24 hours online. You have to stay connected. Otherwise, you won’t see your friends darkest secrets, most important moments and events that happen in less than no time. Another way of staying private while sharing every moment of your life — this is a journey that social media take on daily basis.
It all began with snapchat, when Evan Spiegel invented the app for people to act more, as they true selves — he said that. Really. In opposition to Facebook or Instagram, snaps were meant to be more spontaneous, unfiltered and funny. No strings attached — as we are not perfect. But, users thought otherwise, playing with filters and imposing idealism in many spheres of life — emotions, journeys, work, relationships and looks. Snaps last just for 10 seconds, and enforce it’s users to stay online in order to fit in the game. With many filters, options and stickers, Snapchat became a medium, in which your friends are an muted audience of your exciting life.
Instagram Engineering introduced a “My Story” copy — “Story”. A feature allowing to post 24h lasting stories, that may be pictures or short films. If you have a public profile, everyone can browse your upload, and it’s easy to stumble upon random users and photos. With a “See who’s seen it” option, an author of the story, can check who has silently followed them around. The crowd has to stay speechless — there are no other reactions that could be added other than “I have been here, I’ve seen it”. This allows to post content with a tough isolation — unlike other Social Media, snaps and stories eliminate the exposure to comments and reactions.
@Messenger took upon the challenge. Photos and videos can be a part of your unique day relation, shared with friends connected via Messenger. They last also 24h, and can be edited with stickers, drawings and text. The trend for fast and expiring content is overwhelming. Each Social Media channel enforces a different content for fading daily stories — as Gary Vaynerchuk predicted — we have learned to post different narrative to each channel of distribution. Daily essence posted on Instagram, Snapchat and Messenger differs, and makes up a puzzle of most exciting moments of each users life.
Why is that different than classical static content shared on Social Media? Facebook and Instagram have become isolated from context — offering perfect pictures and stories, whereas Snapchat could be a non-stopping feed of regular activities, from waking up to going to sleep. Other Social Media could seem more unrealistic and idealized — we select our stories more carefully because they stay there forever and are submitted to judgement (likes, dislikes and comments). Evaporating photos introduce the content to audience — like friends, that are silent viewers. Perfection seems not to be a thing here as well. Presence is the key factor — stay online. Post. View.
In my opinion, newest Social Media have added another layer to our emotional needs. We like to be followed. We like to have an audience. We like to look great and be admired. Even if it’s almost impossible to stay online 24h and look excellent 24h — this is what we create and impose on our followers in order to stay liked and loved. This is basic for almost all man kind, but now Social Media has substituted spending time with each other by fading daily stories. Every step on the way is displayed, whether you are home, in a car or having a shower. Your friends are always with you. Classical Social Media were more a gallery, a scrollable impression — now, we have option to share every minute of our day, and make it more than awesome.