Summary of “On Social Media and Its Discontents”

Younger progressives were fiercely in favor of social media and were often appalled that people like me might say something negative about these services.
To criticize social media was to criticize the internet’s general ability to do useful things like connect people, spread information, and support activism and expression.
There’s a distinction between the social internet and social media.
Understanding the difference between these two statements is crucial if we’re going to make progress on the issues surrounding social media that have, during the last year, finally entered our mainstream cultural conversation.
If we fail to distinguish the social internet from social media, we’ll proceed by attempting to reform social media through better self-regulation and legislative controls – an approach I believe to be insufficient on its own.
On the other hand, if we recognize that the benefits of the social internet can exist outside the increasingly authoritarian confines of the algorithmic attention economy, we can explore attempts to replace social media with better alternatives.
As proponents of this approach have pointed out, social protocols hold the potential to revolutionize the social internet.
I’m interested instead in providing a flavor of the types of options that emerge once we begin to realize that the social internet and social media are not the same thing, and that this reality gives us more options than we might have first imagined for improving our digital lives.

The orginal article.