If you’re not familiar with Kurzgesagt, they’re a Youtube channel that does well researched, informative videos about a broad range of topics. In this case, it’s about the impact of social media on society, and clarifies some information about social filter bubbles and social sorting.
I suppose it’s unsurprising to say that I agree with their thoughts on how to improve the situation – move out of the “digital town square” and get back to smaller communities. It’s healthier for society, it’s healthier for you. This also all puts me in mind of a recent article in Garbage Day, which was discussing that the internet has actually gotten smaller, with a subset of creators making an outsized portion of the content you see day-to-day. In short, social consolidation leads to a reversion to the same sort of “broadcasting” mentality of older media. Social media serves as a channel for this sort of broadcasted content, and if you want to get back to a broader, weirder, more diverse range of content, the answer is to get back to a broader, weirder, more diverse range of online communities.
That’s a trade-off, economically speaking: if you make it big in a centralized outlet, you stand to make a lot of money – smaller communities inherently have less money to offer. But, that presumes you’ll manage to rise to the top of the creator heap – it’s far more likely that you’ll fall somewhere in the long tail of a pareto distribution. In a more distributed, fractured internet, the peak is lower, but you have more opportunity to get a slice of that sum, so you might actually end up making about the same (or more). It’s hard to say.
That’s a bit of a digression, though. Go watch the video, it’s only ~11 minutes long, and let me know what you think.