So is that it? Back to seats and eyeballs, channelled not connected, “audiences” sucking up linear “content”? Back to a time where discourse wasn’t possible, where law-of-the-jungle-might-was-right, and visceral emotion was the preferred means of communication?
There’s a deep irony in the fact that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter et al have simplified the tools of the Web 2.0 era to the point where they’ve re-created the conditions of the pre-social web – but with lower barriers to entry.
And that means that the determined, and the well-funded, can start reshaping what was once personal discourse in a controlled fashion. Essentially, we’ve created the conditions for highly politicised propaganda to insert itself into people’s normals social interactions, without them noticing.
And much that is bad has stemmed from that.