The enigma of what the fourth social generation will make of the Internet.
The social Internet, which is dominated especially by adolescents and young people and It is usually hostile to those who start to comb gray hair, has had three great generations until now, each one marked by a reigning platform and symbol of its era.
Inherited from IRC and that took advantage of the pull of the massive arrival of computers and the Internet to homes. Approximately, from 1999 to 2006. It was the communication in which the text prevailed, not by conviction of the power of the written word, but because the connections gave what they gave.
The same as technology: I spent years on “the” MSN until I had my first photo scanned thanks to the friend who had a scanner. We met people blindly and it was fine. Internet was to guide us by the text and little else.
The one from Tuenti
Ana Iris Simón wrote a lapidary phrase in Vice: “In Tuenti we did not seem, as in Instagram: in Tuenti we were“Indeed, it was a social network to live with the insurance down, without thinking for a second about the fingerprint. Sundays meant hangover, eating looking at the ground, taking the SD out of the camera, uploading all, confirming, yes.
And to label people, came out smiling, crying, drunk, holding narcotic substances or with a damaged demeanor. Everything did not matter. Approximately, from 2006 to 2012. Internet was the translation of our life without any filter.
The one on Instagram
That of the transition to the antipodes of Tuenti. Photos of the brunch, of the Lempuyang temple, the selfie where we most favored went out, our highlights. What we project, not necessarily what we are. Digital makeup, laughing looking at the sky. From roughly 2012 to 2021, and we’re still counting. The Internet is the picture of what we would like to be. Then come the emotional breakdowns.
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I’m going to resist the temptation to become the old man who screams into a cloud yelling that the old thing was better. The old thing was the consequence of the alignment of some technical possibilities.
Collective behavior on the Internet is linked to the possibilities offered by each era. Now we enter the 5G.
If we had digital cameras in 2002 we would have been fooling around much earlier, and only after publishing shameful photographs of disco nights and drinking bottles did we begin to realize that perhaps it was a better idea to bring something harmless to the Internet for our future.
And now, with so many years of Instagram boom without signs of wear appearing on the horizon, beyond the boredom of four misfits and people whose vital moment already asks for other things, I wonder what’s next. What collective social behavior is going to mark the bulk of the Internet in this decade that we have just begun.
One might think that the role of TikTok has transcended and is already much more than a social network of dances, choreographies and videos of a certain elaboration, but by its very nature it is hard to believe that a majority of users are going to start dancing and doing gestural comedy as if we were Kramer in ‘Seinfeld’. Not all of us have enough charisma and it is a network “doomed” to have millions of peepers and a few stars. The question remains what are we going to do, not what are we going to consume.
Not everyone was born to make videos like this.
Some ideas of where the next shots might come from:
Totally private environments. That like Tuenti, they do not index in Google. Something similar to what WhatsApp is being — as much as it may weigh—: private messaging, group messaging in highly controlled environments, ephemeral content in the form of statuses, content that has no way of reaching the web unless someone gives it for remove it by hand. After all the cases of content published openly that has turned against its author and has led to overturned job applications, perhaps we increasingly value those closed security pens, which keep the fingerprint pristine.
Total bet on ephemeral content. A platform that takes the cat to the water to guarantee that everything we climb on it will be eliminated automatically. Very convenient for those concerned about the fingerprint, but especially those who do not care about it … but at some point they will. Snapchat hasn’t done all that badly.
Back to text. At least as a main paradigm, after seeing how networks based on image and video (Instagram) have displaced or cornered those based on text or that could be widely used only with it (Facebook, Twitter).
The latter is complicated in the era of the smartphone with cameras from another planet, but dreaming is free.