OVER IT – The Social Media Lifecycle
My name is Tanvi and I was/am currently addicted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat, Path, MySpace, Hi5, Skype, iMessage and MSN. No, seriously. Save for Google+ and Orkut, I have literally been addicted to almost every social media platform launched. Thankfully, I’ve gotten bored of them pretty quickly, or I would have a serious case of SMAD.
I’ve found that most social media platforms have a shelf life or a life cycle that goes like something like this:
Excitement: This stage begins almost immediately after the new social media platform has been announced, demoed, or once you get on the waiting list for registration. Adrenaline is at an all time high.
Addiction: This stage occurs right after you’ve explored the shiny new features of your new social platform. All of a sudden every meal becomes worthy of a filter. All of a sudden every joke needs to be on Vine. All of your public transport frustration is expressed on Twitter. You can’t stop. Your friends are starting to get annoyed but you just can’t. Stop.
Rehab: You’re Path-ed out. You’re Vine-d out. You’re Snapchat-ed out. The excitement has worn off and you’re falling back into your old ways of using your old social media platforms and you’re finding fewer reasons to pull out your once shiny new exciting app.
Over it: The point at which you take the extra few seconds to press and hold the app icon with the intention of deleting it forever.
It seems like we get excited by social media platforms, get addicted (I use the term “addicted” loosely, since sometimes addiction doesn’t even occur, in its truest sense) to them and then move on all in a span of a few weeks to a few months. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the three that have seemed to stand the test of time and our flittering attention spans (and teens are apparently already getting tired of Facebook). This is because these platforms are dynamic – they are constantly changing and evolving to fit their audience’s needs and trends.
Personally, I’m curious to see what our online social space looks like in another half-decade. Will Facebook and Twitter still be around? Will we still want to Instagram our meals? Will there be a social media platform that is “permanent”, one that will still be around years from now?