Recall the last time you stood near your mother and told her you love her. Was there ever any doubt that she got the message? Regardless of her reaction, she understood the sentiment conveyed in words, gestures, and posture.
Now recall the last time you sent your mother an IM in which you wrote you love her. What sort of sentiment did she truly receive? Let's explore that a bit.
Two individuals communicating in person engage in a common environment. The individuals develop an understanding of what is said based on a common set of factors. Social Media companies create a virtual environment for each participant to maximize their business objectives. The platforms are third-party participants in any individual one-on-one discussion. On a social media platform, an individual may add emojis, text enhancements, and images to express a feeling to another individual. The platform injects images from advertisers, emojis from AI engines, and text placements to provoke a call to action that drives sales. What does an individual who receives a message on such a platform get? For sure it is not the original sentiment of the individual sending the message.
Although targeted messaging to an audience is desirable for commercial purposes, it is not what drives social media companies. Individuals expressing personal feelings and conveying expressions to others are the driving force behind the platforms. In other words, technology has figured out how to capitalize on our personal productivity.
Next time you IM your mom that you love her, thank her for being a solid team player. As you register for your seventh social media account and get ready to engage social media platforms for 145 minutes per day much of which will be during working hours watching short-form videos, know that you and your mom are helping support a billion-dollar industry that is monitoring the communication very closely to assure you both get the best user experience possible.