A Return to a Truly Social Media

Created: Monday, October 12, 2020, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am

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By Marine Mallinson, CEO, YurOn

Social media is an important part of most of our lives, but it is leaving us more isolated, polarized, and unfulfilled than ever before. What currently gets in the way includes the filters, the vanity metrics, and the validation-driven algorithms.

As 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 that 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 that 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 metrics, 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 Seedrs. 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 the 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 that can help people expand their lives in a meaningful and enjoyable way––in community.

Marine Mallinson
Marine Mallinson is co-founder of YurOn, a brand-new social media video platform connecting the world through video thread conversations. On YurOn, it all starts with a question, generating replies and more questions, creating a collaborative video thread. Thousands of people from different walks of life – drag queens, mountaineers, activists – have thirty seconds to ignite a conversation, start an Ask Me Anything or co-create a skit. YurOn cultivates authentic interaction, there are no filters, anonymous commenting, vanity metrics or validation-driven algorithms.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.

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