ/MSN messenger came with a slight delay.
Everything was slower, but it was fun and easy to keep up.
Today, the Internet is moving at a much faster pace. Software installs within seconds. Websites and Apps load in seconds. Instant messages are truly instant. Information and data travels fast, and is further amplified by social networking distribution channels. Everything and almost every service is at our fingertips. Software is eating up the World.
All this speed is great. It enabled humanity to connect across the globe. It opened up new ways for people to keep in touch, whenever, wherever. Technology has been a great tool and created many positive shifts in the way we live our lives.
However, it also created adverse effects we weren't quite ready for.
Repercussions we didn't have the foresight to anticipate.
Research has shown that social media is known to cause:
- Narcissistic behavior
- Lower attention spans, especially in adolescents
- Mental health issues from prolonged use of social networking sites like Facebook
- Addiction, because of the way algorithms are designed to keep you engaged
- Bullying and trolling on social media... and the list goes on and on.
Social media was supposed to connect us in meaningful ways. Social networks promised to bring us closer together and help us maintain relationships with people in our lives, whether personal, professional, or around shared-interests.
However, it seems like social networks underwent a mutation. They morphed into algorithmic news-feeds containing filtered images, fake news, trolls, and rabbit holes of content, designed to keep eyeballs engaged and thumbs addicted, all for the purpose of tracking our interests and serving us more ads.
Let's look at a recent example: TikTok.
TikTok further morphed the news-feed by reducing the cognitive load for deciding which content you want to consume (i.e. don't think, we'll decide for you, just keep swiping up!). This results in users spending more time on the platform and consuming shorter content, faster and faster. It's easy to lose your sense of time on TikTok due to this lack of cognitive load.
Instagram copied the same approach with their product Reels. Instagram is also testing the a full-screen scrollable display of posts on their main feed.
YouTube was also quick to launch their competitor product, Shorts with new features very similar to TikTok.
Training our brains to consume and engage in this manner is synonymous to gambling addicts spending hours on a slot machine at a Casino.
So is TikTok really a social network?
I think we need to make a distinction between social "media" and social "networks." The latter relates to people and connections, while the former relates to media, attention, and entertainment. However, with the current sites and apps available today, the terms social media and social network have become synonymous.
That being said, TikTok and Instagram have now become entertainment networks, similar to television & media networks, but with a stronger focus on virality, influencing, and fame.
We think these social media apps should not be classified as a social networks. WE believe social networks are about real people, shared interests, and communities.
Social networks create engagement, dialogue, and bi-directional communication between real people. They help us socialize and connect.
Social networks are like events, conferences, cafes, churches, public town squares, where real people meet, connect, and get to know each other.
Social networks are like podcasts, where real people speak to each other, because speaking is the most natural medium of communication. It's a part of the human experience and is ingrained in our DNA.
Notice the emphasis on real?
Real means unfiltered images. Real means raw, uncut, and unedited. Real means if you're a person and wish to socially connect, then you simply need to be you. Real means slowing down and using your mind to make a conscious decision. Real means taking your power back, and not delegating your power of choice to an algorithm.
Creative tension makes you conscious of the content you're putting out in the World. It also makes you aware of content you're letting in to your World.
Technology should help you become a better, more fulfilled person, right?
To paraphrase Robin Sharma's quote about the mind...
"Technology is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master."
This is why we're building a platform in favor of slowing down.
By stripping away text/image/link-based updates, you're left with some creative tension. You can still add links in the comments, but they become secondary.
All updates on TapeReal are in the form of raw video or audio. The app is designed to put people first. You also have the option to upload your own videos from your photo gallery, so if you want to get creative, the option is always there.
TapeReal.com is bringing a slower reality to social networking. And in today's World, we all could use a little slowing down.
A social network can be a form of social media. This applies to TapeReal. But modern day social media apps like TikTok and Instagram are hardly social networks. They are entertainment and virality networks, which is why they are intentionally designed to be addicting.
For people who are conscious, aware, and wish to connect with real people in meaningful ways, TapeReal is the space for you.
Let's be better humans
Join a community of people who share the same interests and values as you.
Get the app and join the movement as early as today.