Next Year, Social Media Will Be Gone

Posted on October 17th 2013

Next Year, Social Media Will Be Gone
 
 

"Social media" this!  #blahblahblah. Mark it on your calendar. By this time next year, I predict social media will be gone. And not just from my life. 

Have you been reading all those stories having to do with social media fatigue?  There's been a plethora of personal accounts of people swearing off sharing, demonizing their digital dillydallying, repenting from the sins of all things posted. But anything with this much hype is bound to get backlash. Our society tends to demonize anything that gets too popular.  

But this is not one of those bashing articles. I'm here to tell you social media is not an evil religious cult -- though I bet Satan hates those requests for Candy Crush Saga as much as the next guy.  

Nor do I believe social media is addictive like nicotine. Like Mark Twain and smoking, I think quitting Facebook is easy, I've done it a thousand times -- I learned the first time I quit Facebook though, that wasn't the right approach.

However, social media, as we now know it, soon will all but be gone from our memories. Gone faster than the image in your mind of Miley Cyrus swinging on a wrecking ball. Hopefully.

It's because "social media" is just a fabricated term to describe digital messaging that's accessible to the public.
Newspapers, telephone, radio, television, magazines all are tangible devices. Emails were explained as electronic letters. Texts as digital notes. Social media acts as a place holder on an intangible medium so consumers can understand it, the market could monetize it, and popular culture could make us hate it.

So like floppy disks and 8-track tapes that went away, social media the term will disappear but the practice will remain. It's everywhere and nowhere. In and on everything we use to communicate. In short, it has to disappear because it never really existed. Don't believe me? When was the last time you heard someone call the commercial online sector the World Wide Web? It's just the Internet now.

If anything, social media is a nutritional supplement to the way we communicate. An extra kick to our digital diet. It is blended into all other media, like fluoride in our drinking water, or niacin in our flour. If not next year, then soon after the term will be gone. And years from now our grand kids will read this and ask, "What's social media? ...and what does a wrecking ball have to do with President Cyrus?"

fbocchino

Frank Bocchino

I'm a B2B and B2C digital marketing expert who creates integrated campaigns that help companies generate more qualified leads that result in closed sales using the latest marketing strategies, technology and media tools for lead generation, SEO, and social media.

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Comments

LeonMcLean
Posted on October 17th 2013 at 1:43PM

Interesting article - and very appealing title! Working for a digital agency, SayItSocial, we live and breathe social - the practice of which is, as you said, definitely here to stay. But what will we name it in the future? Will it just come under the 'media' umbrella? Digital? We HATE the term 'social media' because that is just a fraction of a company's overall social strategy. Social is a total cultural shift altogether which we can talk about for hours. 'Social Media' however, is a term which we will be happy to see the back of!

fbocchino
Posted on October 17th 2013 at 5:42PM

Thanks, Leon. The title is certainly more wishful thinking than a genuine prediction!

Interesting question as to what social media will be called as all media is becoming digital and many project television as we know it will be gone in a few years. 

Whatever it is, one thing for is for sure, I'll have an opinion on it.

 

LauriePR
Posted on October 17th 2013 at 8:57PM

Frank! You too the words right out of my mouth. This is something I have (also) been PREACHING about for years. MEDIA is (for goodness sake) Media. Digital, Radio, TV, Print. A placeholder is the perfect term. That being said I have that 'social word' in my logo (need to take it out).  Yes, the practice of working within digital (or NEW) media will remain. In my world, there are people who focus on the Television or Radio media side, thus we will need digital media practices as well. It's too hard to work in all areas at one time. Digital cross over will be necessary in all other mainstream (original media) areas that is for certain. I include email and texts as channels of digital. What will we name social networks then? I think that just like channels on television, Facebook, LinkedIn, even Google etc. will be digital media channels. 

fbocchino
Posted on October 18th 2013 at 6:10PM

I think the channels concept is a good one, Laurie. We have business channels, and tv channels, so digital media channels make sense. But I think digital will go away soon as well since soon that's all that will be left!

Joanna Gorka
Posted on October 18th 2013 at 11:39AM

Thanks Frank for a great article. I truly believe that I will still be alive when someone will say to me "Remember, when we used social media for advertising?". 

fbocchino
Posted on October 18th 2013 at 6:12PM

Thanks, Joanna. I'm sure we all will be. Case in point, ask a 11-year-old what the World Wide Web is and watch the blank stare. :)