Making our social media truly social again

By Marine Mallinson, CEO, YurOn

Although social media is important to most of us it is unfortunately leaving us more isolated, polarised and unfulfilled than ever before. What currently gets in the way includes the filters, the vanity metrics and the validation-driven algorithms.

 As the social media giants continue to grow, the problem is only exacerbated. In the words of Alex Roetter (the former head of engineering at Twitter, seen in the documentary, The Social Dilemma), “you can’t put the genie back in the bottle”.  

 Social Media is here to stay but that doesn’t mean it has to stay the way it is. 

 To counteract the negative and disempowering aspects of social media what is needed is something which is genuinely social and collaborative. We need something which is driven by people’s curiosity to explore ideas and to genuinely listen to different points of view.  

 That way social media will have value rather than being a relentless process of unfulfilling scrolling. Instead of creating hollow profiles which are designed to project a particular self- image, and to fit into a certain narrow group, it will mean that a genuine, transparent connection between people can develop.

 There is a move to make this happen among social media companies. For example, YurOn lets users share short videos which create a conversation as people raise questions and give their answers/points of view.  It’s collaborative, it’s based on curiosity and authentic interaction with real people. Because it is video based, there is no hiding behind fake accounts or airbrushed profile pictures. And vanity metrics do not play a part – in fact there are no metricsl just conversations.

 YurOn user Kaia Kaemmerlen described the very different experience of the environment that this creates as being able to “see life through other people’s eyes.” She goes on to say “I’ve met ballet dancers, people who live on houseboats, environmental activists and DJs. It’s about connecting with real people living real lives – not fake, airbrushed lives that pretend to be perfect.” 

 This is what many social media users are now looking for. And it’s why YurOn is currently crowdfunding On Sedrs. www.seedrs.com/yuron  Social Media users are tired of the fake news peddled by insincere people.  They are tired of content that is trivia at one extreme and aggressive name-calling at the other.  Going forward social media needs to exemplify the way the various platforms can create authentic communities, that develop over time, allow co-creation of content and can be rewarding for everyone involved.

 I am not suggesting that all of social media will change instantly, but there is a strong current pulling in a more positive direction.  When people put so much of their lives online, they want to enjoy the process and feel that they are not simply fitting in.  Social media, designed the right way, can provide platforms which can help people expand their lives in a meaningful and enjoyable way – in a genuine community.

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