In 1995, I distinctly remember enrolling in my first HTML class. My mother had just 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, Floppy drive, CD-ROM, color monitor, natural keyboard, external mic, speakers, and a webcam. I was ecstatic and finally able to work on my Geo-cities 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 much faster, and is amplified by social networking distribution channels. Everything and almost every service is at our fingertips. Software is eating up the World (as Silicon Valley likes to say).
All this speed is great. It enabled humanity to connect across the globe. It opened up opportunities 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. Stuff like extreme narcissism, lower attention spans, mental health issues, device addiction, bullying/trolling, and the list goes on.
Social media's promise was 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.
Instead, social networks underwent a mutation. They morphed into algorithmic news-feeds containing filtered images, fake news, trolls, and bottomless pits of content (sometimes useful and sometimes useless), 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 - let the algorithm control you!). 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.
Training our brains to consume and engage in this manner is synonymous to gambling addicts spending hours on a slot machine at the 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. Therefore, I think TikTok is an entertainment network, similar to television & media networks, but it should not be classified as a social network.
On the other hand, social networks are about real people, shared interests, and communities.
Social networks create engagement, dialogue, and bi-directional communication between real people.
Social networks are like events, conferences, cafes, churches, 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; it's 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.
There are no algorithms on TapeReal.com, so there's no pressure to produce endless content to improve your ranking and discover-ability. In fact, we're thinking of putting limits on how much you can record and engage to encourage moderate use, not abuse. After all, technology should help you become a better, more fulfilled person, not a scrolling-zombie.
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. All updates on TapeReal.com are in the form of raw video or audio, and you can record solo or together with near-zero upload time.
TapeReal.com is bringing a slower reality to social networking. And in today's World, we all could use a little slowing down.
For people who are conscious, aware, and wish to connect with people in meaningful ways, TapeReal.com is for you.
So how will Creators Monetize their content on TapeReal?
We have bold ideas for that in 2020.
Get ready to sail new waters with us.
Download TapReal.com from the App Store today.