The Madness of Social Media

If anyone has ever has tried to solve a technical glitch related to Facebook (Meta), Instagram or another social media platform, you will know that the process to solve a problem can be so difficult and time consuming that you will need to see a therapist for emotional distress.

Working with social media often reminds me of one particular Twilight Zone episode. (The Twilight Zone is a mystery, horror, Sci Fi television series from the 1960s.) The episode I am remembering tells the story of a murdered gambler who wakes up in a casino and believes he has landed in heaven. But when he tries to leave, he can’t. Why? He is in hell and his idea of heaven will turn into a punishment for eternity. This is how working with the social media often feels for me. There is no escape. 

For those who remember customer service with a voice at the end of the phone, you might recall that there used to be a living person with expertise who would work with you to solve a problem. They understood your lack of professional experience in an area and they were trained to help. They were the experts, but now with online media and apps everyone is expected to be their own expert. Would you give a baker the responsibility of launching a rocket into space using a bulleted list of instructions? And vice versa. Would you ask a rocket scientist to run a bakery following some incomprehensible list of instructions? It makes no sense. 

But in order to save money and to pretend to be efficient (and I suspect to keep ordinary people at a disadvantage), when a problem arises, we are now expected to follow endless bulleted online instructions, which are nearly impossible to locate if you are urgently trying to solve a problem and then equally impossible to follow and remember once you have found them. (If I don’t understand the inherent logic of a series of instructions, then following a bulleted list is of little assistance.) And for those of us who are often baffled by computer terminology and its lack of logic, I approach any problem worried that I may inadvertently add or subtract something, which will cause me to delete content or some computer program that causes the problem to become much worse.

And online instructions may be out of date with the companies like Meta frequently changing their systems or updating them. (Changing does not necessarily mean making them better.) The internet is full of out of date information and sometimes when you follow some instructions, they don’t work with the new system.

These musings have come from my recent attempts to solve a connection issue with a design application that is supposed to connect with Instagram and has stopped working. I have wasted at least two days trying to understand how to solve this within the Meta universe  without success. I look into the future and all I see is more of the same.

Picture of Joyce Agee

Joyce Agee

Writing can magically transport us anywhere. My blog looks at the experiences of being an expat newcomer; life in a small town in regional Australia, and what the world looks like living ‘down under’.

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