This is an interesting observation, in fact, I was just considering something similar the other day, about how we went from relishing the freedom of expression that blogging provided anyone and everyone, to where we are today, trying to shut people up on social media.
For most of my life, the internet, particularly its social media — BBSes, Usenet, LiveJournal, blogosphere, even Myspace, early Twitter and Facebook — consistently made people happier. But roughly five years ago it began to consistently make people more miserable. What changed?
Now, the article goes on to talk about the algorithms. Of course, that is the one thing that has changed. We no longer log in to a social network, see what our friends and contacts are up to today, and move on. Now, we are treated to as much “stuff” as they can find that’ll make us angry and upset, because we are more likely to stay and interact with that stuff, spending more time on the platform and seeing more ads.
Gone are the days when the best blogs sent you to other interesting places instead of trying to keep you on the site, or people tried to simply elevate the smartest, most interesting, content to each other. We’ve allowed Facebook and Twitter to instead offer us the dregs of intellectual discourse, because they know that will keep us there, enraged, arguing, and just miserable.
We are better than that, but we have to make a conscious effort to be so. It’ much easier to not fight it, but it’s making us all pretty awful people as well.